What Is Low-Carb Coleslaw?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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Low-carb coleslaw is made from ingredients that are low in carbohydrates. While many recipes for coleslaw require the use of sugar as well as some higher-carbohydrate vegetables, such as carrots, a low-carb coleslaw will rely on sugar substitutes to provide sweetness and will use shredded cabbage as its base. Individuals who make low-carb coleslaw at home should be cautious about the use of various common coleslaw ingredients, such as prepared salad dressings or salad dressing seasoning mixes, as these dressings and mixes may contain sugar or other carbohydrates that can have a significant impact on the salad's carbohydrate content.

Coleslaw is a salad that is prepared from seasoned, shredded cabbage and is often served as a side dish at picnics or with breaded and deep-fried foods. There are many different recipes for coleslaw available, with some being creamy, made from a mayonnaise or creamy salad dressing base, and others made with oil and vinegar-based dressings. Some are also made with various types of mustard. While coleslaw is typically served cold, it can also be served as a hot dish.


The key aspect in making low-carb coleslaw is finding a substitute for any sugar that is called for in a recipe and monitoring the ingredients of any prepared foods that are used to make the dressing. There are several different types of sugar substitutes on the market, so cooks might do well by buying different types and trying them out in various recipes for coleslaw. As some artificial sweeteners can have an aftertaste, some experimentation may be necessary to find a combination of sweetener and other ingredients that results in the desired degree of sweetness while masking any odd flavors. Another consideration is that some people are sensitive to artificial sweeteners, so it is a good idea to find out if anyone who will be eating the coleslaw has an aversion to any of its ingredients.

When making a low-carb coleslaw, it is important to remember to read the nutrition labels on all ingredients, particularly pre-mixed salad dressings, salad creams, and dry seasoning mixes. These ingredients may include sugars or starches, even if they don't taste particularly sweet. If a cook finds that the ingredients specified by a recipe include additional carbohydrates, he or she has the option of finding a new recipe or experimenting with substituting other low-carb ingredients, such as mayonnaise for salad cream, and then adding additional sugar substitute to the recipe to provide the desired flavor and sweetness.


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