Iceberg Lettuce:  No Nutritional Value Or Just Given A Bad Rap?I remember as a kid eating salads, burgers and more and there was only one kind of lettuce that was used all the way around…iceberg lettuce.  Yep, good ‘ole iceberg with its crunchy, moist goodness.

Then, I got older, I got more into nutrition and healthy eating and all of a sudden, I found myself buying green leaf lettuce…romaine lettuce…red leaf lettuce…baby greens… and poor little lonely iceberg got no more attention from the King household.

Why?

Because somewhere, someone told me that iceberg lettuce had absolutely NO nutritional value whatsoever

It was implied that eating iceberg lettuce was like eating… air, basically.  So I stopped buying it, figuring it was a waste of money.

Heck,  some people even discredit lettuce, period!  In fact, the reason I wrote this blog post/article in the first place was because I  recently read a recipe on a health group and the person said she replaced the lettuce in the recipe with spinach because “lettuce has no nutritional value”.

Although this person said, “lettuce”, and not just one particular type of lettuce; I figured I’d write about iceberg in particular because part of me believes that the statement was made about lettuce out of ignorance to other types of darker green lettuces.  Not only that, but iceberg is the lettuce that seems to get the most ridicule and the least amount of kudos.

I’ve recently started back buying iceberg (in addition to my other lettuces and greens) after having done more research on it and having learned some things about it…not to mention my daughter LOVES it and getting her to eat ANY lettuce is a great thing!  So here is my “Ode To Iceberg Lettuce” – just kidding, but I will be sharing some things that may cause you to take another (more favorable) look at these little white-green heads:

  • Iceberg lettuce DOES have nutritional value.  Perhaps not a whole heck of a lot, but some…
    • Fiber – 4%
    • Vitamin A – 9%
    • Vitamin C – 4%
    • Calcium – 2%
    • Iron – 2%
    • Protein – 1%
    • Trace amounts of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, folate and Vitamins K
  • It is a low-calorie food - only 14 calories per 100 grams
  • It contains 0 grams of fat
  • Iceberg lettuce is cholesterol-free
  • It’s low in sodium
  • Slightly sweet iceberg lettuce is cool & refreshing and has a crispness to it that other lettuces just can’t compare with!  And if nothing else…
  • It is HIGH in water content – 96% water to be exact according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture! (www.ca.uky.edu)  Some people complain about not getting enough water or not liking to drink water…well, consuming iceberg lettuce is a great way to increase your intake of water!

So there you have it!  Reasons to continue buying iceberg lettuce.  No, you can’t survive on it alone and yes, you should incorporate other lettuces and green leafy vegetables into your diet…but why not mix it up and add some delicious iceberg lettuce to the mix?

Bye for now!


Cherie King
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