Should You Eat Cabbage on a Keto Diet?

If you are eating a keto diet, you will be giving up a lot of grains and other carbohydrate-rich foods in exchange for more meats, healthy fats, and vegetables.

Not all vegetables are ideal for a keto diet, however, since some of them are surprisingly high in carbs.

If you enjoy cabbage, you may be wondering whether it is a keto-friendly option or not.

In this article, we will talk about the carbohydrates in cabbage, its glycemic load, and its nutritional content.

We will also discuss the different types of cabbage.

What is Cabbage?

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable which is similar in appearance to lettuce, and which is related to Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, zucchini, and bok choy.

What Types of Cabbage Are There?

There are a number of different types of cabbage you can eat. Some common cabbage varieties include:

Green cabbage

When you think of cabbage, you probably think about green cabbage, usually the most ubiquitous form you can find in the grocery store. It’s crunchy and good to use in stir-fry, salad, or just about anything else you can think of.

Savoy cabbage

This type of cabbage is sometimes referred to as “curly cabbage.” This is a reference to its appearance, which includes pronounced ridges in its leaves. It is a popular ingredient for making wraps since it is a bit easier to bite into than some sturdier types of cabbages.

Red cabbage

This type of cabbage easily stands out in the grocery store because of its distinctive “red” (more like purplish) color. You often find it in coleslaw.

Napa cabbage

This mild cabbage is also known as” Chinese cabbage.”

Key Point: There are a variety of different types of cabbage, each of them ideal for different recipes and tastes.

How Many Carbs Are in Cabbage?

According to this data, one cup of raw, chopped cabbage contains 5.2 g of carbohydrates.

It is noteworthy that 2.2 g of these total carbohydrates are dietary fiber, with the remaining carbs being sugars.

That means that the net carbohydrates in cabbage are only 3 g per cup.

That is excellent news, since that is a very low carbohydrate content. So, you can eat quite a bit of cabbage on a keto diet without any hassles.

In fact, some types of cabbage have even fewer carbs per serving, including Savoy and Napa cabbage. So if you are really serious about keeping carbs to an absolute minimum, consider shopping for those types of cabbage.

Key Point: Cabbage is quite low in carbohydrates, especially taking fiber into account to calculate net carbs. This makes it an ideal food on a ketogenic diet.

What is the Glycemic Load of Cabbage?

The same data previously linked says that a single cup of cabbage has an estimated glycemic load of just 2.

This is a very low glycemic load, so that is more excellent news if you are concerned about your blood sugar.

Key Point: Cabbage has a very low glycemic load, so it does not pose concerns for blood glucose.

What is the Nutritional Content of Cabbage?

You already know that cabbage is delicious and adds a satisfying crunch to many dishes. But what does it do for your nutritionally?

Referencing the same data as before, here is the nutritional content of 1 cup of chopped cabbage:

  • 1.1 g of protein (2% of your daily value)
  • 32.6 mg of vitamin C (54% of your daily value)
  • 87.2 IU of vitamin A (2% of your daily value)
  • 67.6 mcg of vitamin K (85% of your daily value)
  • 38.3 mcg of folate (10% of your daily value)
  • 0.1 mg of vitamin B6 (6% of your daily value)
  • 0.1 mg of manganese (7% of your daily value)

Cabbage also includes modest amounts of copper, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pantothenic acid.

But even this is not a full representation of the nutritional value of cabbage.

Cabbage also contains valuable phytonutrients.

These phytonutrients include polyphenols and carotenoids which can help fight inflammation in your body.

Many age-related diseases involve runaway inflammation.

There are also studies which suggest that cruciferous vegetables might be able to lower cancer risk.

More research is required in this area before anyone can draw any conclusions.

Nevertheless, we can at least say that cabbage is highly nutritious and may help to stave off inflammatory conditions.

Key Point: Along with being low in carbohydrates, cabbage also contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which are good for your health.

How Much Cabbage Should You Eat on a Low Carb Diet?

Cabbage is versatile and works well in a wide variety of recipes. It contains a lot of nutrition and has a very low net carbohydrate count.

For all of these reasons, you can eat cabbage in unrestricted quantities when you are on a low-carb diet, even if that diet is fully ketogenic.

Conclusion

Cabbage is a Go-To Veggie on a Keto Diet

You now know that cabbage may be one of the best things you can eat while you are on a keto diet.

It works well in soups, salads, stir-fry dishes, and many other recipes.

You can substitute it for bread or tortillas and make cabbage wraps as well.

So, the next time you’re at the grocery store wondering what to eat on a keto diet, consider adding some cabbage to your cart.

It will help you load up on the nutrients you need, and may give you some new ideas for keto-friendly recipes to try.

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