Healthy Recipes

Which Is Healthier: Coleslaw vs. Potato Salad

Barbecues don't always have the healthiest options, but choose the best option available to stay on track.

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 Which Is Healthier: Cole Slaw Vs. Potato Salad
4kodiak / BRETT STEVENS / Getty

Summer cookouts typically tempt us with meaty mains like burgers and brats, but often it’s those unsung side dishes that make the meal. You know, like creamy coleslaw and potato salad. So which one’s a better choice to pile onto your paper plate?

Both typically harbor a ton of mayo, but coleslaw is nearly always the smarter choice, thanks mainly to its primary ingredient. “Cabbage is going to be a lot lower in calories than potatoes are,” says Amy Goodson, R.D., a Dallas-based sports dietitian. “With potato salad, you’re just taking a starch and mixing it with a bunch of fat from the mayonnaise.”

But you don’t have to take those bad macros lying down. To make either dish healthier, try making your own version and swapping plain Greek yogurt for the mayo.

“That’s going to bump up the protein quite a bit and really minimize the fat,” Goodson says.

You’re still better off with slaw, though, since it’s the perfect vehicle for sneaking in good stuff. “You can shred any veggies you like—zucchini, carrots, broccoli—and add chopped pecan pieces or mash up some avocado to give it a healthy fat,” explains Goodson, who also suggests leaning out your burger by using half a bun and topping the patty with the slaw. “That way you’re having a high-protein veggie serving with your burger in place of a less-nutritious spread like mayo or ketchup.” Now all you need to do is stay away from those chips.

    COLESLAW                           vs.                             POTATO SALAD 

     170 Calories                                                              260 Calories 

      16g Carbs                                                                  21g Carbs 

       1g Protein                                                                   3g Protein 

       12g Fat                                                                       18g Fat 

 

And the winner is: Coleslaw

 

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