Amy Shults RDN, CDN, CDE
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Certified Diabetes Educator

Let Us Talk About Lettuce

August 15, 2017

 

There’s a whole lot of talk out there about some of our green leafy friends. Let’s play a little game of true or false!

 

Iceberg lettuce is bad for you

 

FALSE!

 

It may be true that iceberg contains less nutrients compared to other lettuces and leafy greens, but in no way does that make it BAD for you! That’s just crazy talk! It is made up of mostly water, but that’s pretty standard for fruits and vegetables, and is actually a good quality to have. When foods contain a significant amount of water, they are lower in calories compared to more dense foods, and they can help you with you’re your hydration needs.

 

Iceberg lettuce is not void of all nutrients like the rumors state- it contains fiber, vitamin K and vitamin A. For argument's sake, however, let’s say it didn’t. It would still be a very low-calorie food that adds crunch and volume to a meal. Iceberg lettuce, as well as other non-starchy vegetables, gives you something to fill your plate and belly with, so you don’t eat as much of the other higher-calorie foods.

 

Salads at restaurants can have more calories than the burger

 

TRUE!

 

Every salad it going to be different, but yes, ordering a salad at some restaurants can set you back over a day’s worth of calories! The lettuce is not to blame, but everything on top is. High-calorie dressing, nuts, seeds, cheeses and other goodies can drive the calorie content up pretty high. Take advantage of calorie counts on menus to make good decisions. It these are not available, use common sense and order a vinegar-based dressing on the side. A salad with fried chicken fingers and globs of blue cheese is not a good choice!

 

If you take coumadin (warfarin), you can’t eat lettuce

 

FALSE!

 

People on this drug need to eat a consistent amount of vitamin K - but consistent doesn't necessarily mean low. If you enjoy lettuce and other high vitamin K foods, try to eat it a certain amount per week and stick to that. Iceberg is much lower in vitamin K compared to other lettuces, so feel free to have large portions of it (see, who’s bad now?!?).

 

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amy@AMSnutritioncounseling.com

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Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only. It should not be a substitute for individual advice from a health care professional. Talk with your physician, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and/or Certified Diabetes Educator about what is best for you and your health.

AMS Nutrition Counseling PLLC

64 Davison Court

Lockport, NY 14094

Phone: (716) 266-6056

Fax: (716) 332-6412

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