Can You Eat Cabbage On Your Low Carb Diet?

Can You Eat Cabbage On Your Low-Carb Diet

How Many Carbs in Cabbage? Is Cabbage Low-Carb? Oh Yeah!

What’s low-carb, tasty, versatile, seriously nutritious, & always among the cheapest vegetables in your grocery store? Cabbage!

Furthermore, cabbage is in season when summer vegetable prices skyrocket, so it’s even cheaper than usual right now. With the cost of lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and other summer salad vegetables at their predictable winter high, cabbage makes a lot of sense.

What’s the lowdown on cabbage nutritionally? Are their many carbs in cabbage?

One cup of green cabbage has 3.8 grams of carbohydrate, with 1.6 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 2.2 grams, and just 17 calories. Cabbage is one of the best sources of the little-known vitamin K, needed for strong bones, blood clotting and proper kidney function. You’ll also get appreciable amounts of vitamin C and potassium, plus a smattering of other vitamins. Go for red cabbage and you’ll get more than pretty color–you’ll get all the vitamins above, plus roughly a day’s worth of vitamin A. (Okay, it’s not really vitamin A. It’s pro-vitamin A–stuff your body can turn into vitamin A. Actual vitamin A is only found in animal foods, one good reason for eating them.)

Just as exciting, many medical studies suggest that sulfur compounds found in vegetables in the cabbage family reduce cancer risk. I found studies citing reductions in breast, prostate, colon, even lung cancers. That’s too good to miss! (Just so you know–the other members of the family include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale. All low carb!)

What Can You Do With Nutritious Low-Carb Cabbage?

  • Coleslaw is a favorite, but most commercial coleslaw dressing contains a lot of sugar. Mix ½ cup each of mayonnaise and sour cream or plain yogurt with 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1½ tablespoons prepared mustard, 1-2 teaspoons of Splenda (or your sweetener of choice to equal 1-2 teaspoons sugar) and salt to taste. This is enough for a dozen servings of coleslaw, and will add about 1 gram of carb to each serving.
  • Serving that slaw to company? Use red cabbage and stir in one grated carrot, and it will be almost too beautiful to eat. Add red cabbage to tossed salads for color and added nutrition.
  • Cook red cabbage with a little acid–vinegar, lemon juice, or the like–or it turns blue!
  • Napa cabbage, with its distinctive texture and mild flavor, is particularly good in stir fries, and cheaper than snow peas. Good for Asian-style salads, too.
  • Cabbage is wonderful sauteed. Try frying a few slices of bacon and sauteing the cabbage in the resulting grease until it has a few brown spots. Then stir in a little vinegar and Splenda, and the bacon, crumbled, and serve.
  • Corned beef and cabbage is about as easy as a supper can get. Peel a couple of onions and a few turnips, and cut them in chunks. Put ’em your slow cooker. Plunk your hunk of corned beef on top, add the seasoning packet that comes with it, and water to cover. Simmer on low all day–10 hours is good. Then turn the pot up to high, add coarsely chunked cabbage, recover, and cook for another half an hour. Serve with butter for the vegetables and mustard or horseradish for the beef.
  • Don’t forget about bagged coleslaw mix. Of course you can use it for slaw and other salads, but it’s great for making quick cabbage soup, too.

Dana Carpender’s Low-Carb Unstuffed Cabbage Recipe

Dana Carpender’s Low-Carb Unstuffed Cabbage Recipe
Stuffed cabbage is a perennial favorite, but it’s time consuming and labor intensive. Here’s a recipe that gives you all the flavor of stuffed cabbage at breakneck speed. Do use very lean ground beef for this recipe–it saves you the time needed to drain off the grease. Click the photo for the recipe.

Try these other CarbSmart low-carb cabbage recipes:

© Dana Carpender. Used by permission of the author. What do you think? Please send Dana your comments to Dana Carpender.

Check Also

What About Cheat Days on Your Low-Carb Lifestyle?

What About Cheat Days on Your Low-Carb Lifestyle? – CarbSmart Podcast Episode 14

I frequently see questions about cheat days – most commonly, “How often should I have a cheat day?” There seems to be an assumption that cheat days are a good idea, something that should be built into a low-carb diet to keep people from feeling deprived.


  1. I love cabbage! I like it sauteed in some butter with some vege-salt, ’til crisp tender. I like it as coleslaw made with 1/3 of a Jazz apple and tossed with my homemade lemon vinaigrette. It’s good slice in inch wide “noodles” under beef stroganoff. It’s one of the staples of my low-carb life style!

  2. Thanks for the great info, Dana! I often use sautéed cabbage as a bed for poached or fried eggs. It’s a very tasty (and filling) combination…glad to know it’s vitamin-packed as well!

  3. When reading this, please consider that this author does not know what she is talking about regarding eating animal food.

  4. Doing Atkins need options

  5. Michael Chrysanthopoulos

    Try my Greek coleslaw!

    Green cabbage… Nice solid head.
    Cut into quarters
    Slice the quarters thin longways and bowl.
    Add a nice handful of feta chunks and calamata olives.
    Add two cloves finely minced fresh garlic.
    Pour exta virgin olive oil over everything and toss so that everything is mixed and coated.
    Now add salt pepper and red wine vinegar and retoss thoroughly to work that all in.
    Chill and serve.
    Refrigerate leftover …taste even better the next day.

  6. Thank You for the the info I love cabbage. I am on a low carb diet and it’s hard to keep track of the carbs in veggies. 3>

  7. Love these ideas for cabbage…am going to try he bacon and cabbage today. Thanks so much!

  8. Thanks for all your ideas….I love cabbage and never thought of all the things I can do with it

  9. Sauté cabbage in your oil of choice. Pour in a few splashes of heavy cream, salt, pepper and crumbled bacon. Creamed cabbage is a fabulous Keto side dish!

  10. why would you drain the fat from meat if you are eating low carb? the only reason i could see for this would be to add back flax oil or something else to improve the fat profile.

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