Iceberg Lettuce Nutrition Facts

Calories in Iceberg Lettuce and Health Benefits

Iceberg lettuce in basket
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Iceberg lettuce is a plain pale green head lettuce that's typically used in salads, tacos, and sandwiches. Although it's not as popular as tastier greens like escarole, spinach, and leaf lettuce, many consumers still prefer the crispness and mild flavor of iceberg lettuce. Actually, one reason iceberg lettuce has lost some of its popularity isn't due to texture or flavor, it's due to the lack of nutritional content.

Iceberg lettuce just isn't as nutritious as those fancier superfood greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula. However, iceberg lettuce certainly isn't bad for you and it makes a great addition to a weight loss diet.

Iceberg Lettuce 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 10 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.

Is iceberg lettuce the same thing as romaine lettuce?

Romaine lettuce is different from iceberg lettuce. It has a darker green color with larger leaves that aren't as tight. A head of romaine lettuce is quite loose. One cup of romaine lettuce has the same number of calories as iceberg lettuce, but it also has a fair amount of vitamin C, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. Plus, it contains beta-carotene and lutein, both of which work as antioxidants in your body.

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. 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, dressing, cheese, and croutons because your innocent low-cal salad could reach 800 or more calories easily with the wrong toppings.

Probably the best-known salad that features iceberg lettuce is the traditional steakhouse style wedge salad. It's 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 (but don't use all of it) 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:

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