Is Coleslaw Keto Friendly? Carbs and Calories in Coleslaw

coleslaw keto

Whether you prefer the creamy kind or the vinegar-based varieties, coleslaw makes a crunchy, tangy side dish.  Classic cabbage coleslaw is a staple at most barbeques and pairs perfectly alongside main courses of meat or fish.

Similar to kimchi and sauerkraut, the vinegar causes the cabbage in coleslaw to ferment.  Fermented foods, such as these are incredibly beneficial for gut health because of the probiotics they deliver.  The cabbage in coleslaw also provides a boost of antioxidants and essential fatty acids to keep your body running at optimal health.

You may be wondering how you can incorporate coleslaw into your Ketogenic lifestyle.  Keep reading for an amazing low carb recipe for Creamy Keto Coleslaw that won’t kick you out of ketosis.

Is Coleslaw Keto Friendly?

In short, coleslaw can be Keto-friendly if you use the right mayonnaise. Coleslaw can be made Keto at home by using whole egg mayonnaise which is low in carbs and offers a good amount of healthy fat.  The downside of buying store-bought varieties is that certain brands of mayonnaise and dressings on the market contain added sugar.  So always check the ingredient labels of mayonnaise or consider making your own with whole eggs.

When shopping for pre-made coleslaws, always compare ingredient labels of products to find the brands with the lowest amount of sugar.  If sugar is one of the first ingredients listed, it will have a higher carb count.  If sugar is near the end of the ingredients list, it will have fewer carbs. Stick to a moderate quarter-cup serving to ensure that you remain in ketosis.  

How Many Carbs are in Coleslaw?

A 100-gram serving of coleslaw contains 13.9 grams of net carbs.  A full 191-gram cup of coleslaw provides 28 grams of carbs.  If you’re following a strict low carb diet, choose low sugar varieties and consume this food in moderation.  A quarter-cup serving is a moderate amount for those on Keto.  Vinegar-based slaws tend to be lower in sugar than the creamy varieties.

How Many Calories are in Coleslaw?

 A 100-gram serving (about a half-cup) of coleslaw contains 152 calories.  A full 191-gram cup contains 291 calories.  Calories will vary by brand.  If you’re following a calorie reduction plan, make your own low carb coleslaw using a natural sugar-free sweetener, like Stevia, which reduces the calories considerably. (Keep reading for the recipe.)

Nutrition Facts

Amount: 100 grams of Coleslaw
Calories 152
Total Fat 10 grams 15%
Saturated fat 1.6 grams 8%
Polyunsaturated fat 5 grams
Monounsaturated fat 2.7 grams
Trans fat 0 grams
Cholesterol 4 milligrams 1%
Sodium 203 milligrams 8%
Potassium 129 milligrams 3%
Total Carbohydrate 15 grams 5%
Dietary fiber 1.9 grams 7%
Sugar 12 grams
Protein 1 grams 2%
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 24%
Calcium 3% Iron 1%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 2%

Health Benefits 

Rich in Antioxidants

Coleslaw can heal the Gastro-Intestinal tract. Studies show that fresh cabbage can heal ulcers quicker than conventional treatments.

Fights Cancer

The cabbage in coleslaw is part of the popular cruciferous family of vegetables that contain molecules called isothiocyanates. These molecules have powerful anti-cancer properties that are especially helpful in fighting off leukemia, breast, prostate and lung cancers.

High in Vitamin K

The health of your bones depends on adequate intake of vitamin K.   The cabbage in coleslaw is a great source of this fat-soluble vitamin that assists in the mineralization of bones.

Vitamin K deficiency can cause minerals to be deposited into other body tissues, instead of in the bones, which can lead to hardening of blood vessels.

Rich in Antioxidants and Essential Fatty Acids

Cabbage is rich in polyphenols, which are molecules that have potent antioxidant power.  Polyphenols protect our bodies from oxidative damage and it is also beneficial for the skin.  Researchers show that people with a diet high in polyphenols experience less damage from solar UV rays than those with lower intakes of polyphenols.

Interestingly, cabbage contains a decent amount of essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially alpha-linolenic acid (a type of Omega 3).  These fatty acids are especially helpful for people with inflammation and improve conditions like cystic fibrosis.

Probiotics for Gut Health

Coleslaw made with cabbage is similar to sauerkraut if prepared with vinegar and allowed to ferment.  Fermented foods contain probiotics that improve gut health and assist digestion.  These probiotics help your gut produce the good bacteria and keeps the bad bacteria away.

Side Effects

coleslaw carbs

The cabbage in coleslaw may cause stomach upset in some people.  Even with low intakes of cabbage, people with IBS may experience symptoms, such as bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

Creamy Keto Coleslaw Recipe


  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 scallions diced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup full fat, low-carb mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons full fat sour cream
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add both types of shredded cabbage, diced scallions, and chopped parsley.  Toss together with a fork and set aside while you prepare the dressing.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and whisk together until well-incorporated.
  3. Pour some of the dressing into the salad and mix well. Continue to add more dressing until the coleslaw reaches your desired consistency and taste.
  4. Taste your coleslaw and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  5. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for a day to allow it to ferment before serving.

Makes 8 servings, each containing 4 grams of carbs.

Is Coleslaw Good for Weight Loss?

Cabbage coleslaw is great for weight loss because it is low in fat and high in fiber.  Followers of the cabbage soup diet claim that the vegetable is a great way to quickly lose a few pounds, so coleslaw may offer the same.

coleslaw calories

The cabbage in coleslaw also offers detox properties. Its diuretic properties help expel excess liquid from the body, which releases toxins along with it. Like other cruciferous veggies, cabbage is high in sulfur which allows your liver to break down toxins so they can be more efficiently flushed out of the body.

Does Coleslaw Cause Gas?

Cruciferous veggies, such as the cabbage in coleslaw, contain complex sugars that the body can’t digest, called raffinose.  This sugar remains undigested until it is fermented by bacteria in the gut.  This results in gas and bloating.

Coleslaw also produces gas in the body because of its high soluble and insoluble fiber content.  The insoluble fiber doesn’t break down until reaching the small intestine.

Is Coleslaw Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the body requires a wide array of vitamins, minerals and protein to support both baby and mother.  Coleslaw is a good source of B vitamins, most importantly B9 – also known as folate.  Folate is a vital nutrient for the development of the fetus’ brain and spinal cord. Regular consumption of foods rich in folate, like Coleslaw can help ensure the birth of a healthy baby.

In addition, cabbage is rich in Vitamin K, which is essential during pregnancy. Babies do not usually get enough vitamin K from their mothers during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Without adequate vitamin K, they are at risk of getting a rare disorder called ‘vitamin K deficiency bleeding’.  Consuming coleslaw made with shredded cabbage can help expectant and new mothers replenish their body with this vital nutrient and deliver the same to their baby.

Is Coleslaw Good for the Skin?

The cabbage in coleslaw can help you achieve beautiful, healthy, glowing skin!  This vegetable keeps skin looking healthy, toned, blemish-free and glowing because it is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene.

‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House states that cabbage contains vitamin C and K, antioxidants that protect skin from environmental damage from free radicals. The vegetable’s sulfur content may also be helpful in healing skin conditions, such as acne and eczema.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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