We all relish the crunchy fresh lettuce, especially because it can be included in many delicious dishes. Not to mention that lettuce can be found all year-round.
But is lettuce keto friendly?
This is a question we know you find yourself asking with many other ingredients. And it’s understandable, we’ve all been there trying to figure out what goes with a keto diet.
Low carb is usually the most encountered recommendation. But certain ingredients will be high in carbs, even if they sound healthy otherwise.
Fortunately, lettuce is a great example of a keto friendly ingredient. Lettuce is often used as a base for salads, and other delicious recipes.
- Why is lettuce keto friendly?
- Varieties of lettuce
- Health benefits of lettuce
- Examples of lettuce and how to eat them
So let’s begin!
Why is lettuce keto friendly?
Lettuce is considered to be one of the lowest-carb vegetables you can eat. This is the main reason why lettuce is keto friendly specifically.
Low carb and nutritious
With a low carb value in opposition to highly nutritious metrics, lettuce is a vegetable we enthusiastically recommend. (*)
Nutritious value per cup:
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Sugar: 0.6 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Protein: 0.6 gram
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Calories: 8
Versatile and filling
Lettuce can easily fit into an existing meal plan, by mixing with existing keto friendly ingredients. It’s a very filling vegetable and you wouldn’t be able to overeat it.
A single head of lettuce can only have around 9 g of net carbs. This might seem like a lot but consider the fact that you don’t eat an entire head of lettuce in one meal.
But there’s more!
Varieties of lettuce
The simple mentioning of lettuce conjures up maybe the most encountered type, that of iceberg lettuce. But it’s far from the only kind of lettuce out there.
Shockingly there are more than 16 varieties of lettuce! (*)
4 main categories of lettuce
Alternatively, lettuce is grouped into 4 main categories, based on appearance.
- Leaf lettuce
- Celtuce lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
- Head lettuce
What kind of lettuce is keto-friendly?
We love sourcing ingredients from local markets, and if you do too then it’s high time to recognize lettuce by type. Because not only is lettuce keto friendly it also has different tastes.
The best type of lettuce for keto diet:
1. Leaf lettuce
The name alone is enough to make this lettuce easy to recognize. A leafy formation from a stem in the middle, without forming into a head.
2. Celtuce lettuce
Celtuce lettuce usually has a thick stalk onto which the actual edible part grows. Asparagus is an example of lettuce of this type.
3. Romaine lettuce
Lettuce with longer leaves, romaine also has a slightly more bitter taste. This makes it an interesting addition to a dish, that can complement other ingredients.
4. Head lettuce
An easily recognizable type of lettuce, head lettuce has this name because it forms a rounded shape or head. Iceberg lettuce would be a great example of this type.
Most lettuces have a similar carb count, so the best choice for keto would have higher levels of micronutrients. Lettuce that has a darker tinge usually also has larger doses of nutrients. (*)
Health benefits of lettuce
Even though lettuce is often believed to be lacking in nutrients mainly due to its healthy label that usually gets tossed around.
Here’s the truth:
Lettuce is highly nutritious and many of these nutrients will provide a daily necessary intake that fits right into a keto diet.
1. Beneficial vitamins and minerals
This list of nutrients includes:
- Vitamin C
- Beta carotene
Calcium is a very important mineral that helps in maintaining bones and teeth and can be sourced from lettuce. (*)
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that sustains the immune system. Usually, carrots contain beta carotene but since carrots are not the most keto friendly vegetable, lettuce is a great substitute. (*)
Potassium regulates blood pressure and maintains a healthy heart. (*)
2. Maintains a healthy digestion
3. Treats insomnia
Wild lettuce was used in medieval times to help with insomnia, and now it can still be used much the same. (*)
A substance called lactucarium, found in lettuce is considered to have sedative properties, and thus help with insomnia. (*)
Examples of lettuce and how to eat them
Not only is lettuce keto friendly but it can be used for more than just salad. We encourage you to expand your palate and experiment with new recipes.
1. Butterhead lettuce
A staple among lettuce, the butterhead is most often used as a base for many salads. Mixed with cheese and some chicken breast you will have a perfect Caesar salad.
The broad leaves of this lettuce are also ideal for making wraps without the need for bread. Simply use the leave as a substitute for the actual wrap.
With a more sour earthy taste, arugula is more flavorful than your typical lettuce. It can be used as a spice in a salad but the particular taste would work great as a pesto sauce.
Some zucchini pasta and arugula wilted into it as a paste not only maintains a keto friendly diet but tastes wonderful.
A very crunchy lettuce with an oval shape and in various colors, endives are a nice addition to a keto diet lettuce salad.
They can be served as a crudité plate among other raw keto veggies. This plate will be even more appetizing with a keto dip.
Bonus: Build Your Own Low Carb Salad Recipe
Get Recipe: thelittlepine.com
To sum up:
A keto diet requires some commitment and research.
Usually in the form of questions like:
Is lettuce keto friendly? Lettuce is a perfect addition to a keto diet, even if it’s usually considered to lack nutrients.
The many types of lettuce with textures and various colors are full of nutrients and vitamins. In fact, lettuce has many health benefits along with all the tasty dishes that can be included in.
- Is Cucumber Keto-Friendly?
- Is Corn Keto-Friendly?
- Are Tomatoes Keto-Friendly?
- Are Carrots Keto-Friendly?
- Low carb Vegetables and Fruits List For Keto Diet
- Keto Vegetables to Avoid List