Ever since learning the nutritional difference between romaine vs iceberg lettuce, I’ve become the ultimate salad snob. I’m the girl requesting romaine lettuce everywhere and lamenting that nowhere offers romaine over iceberg lettuce. The differences are astounding and here in Jamaica where “salad” is two huge slices of tomato and two leaves of iceberg lettuce, maybe a little carrot and cabbage shredded with it, I am not amused. I want romaine lettuce! Take a look at this:
Nutritional Facts of Iceberg Lettuce vs Romaine Lettuce
Is there a difference between iceberg and romaine lettuce? YES. Things start getting REAL serious when we get down to the vitamins and minerals, doesn’t it? Like, why are we even eating iceberg lettuce??? It should be used as mulch for romaine. Hmph!
If you order a salad in any of the most expensive food spots in Jamaica, best believe a huge bed of iceberg lettuce is the first ingredient and all the other fanciness make up the rest of the salad, for an arm and a leg. What a shame. Here’s a quote from The Examiner:
Aren’t all types of lettuce pretty much the same? Iceberg is the most commonly known lettuce in salads, and the main reason it is so widely used in restaurants is its cost and shelf life. Iceberg does not go bad as quickly as leaf lettuce and is usually less expensive, so it brings a better profit.
Romaine is the most commonly used leaf lettuce, and it is a bit harder than mixed baby greens and other varieties. It is normally more expensive than iceberg and is therefore not used as widely, although more and more restaurants are adding it to their salad menus.
Romaine is nutritionally superior to iceberg. According to a chart posted on World’s Healthiest Foods, romaine is packed with nutrients, including vitamins K, A, and C, and also good amounts of folate and magnesium. The green leafy parts are more nutritious than the white crunchy centers, but all of it provides fiber. And fiber is what acts as an internal cleanser, safely ushering out waste while absorbing toxins. According to the American Dietetic Association increased fiber in the diet benefits health maintenance and disease prevention, and is a strong player in colon health. The ADA also points out that a good-sized salad can provide as much as 2-3 servings of vegetables!
I got pretty excited when I was invited by the Jamaica Observer on their Quick Service Restaurant Week crawl to explore a few of our fast food offerings. I discovered that Pizza Hut in New Kingston offers a delicious looking chicken caesar salad made with romaine lettuce! Alas, it seems to be a slippery option on the menu and not always available.
Hold the croutons and breadsticks, please. Dark leafy greens pack the most powerful punch. Popeye had it right when we were kids. Want an even more fun comparison? Check out why I try to never ever run out of my favourite superfood, kale! (Or spinach, too!)
Iceberg vs Romaine Vs Kale
So now that we’ve solved the great mystery of which is better for you, romaine or iceberg, pop over to this recipe I created, a delicious summer salad! It’s a burst of sweet, savoury, crunchy and smooth ingredients to satisfy all your taste buds and is so filling.
What leafy green are you having in your salads?
Related: My favourite green smoothie recipe that helped me lose a ton of weight!