The Best Head (of lettuce) Ever
By Gary Picariello
Lettuce has long been a staple of hamburgers, gerbils and rabbits, and salads. Lettuce is perfect for diets because the crisp leaves are not filling yet are high in protein and low in calories. In the lettuce family, the best head of lettuce isn't iceberg but romaine. As heads of lettuce go, romaine stands above the rest due to its highest nutritional values in the lettuce category as opposed to iceberg lettuce, which has the lowest nutrition.
Numbers Don't Lie
The dietary site RealFoodForLife explains that "Romaine lettuce not only has less sugar and sodium" than other greens (in particular iceberg lettuce), but twice the protein and calcium. Romaine clocks in with three times the Vitamin K, four times the iron and eight times the Vitamin C.
I can't recall the last time I saw an overweight rabbit, but if it eats lettuce there's a reason: Lettuce has only 12 calories per one (1) shredded cup and again virtually no fat, which is why lettuce is so good for weight loss. It (the lettuce, not the rabbit) is also high in fiber which also bodes well for anyone looking to cut the pounds.
Lettuce for a Healthy Heart
Lettuce is high in Vitamin C and Beta-carotene which, according to RealFoodforLife, works together to prevent the cholesterol buildup. Strong levels of Beta-caratene and Vitamin C also prevent the buildup of artery-clogging plaque. And remember, the fat content in lettuce isn't anything to worry about unless you are eating it 24/7
Plenty o' Protein
So I guess you can tell I'm a big fan of romaine lettuce. You'll no doubt sleep (and eat better) knowing that romaine lettuce has a protein content that makes up 20 percent of its calories. Like all whole foods, much of this protein is complete but that amount can be increased by combining with balancing proteins.
Low to No Sugar
Because it has so few calories, lettuce boasts an average glycemic index of about 15 which, in the overall scheme of things, is considered zero. If you're watching your sugar intake, lettuce is the last thing you need to worry about. Again, for weight management health, lettuce is the way to go. Where many people make a mistake is with a calorie-laden salad dressing.
Lettuce may never get confused with a T-bone steak, which is OK because lettuce has a lot fewer calories and is much better for you. So be creative. With a little spice and a big appetite, a head of lettuce can be one of the most gratifying culinary experiences your kitchen has to offer!