Is Cabbage Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Many vegetables are relatively low in carbohydrates. Find out whether cabbage is low-carb enough to be keto-friendly too.

You can eat many types so cabbage raw on their own, pickled, in a salad, or as an ingredient in dishes like soup.

100 grams of green cabbage contains around 3.3 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber).

This means cabbage is very keto-friendly for most people and situations.

You do want to keep in mind that even low-carb foods like cabbage could kick you out of ketosis if the rest of your diet is already high in carbs.

Additionally, cabbage is definitely not the only keto-friendly vegetable available. You may like one of its low-carb substitutes just as much or even more.

How many carbs are there in cabbage?

To stay in ketosis you have to pay attention to your carb intake. By knowing how many carbs cabbage has, you can figure out how many grams fit into your diet.

100 grams of green cabbage contains the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 5.8 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.5 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.3 grams

In combination with a relatively high-carb diet, it is possible that the 3.3 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of cabbage are the thing that kicks you out of ketosis.

That being said, because it is so low in carbs, it is fair to say that green cabbage is generally keto-friendly.

One cup of cabbage is about 89 grams, and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 5.2 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 3 grams

By consuming smaller amounts of cabbage, it becomes even more keto-friendly.

At the same time, the same principles still apply. You still want to keep an eye on the carbs in the rest of your keto diet too. Even when consuming low-carb foods like cabbage.

Other nutrients in cabbage

Carbohydrates are important on ketogenic diets but you want to keep that other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals deserve attention too.

These still influence whether you stay in ketosis and how good your general health is.

100 grams of raw green cabbage contains the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 25
  • Protein: 1.3 grams
  • Carbs: 5.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin K: 95% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin C: 61% of the DV
  • Folate: 11% of the DV
  • Manganese: 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Cabbage is not just low in net carbs. It also offers a variety of valuable nutrients in nice amounts. This can be a great combination for a healthy keto diet.

Something you do want to keep in mind is that cabbage contains a relatively high amount of vitamin K. This can interfere with certain blood-thinning medications (2).

If you take these kinds of medications you want to consult with your doctor before implementing large amounts of cabbage in your diet.

How many carbs are in cooked cabbage?

There are many ways to prepare cabbage but these can influence how many carbs it contains per 100 grams.

Cooked cabbage contains the following amounts of carbohydrates per 100 grams (3):

  • Total carbs: 5.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.6 grams

As you can see, cooked cabbage is slightly higher in carbs than the regular raw version. That being said, 3.6 grams per 100 grams is still relatively low.

How many carbs there are in red cabbage

You do not only have the option to choose preparation methods. Cabbage also comes in different colors with varying amounts of carbohydrates.

100 grams of raw red cabbage contains the following amounts of carbs (4):

  • Total carbs: 7.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 5.3 grams

Interestingly enough, red cabbage is higher in carbohydrates than green cabbage. This also makes it less keto-friendly.

How many carbs there are in cabbage soup

Cabbage is a versatile ingredient that can be used in dishes like soup.

Before giving the number of carbs in an example cabbage soup recipe, you have to know that these recipes can vary a lot in ingredients and in turn, nutrition details.

That aside, 100 grams of one example of cabbage soup contains the following amounts of carbs (5):

  • Total carbs: 6.2 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.3 grams
  • Net carbs: 4.9 grams

The higher number of carbohydrates in the soup is more due to the other ingredients like potatoes than the cabbage.

If you make your own cabbage soup, there are definitely ways to make it lower-carb.

Why cabbage is not always keto-friendly

To understand why cabbage is not just always or never keto-friendly it can be helpful to quickly go over the keto fundamentals. This could help you get better results.

Any diet where you get and stay into ketosis is a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state where you mainly use fat as fuel (6). To get into this state you can only eat a limited amount of carbs.

How low your carbohydrate intake has to be to get into ketosis depends on details like your weight, body composition, activity levels, etc.

This keto diet fact makes things more complicated but there are some rough general guidelines you can focus on. These are not perfect but give you somewhat of an idea.

A typical recommendation to stay in ketosis is getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

In practice, this will often mean eating around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

Something to note is that you don’t want to include the fiber in cabbage or other foods in these amounts. Fiber is a category of carbs but your body processes them in a more keto-friendly way.

Is purple cabbage keto-friendly?

As mentioned, purple aka red cabbage contains around 5.3 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (4).

This is not as good for staying in ketosis as the green version but you can still say that purple cabbage is relatively keto-friendly.

Is cooked cabbage keto-friendly?

Cooked cabbage contains around 3.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (3).

This is generally considered to be keto-friendly. Especially if you pay some extra attention to the other foods in your diet.

Is fried cabbage keto-friendly?

Another way to prepare cabbage is by pan-frying it with other ingredients like onions, meat, herbs, and spices.

While I don’t have a specific number of net carbs for fried cabbage, the nutrition details should be more or less the same as the cooked version.

In simpler words, fried cabbage will generally be keto-friendly.

Substitutes for cabbage on keto

There are many options for people who want to eat vegetables on keto. Cabbage is a relatively low-carb vegetable but there are even more keto-friendly alternatives too.

You may like some of the cabbage substitutes below just as much or more while making it easier for yourself to stay in ketosis.

The values next to the vegetables are the amounts of net carbohydrates per 100 grams (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12):

  • Chicory: 0.9 grams of net carbs
  • Spinach: 1.4 grams of net carbs
  • Green leaf lettuce: 1.5 grams of net carbs
  • Celery: 1.8 grams of net carbs
  • Radishes: 1.9 grams of net carbs
  • Asparagus: 2.1 grams of net carbs

These vegetables are relatively keto-friendly but you want to keep in mind that they still contain some amounts of carbs.

Depending on the rest of your diet, you may still need to pay attention to portion sizes.

What is your goal with keto?

Cabbage is typically keto-friendly but in theory, it can kick you out of ketosis in certain situations. Whether this is an issue depends on your goals with this diet.

There are people who need/want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day. These individuals need to be careful about their carb intake.

On the other hand, cabbage can help you lose weight and get healthier even if it would kick you out of ketosis. The keto diet is often not the only way to achieve these things.


Does cabbage break ketosis?

In theory, cabbage could break ketosis if you already ate a lot of carbohydrates from other foods. In practice, cabbage is often keto-friendly due to its low carb content.

Is cabbage low-carb?

Raw green cabbage contains around 3.3 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams. This is generally considered to be low-carb.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.