Iceberg Lettuce Nutrition Facts

Calories in Iceberg Lettuce and Health Benefits

Iceberg lettuce in basket
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Iceberg lettuce is that plain pale green that's typically used in salads, tacos, and sandwiches. Although it's not as popular as it used to be, many people still prefer the crispness of iceberg lettuce over the darker greens. One reason it's lost popularity is due to the lack of nutritional content. Iceberg lettuce just isn't as nutritious as superfood greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula, but it's certainly not bad for you.

Iceberg Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup, shredded or chopped (55 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 7 
Calories from Fat 1 
Total Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 77.55mg2%
Carbohydrates 1.6g1%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugars 0.6g 
Protein 0.3g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 0% · Iron 8%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

The best thing about iceberg lettuce is the low number of calories. One cup of fresh lettuce has less than ten calories per cup. It's also low in carbohydrates and fat, so it's also well-suited for any low-fat or low-carb diet. Iceberg doesn't have many vitamins or minerals but it contains a lot of water, so it's ideal for those hot summer days.

Health Benefits of Iceberg Lettuce

Since iceberg lettuce is so low in calories, it makes an excellent addition to a weight loss diet. Eating a big salad before your main course may help to fill you up, so you don't feel the need to eat more of the higher calorie foods.

Common Questions About Iceberg Lettuce

Why isn't iceberg lettuce as nutritious as other types of greens? Iceberg lettuce doesn't have dark pigments and other phytochemicals like those found in spinach or kale, and that's where a lot of the nutrients are found.   Why is it called iceberg lettuce? According to the Smithsonian, it got the name from the piles of ice that were packed around the heads of lettuce when they were loaded into train cars to be shipped across the US in the 1940s.

 

Picking and Storing Iceberg Lettuce

You'll find heads of iceberg lettuce in the produce section of your grocery store. Choose a head of lettuce that looks fresh and not wilted and brown. Store the head of lettuce in an airtight bag or covered container the refrigerator and it can last up to two weeks. Be sure to rinse the lettuce thoroughly before you use it. Let the leaves dry a bit or use a salad spinner to get rid of the excess water. And don't chop your lettuce until your ready to use it. The leaves oxidize quickly, and although the brownish edges won't hurt you, they don't look good. 

Pre-washed and cut iceberg lettuce is also sold in plastic bags, often combined with carrots or other types of greens. A bag of lettuce will last for a few days in the refrigerator, but once opened, you'll need to use it up within a few days.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce doesn't have much flavor so that makes it easy to combine with just about any other ingredients. Make a simple side salad with iceberg lettuce, baby tomatoes and cucumber slices, and top with a little of your favorite dressing.

Make a big main meal salad loaded with fresh veggies, a little lean protein such as chicken breast or shrimp, and a light dressing is both nutritious and not high in calories. Enhance the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce by combining it with darker greens. But be careful with fried foods, big globs of dressing or cheese and tons of croutons because your innocent low-cal salad good reach 800 or more calories easily. 

Probably the best-known salad that uses iceberg lettuce is the traditional steakhouse style wedge salad. They're delicious but usually high in calories that come with the blue cheese dressing and bacon. Lighten up your wedge salad by asking for the dressing to be served on the side or ask to have it prepared with only half the usual amount of dressing. 

Iceberg Lettuce Recipes

Salads are easy enough to make and you can experiment with your favorite ingredients, but here are some more ways to use iceberg lettuce:

Source:

United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service USDA Food Composition Databases.

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