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Spring & Summer Salad Series: Does Lettuce Make a Difference?

Spring & Summer Salad Series- Does Lettuce Make a Difference?

You wouldn’t think that writing a blog post, let alone a blog post series, on something as simple as a salad would be possible or entertaining. Yet I’m finding myself inspired to write about this extremely easy, highly nutrient rich dish especially since the days are getting warmer and cool, refreshing meals are more likely to hit the spot!

Plus I really like alliterations ;-).

When we first think about salads, most of us think of a leafy component with salads. Due to impressive agricultural feats, we have an abundance of leafy veggies to chose from. Iceberg, romaine, butter, Bibb, kale, arugula…So much variety but does the type of lettuce make a difference?

Think of lettuce as the vehicle for other nutrients. The leafy green you chose is ultimately up to your taste preferences, your budget, what is in season, and how it fits into your overall dietary pattern & nutrient needs.

Iceberg lettuce is usually dubbed to be a pointless option because it has “basically no nutrients”. That’s not exactly true! Is it as nutritionally dense as kale? Nope. BUT that doesn’t mean it cannot be a vehicle for other nutrient-rich veggies! Plus since it is close to 99% water and water is ridiculously important why not highlight iceberg lettuce for what it IS instead of condemning it for what it’s not?

In terms of food choices, I think instead of asking “which is better” we should be thinking about what we eat in an entire day and can [food item] fit? This week I bought a gorgeous head of crisp, crunchy iceberg lettuce. It was about $1 and I was able to meal prep 6 salads with that. So in that moment, my answer was YES! Iceberg lettuce can absolutely fit in my entire day of eating, not to mention my grocery budget.

With my iceberg lettuce I thawed a frozen bag of stir fry mixed veggies: snap peas, broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, and I added Spanish olives, red bell peppers, roasted sweet potatoes & onions. This is going to be a highly nutritious meal regardless of the type of lettuce I chose!

A salad is any “cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients.”

You’re worth is not defined by the lettuce you chose to make your salad, so if you find yourself enjoying iceberg more than spinach, embrace that! The important part is that you’re making the healthy choice by choosing something that is veggie rich, packing in water, fiber & other nutrients.

Stay tuned for more articles in this blog post series! If you have any questions, comments, or topics related to salad you want to read let me know!

I'm thinking next up I talk about the other non-leafy veggies that are common in salads OR writing post about dressings :)!

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