Is Romaine Lettuce Keto Friendly?

On a daily routine on my keto diet, I prefer to eat salad during breakfast and dinner. Though my mother suggests that maintaining a strict keto diet is unnecessary for my body weight, I thrive on staying slim.

Applying different vegetables to my salad helps to absorb more protein in my diet, and lettuce is one of the prime vegetables to look for protein. As many types of lettuce are available, it might not be easy to choose the most suitable one.

I prefer romaine lettuce over the others, and as I am a keto dieter, it is serving its purpose. Is romaine lettuce keto friendly? If you do not believe my words, let me explain to you all the facts and nutritional components of romaine lettuce.

Read this whole article to get a clear idea!

is romaine lettuce keto friendly

Types Of Lettuce Available

If I talk about all the variants of lettuce, then you will need to spend the whole night on your phone screen. Do not get shocked, but approximately 16 types of lettuce are available in the local market.

Iceberg and romaine lettuce are the most common types and are widely available in every store. For your simplicity, I am going to introduce the four most common types of lettuce that first come into people’s minds when asked about it. They are:

  • Head Lettuce
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Celtuce Lettuce
four most common types of lettuce

Head Lettuce

This type of lettuce generally comes in the size of a head. The outer texture of this lettuce is very thick and shaped round, and the color is given by light green with a white gradient in some areas. Iceberg and butterhead lettuce is the perfect example of head lettuce.

The only fundamental difference between them is that butterhead lettuce contains more nutrients than iceberg lettuce.

Leaf Lettuce

In this type of lettuce, you will find leaves are growing from a single stalk, and there is no head formation. The texture of this lettuce is much more tender, and generally, it acts as a great taste adding to your meat or BBQ recipe.

Romaine Lettuce

The main difference between romaine and leaf lettuce is romaine lettuce has a longer leaf proportion. Either way, they both generate a stalk at the bottom, which supports the whole leafy structure.

The taste of romaine lettuce is sweet and crunchy. You can taste this romaine lettuce raw, and it is a perfect ingredient for salad in your low-carbohydrate diet.

Celtuce Lettuce

This particular lettuce is very popular among the Chinese people, and it also comes in various names such as Stem lettuce, Celery lettuce, and Asparagus lettuce.

But, in China, you will see people referring to it as Chinese lettuce. This lettuce also has a crunchy and additionally nutty flavor. The best part of this lettuce is that the taste turns smoky after several bites, and hence it is suitable lettuce for serving on top of BBQs.

Therefore, which is the best lettuce for the keto diet? Since all the above-mentioned lettuce contains similar carbohydrate amounts in them, the comparison immediately shifts to terms of macronutrients.

Research says that romaine lettuce contains a greater amount of macronutrients compared to other lettuces. So, if you want to pick a type of lettuce for your diet, do not hesitate to choose romaine lettuce.

Names Of Different Parts Of Romaine Lettuce

If you have decided to eat romaine lettuce on your diet, you better know each part’s name individually, its functions, and its tastes. Romaine lettuce is divided into hearts, leaves, and fillets.

Romaine Hearts

This part is known as the inner part of the romaine lettuce, where the whole sweet taste is situated. This part of the lettuce has a moist flavor that compensates for the water content while eating lettuce salad.

Romaine Leaves

If you like the crunchy part better with less amount of sweetness, you can eat the romaine leaves that rise from the stalk. You can cut the slices of these leaves and spread them over on top of romaine’s hearts to generate some delicious lettuce salad variation.

Romaine Filets

Filets are the head of lettuce where that contains the whole crop. The color variation of filets starts from red, sometimes green or yellow.

Nutritional Information Of Romaine Lettuce

Is romaine lettuce keto friendly? To answer this question, we need to look at the nutritional components present in romaine lettuce. The table below summarizes the necessary nutrients and their respective amounts. Note that the values presented are measured from 100 grams of romaine lettuce, ideal for a breakfast salad.

Calories17 calories
Total Carbohydrate3.3 grams
Dietary Fiber2.1 grams
Net Carbohydrate1.2 grams
Protein1.2 grams
Fat0.3 grams

Romaine Lettuce- Is It Keto Friendly?

romaine lettuce is it keto friendly

Do you understand what the keto diet is with romaine lettuce? A keto diet is one type of low carbohydrate diet aimed at losing weight by consuming low carbohydrates in the body.

When the body starts to lose weight using the keto diet, that stage is known as ketosis. How does the ketosis process work? When you lower the level of carbohydrate intake, your body will eventually run out of required glucose and fructose for performing aerobic respiration.

When there is a lack of carbohydrates, your body will start to break down the stored fat and protein situating in your liver or stomach wall to compensate for respiration.

At that point in the diet, you will start to lose weight, known as the ketosis stage. Now, for a certain vegetable to be keto friendly, it needs to fall within the carbohydrate intake threshold value.

For a strict keto dieter, the minimum level of carbohydrate consumption should not cross more than 20-30 grams per day. If you are on a dirty keto diet, the consumption value increases to 40-50 grams of carbohydrate intake per day.

If you look at the table above, you will observe that 100 grams of romaine contain 1.2 grams of net carbohydrate and 3.3 grams of total carbohydrate.

Though the amount of protein, fat, and fiber all comes in a negligible amount, 100 grams of lettuce produces 17 calories of energy which will be a great source of respiration.

Additionally, if you want more protein, fiber, and fat intake from romaine lettuce, you can always eat more. In conclusion, as the net carbohydrate level in 100 grams of romaine lettuce is only 1.2 grams, it is definitely keto friendly.

So, to answer your question, “is romaine lettuce keto friendly?” Yes! They are!

Alternatives Of Romaine Lettuce

If it is too problematic for some people to consume romaine lettuce, there are always similar alternatives in your keto diet. Here are the names of a suitable replacement:

  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Butter Lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce

It is a type of head lettuce that tastes great when cooked, and it also has low carbohydrate and high fiber content, which definitely makes it keto friendly.

iceberg lettuce

The nutritional components of 100 grams of iceberg lettuce are given below:

Calories14 calories
Total Carbohydrate3 grams
Dietary Fiber1.2 grams
Net Carbohydrate1.8 grams
Protein0.9 grams
Fat0.1 grams


Another keto friendly vegetable that may be used in place of romaine lettuce is arugula. It is abundant in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, so it is a good choice for any kind of low-carbohydrate diet.


Its texture is milder and less crisp than romaine lettuce.

The nutritional components of 100 grams of arugula are given below:

Calories25 calories
Total Carbohydrate3.7 grams
Dietary Fiber1.6 grams
Net Carbohydrate2.1 grams
Protein2.6 grams
Fat0.7 grams


We have all seen the cartoon named Popeye, where he used to intake spinach to energize his body. Well, truth be told, spinach is one of the great alternatives for lettuce.


Iron, magnesium, folate, and other vital vitamins and minerals are available in this vegetable. Its low net carbohydrates and high fiber are making it super effective for keto dieters.

It is also highly adaptable and may be used in salads and sandwiches as a low-carbohydrate substitute for lettuce.

The nutritional components of 100 grams of spinach are given below:

Calories23 calories
Total Carbohydrate3.8 grams
Dietary Fiber2.4 grams
Net Carbohydrate1.4 grams
Protein3 grams
Fat0.3 grams

Butter Lettuce

How about some buttery taste in a lettuce that can also be keto friendly? Here I introduce you to butter lettuce, it has a minimal calorie, carbohydrate, and salt content.

butter lettuce

Butter lettuce has somewhat softer leaves than romaine lettuce and may be used practically interchangeably in most recipes.

The nutritional components of 100 grams of butter lettuce are given below:

Calories13 calories
Total Carbohydrate2.2 grams
Dietary Fiber1.1 grams
Net Carbohydrate1.1 grams
Protein1.4 grams
Fat0.2 grams

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is the best lettuce to consider for the keto diet?

There are many types of lettuce to choose from for the keto diet. If you are looking for my opinion, I will have to say that romaine lettuce contains the least carbohydrates and the most protein, fiber, and fat.

This completely matches the keto diet requirements, and hence you can consider romaine lettuce the best.

2. Will overeating romaine lettuce ruin the keto diet?

Look at the first table in this article; you will see that romaine lettuce contains 1.2 grams of net carbohydrates and 3.3 grams of total carbohydrates. I think overeating romaine lettuce will not surpass the threshold value of the carbohydrate intake, which is almost 20 grams.

You need to measure the intake amount and eat romaine lettuce accordingly, and you will be fine.

3. Can we consider romaine lettuce vegan?

Vegan foods normally contain a nil amount of cholesterol, saturated fats, and excessive dietary fiber, protein, and other vitamins. Romaine lettuce is high in fiber and protein and low in fat and cholesterol.

Therefore, you can consider romaine lettuce vegan.

4. Is it healthy to eat romaine lettuce every day?

Romaine lettuce contains sufficient vitamins, antioxidants, and potassium ions. Vitamin A and C control the amount of cholesterol in the blood and arteries.

Additionally, potassium helps in the formation of enzymes and also helps to improve the cardiovascular activities of the body. The folate compound present in romaine lettuce prevents sudden heart attacks.

5. Does romaine lettuce help in the development of skin?

Romaine lettuce contains potassium ions which, other than helping in the enzyme formation, also supply sufficient oxygen and blood to the skin pores, thus making your skin soft.

6. Does romaine lettuce help to reduce hair fall?

Iron is the prime source that enhances hair growth in the human body, and people with iron deficiency face hair loss at an early stage. Romaine lettuce is also a great source of iron, and therefore, doctors recommend consuming romaine lettuce every day.

It will improve your hair growth and help you maintain your keto diet.

7. Does romaine lettuce enhance sleep?

People who have insomnia are often recommended to eat romaine lettuce on a daily basis. The phenolic antioxidant will prevent any mental stress from the brain that might hamper a person’s sleep, hence enhancing an insomnia patient to feel drowsy.

8. Can we consider romaine lettuce the healthiest lettuce?

Among all the variants of lettuce, romaine lettuce contains the most nutrients, fiber, and least carbohydrates. Hence, it is the healthiest lettuce to include for keto dieters in their keto schedule.

Final Thoughts

So, is romaine lettuce keto friendly? Yes! In fact, if you consider it a keto friendly ingredient for salad, no other vegetable can beat romaine lettuce when it comes to its carbohydrate intake level.

Besides being keto friendly, I will suggest that every person eat romaine lettuce salad regularly as it contains numerous health benefits. Choose your favorite alternative from the above list for those who do not like romaine lettuce.

Have fun with your keto diet!

Hey there. I am a registered doctor and founder of this site. The main goal of this site is to help individuals with good food habits, diet, and nutrition. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, exploring different food recipes and diets.

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