They’re both main components in most salads, so is there any difference between these two types of lettuce? Is one healthier than the other?
The Short Answer:
While both of these leafy greens are forms of lettuce, they are very different in terms of nutritional value.
The Long Answer:
Ask any dietician about the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce and you’re likely to be stuck in that conversation for a while. Iceberg lettuce is a form of head lettuce, and it has been getting a bad reputation among the more nutrition conscious among us. Because of that, many are turning to romaine as an example of a more nutritious lettuce.
That’s not to say that iceberg lettuce is necessarily bad for you. It’s still low in calories and fat, like every other lettuce. It just lacks the micronutrient count of romaine.
First, you have iceberg, which is typically between 485 to 800 grams per head. One head contains anywhere from five to 10 servings, which is equal to about one cup. This one serving of iceberg lettuce has a calorie count of only 13, so we’re on the right track instantly.
It also contains a fair amount of Vitamin A, folate, Vitamin K, and Manganese. There are small amounts of fiber, protein, and nutrients mixed within each serving, along with minerals such as copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, and zinc, however you’re not getting a lot of these.
A serving of romaine lettuce on the other hand has about 15 calories, making it two calories more than iceberg. Of course, this difference accounts to absolutely nothing as you can burn two calories walking down the stairs of your house casually.
In terms of minerals and vitamins, you’re getting a lot packed into a little. For starters, you can get 7% of your daily fiber intake from one serving of romaine lettuce. It’s also heavily rich in folate, iron, manganese, and potassium. When it comes to vitamins, you can get 34% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin C from one serving of romaine, 109% of Vitamin K, and a whopping 148% of your Vitamin A intake.
You’re also looking at small amounts of Vitamin E, zinc, B-complex vitamins, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, and protein.
So, as you can see, while iceberg lettuce is not bad for you at all, it cannot hold a candle to romaine in terms of nutritional value.
What kind of lettuce do you prefer in your salad? Do you ear iceberg lettuce? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!