coleslaw keto

Can You Eat Coleslaw On Ketogenic Diet?

Coleslaw is a popular side dish among many people, and there are many reasons why that is. Apart from being delicious, this side dish is also very dense with various nutrients and is low in calories. However, when you are on the keto friendly diet, especially a strict ketogenic diet, you need to make sure to closely track the number of carbs you consume. 

So, people eat this side dish for its health benefits and its taste. But, also because it is versatile. It goes very well with many different foods- from meat to soups and stews. But, can you consume this tasty and healthy side dish if you are on the keto diet? Or is it too high in net carbs?

Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about this tasty and healthy keto coleslaw!

What is Coleslaw?

Coleslaw mix, “New England salad” or just “slaw” is a popular side dish that primarily consists of raw, finely shredded cabbage. People usually top off this salad with a dressing or condiment. The most commonly used dressing or condiment is mayonnaise or vinaigrette. The traditional coleslaw mix that is prepared with vinaigrette has a longer shelf life because of the process of pickling that occurs when you add acid to the cabbage. 

Even though this low carb coleslaw consists mainly of raw cabbage, that veggie is the only consistent thing about this. Everything else, including the type of cabbage you can use, is variable. You can make it with red, purple, green or white cabbage. You can make it with mayonnaise dressing, vinaigrette, sour cream dressing, and even buttermilk dressing. The best part is, you can add apple cider vinegar to make a SUPER keto coleslaw recipe for keto coleslaw dressing.

You can also add other vegetables, fruits and even add meat to it. Some of the things you can add are bacon, carrots, onions, bell peppers, pineapple, pickles, and herbs are mentioned in multiple cuisines across the Globe as possible added ingredients.

People often consume slaw as a side dish with fried chicken or barbecued meats alongside a potato salad or French fries. 

Coleslaw Nutritional Facts

Below, you can see the nutritional information on 100 grams of coleslaw with creamy dressing and with vinaigrette. Keep in mind that some brands may add sugar and other non-ketogenic additives to their salad to their condiment. (*) (*)  

MacrosCreamy dressingVinaigrette
Calories116 kcal73 kcal
Protein1.25 grams1.05 grams 
Fat9.84 grams4.64 grams 
Total Carbs6.29 grams7.63 grams 
Fiber1.9 grams1.9 grams 
Net Carbs4.39 grams 5.73grams 

Coleslaw health benefits

The main component of this delicious side dish is raw cabbage. This veggie is often underrated, despite being packed with nutrients. The reason for that is because it looks a lot like lettuce. However, it is similar to broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. They all belong to the genus Brassica, and they are all very nutritious and offer numerous health benefits.

Cabbage is rich in many vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin A, iron, and riboflavin. This vegetable also contains a moderate amount of insoluble fiber, as well as powerful antioxidants.

Vitamin K is a cofactor that plays a role in activating enzymes. It plays a crucial role in the process of clotting. (*)

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help combat and prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals which can damage cells and cause inflammation and some types of cancers. Antioxidants bind to the free radicals and prevent them from causing oxidative stress. 

The antioxidant potency of vitamin C shows that it may play a role in protecting against heart disease, vision loss, and some forms of cancer. (*) (*) (*)

Other studies suggest that consuming higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage) lowers the risk of cancer by modulating carcinogen metabolism. And, other studies show that eating these veggies may lower some systemic inflammation biomarkers. The antioxidants that are primarily responsible for the anti-inflammatory ability are sulforaphane and kaempferol. (*) (*) (*)

This crunchy veggie also contains insoluble and soluble fiber. The digestive tract can not break down insoluble fiber. However, it still has a very significant role in the process of digestion. It adds bulk to stools and promotes regular bowel movements. Soluble fiber is broken down in the intestines by the gut flora. It acts as a primary food source for the good bacteria in the intestines. (*)

Red cabbage is also rich in specific types of pigments called anthocyanins. They belong to the plant pigments family called flavonoids and they give the beautiful deep purple color to the cabbage. Numerous studies show that anthocyanins play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. (*) (*) (*)

carbs in coleslaw

Can You Have Coleslaw On Keto Diet?

Coleslaw is a tasty salad that is made primarily with raw cabbage. The cabbage contains many minerals and vitamins that have many health benefits. This side dish can be made with creamy dressing or vinaigrette. However, its nutritional value greatly varies on how you make it and what you add to it. 

According to the information given by FoodData Central, per 100 grams of coleslaw with a creamy dressing has 116 calories, 1.3 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, 6.3 grams of total carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and around 4.4 grams of net carbs. Coleslaw with vinaigrette has 73 calories, 1 gram of protein, 4.7 grams of fat, 7.6 grams of total carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 5.7 grams of net carbs. 

From the nutritional information, you can see that it is low in calories and that most of its calories come from fats. The carb content is also manageable for someone on a low carb or a keto diet. Of course there are a million ways to make coleslaw keto friendly. Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard and mayo are all great additions to make a delicious keto coleslaw dressing.

So, is this delicious salad keto-friendly or not? The answer to that question lies in the condiment that is used because the raw cabbage is keto-friendly. Most of the time the dressing or vinaigrette used in the slaw contains non-ketogenic ingredients. For example, the vinaigrette is often made with sugar or maple syrup. Even though, traditionally vinaigrette is just oil mixed with something acidic. Additionally, the mayonnaise used sometimes contains preservatives and additives, which are not strictly keto-friendly. You can still eat it if you are on a non-strict keto diet or if you are on a low-carb diet. 

However, there is a solution if you want to make this crunchy and healthy salad strictly keto-friendly. You can make it yourself and have control of what goes into it. Just use keto-friendly mayo or don’t use sugar in the vinaigrette. 

How many net carbs does coleslaw have?

Per 100 grams coleslaw has 4.4 grams of net carbs if it is made with a creamy dressing. If it is made with vinaigrette it contains 5.7 grams of net carbs.

Is coleslaw keto-friendly?

Most pre-made coleslaw is not keto-friendly. That is because the dressing or condiment they add often has non-ketogenic ingredients such as sugar and preservatives. However, if you make it yourself with keto-friendly dressing you can consume it even on a strict keto diet.


Coleslaw or slaw is a salad made most often with raw, thinly chopped cabbage. It is very variable, and you can add many different things to it. You can add fruits, veggies, and even bacon. Traditionally it is made with a mayonnaise or vinaigrette dressing. The main component, the cabbage, has many health benefits. Studies show that it can help digestion, it may lower inflammation, and lower the risk of some cancer. 

This salad is also high in fat which comes mainly from the dressing. However, it is also relatively low in carbs. It is a good addition to the diet of a low carb or a non-strict keto dieter. However, there is a way for strict keto dieters to enjoy this tasty salad. If you make it with keto cole dressing (keto-friendly mayo or keto-friendly vinaigrette) you can also enjoy it guilt-free!

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