How Many Calories Are In Lettuce?

It is very rare we will give lettuce a second thought when we prepare as a complement to a healthy main dish or as part of a burger or sandwich, especially since it is usually bunched up with other green vegetables as being an entirely healthy food option.

How Many Calories Are In Lettuce?

It is true that lettuce, being rich in fiber and water, is a very healthy addition to any diet, however the well known nutritional benefits can often make it hard to find exactly how many calories are in lettuce and if eating too much can result in putting on unwanted weight.

Here is exactly how many calories are in each particular type of lettuce and what needs to be taken into consideration when incorporating lettuce into a diet plan. 

Amount Of Calories In Each Type Of Lettuce 

When picking up lettuce from the store, there are a few different unique kinds that you can choose all with their own texture and taste. Here is how many calories are in each one.

Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is the most common type of lettuce often used in sandwiches and burgers thanks to its crunchy texture and refreshing natural taste. 

1 cup of iceberg lettuce contains 14 calories while an entire large head of iceberg lettuce contains around 109 calories, which is on the lower side in terms of lettuce calorie content.

Butterhead Lettuce

Butterhead lettuce is also a healthy lettuce option with each 1 cup serving containing only 13 calories on average and are perfect for mixing into salads thanks to their smooth and sweet flavor which also works great as a light supper. 

Batavia Lettuce

Batavia lettuce contains a few more calories at around 19 per 1 cup serving, however in the wider context this is still not a high amount at all compared to most other healthy foods and vegetables which actually contain far more. 

Not to mention it is extremely high in Vitamins B9 and K1 which makes it even more of an extremely healthy appetizer. 

Red Lettuce

When it comes to red lettuce, despite its sweet and savory flavor that makes it seem like it could be fused with other ingredients, it is still extremely healthy and a great food choice when watching out for calories with each 1 cup serving only containing around 15 calories. 

Can You Put On Weight By Eating Lettuce?

All types of lettuce are incredibly low in calories and full of nutritional benefits making them not only a great addition to a healthy diet, but also very unlikely to cause any weight gain since they are such a light food to eat.

How Many Calories Are In Lettuce?

The bigger issue is actually overeating lettuce not because it can cause you to gain weight, but because there are so little calories in lettuce that a diet relying on it as a primary food source for meals puts the body at risk of consuming too few calories to keep it functioning as well as it can. 

Lettuce is also known for being extremely low in carbs and while this can seem good for weight loss, carbohydrates are still a primary source of energy for the body so relying on lettuce too much in a diet can leave your body feeling fatigued, weak and depleted of energy which will not assist much in losing weight. 

Additionally, while it is very hard to overeat lettuce to the point where it can pose serious health issues, eating it too much rather than a mixture of other foods along with it means the body will not get all the necessary nutrients that it needs including fiber, protein and many more. 

Overindulging in lettuce can also lead to uncomfortable digestive issues including stomach cramps and diarrhea when consumed in large quantities. 

How Much Lettuce Is A Good Amount?

2 cups of lettuce a day is often seen as the perfect amount as it does not mean your diet is reliant on it, but still gives you the maximum amount of nutritional benefits that you could gain from consuming it. 

With only 2 cups you will receive 30% of your daily Vitamin A right off the bat which can greatly support bone strength, help maintain hydration and improve both our vision and eye health as well as our sleep.

While you can certainly eat bowls of lettuce on their own and enjoy their crunchy texture and sweet refreshing flavor, because they are low in fiber it can be a good idea to mix them in with other vegetables that are fiber rich such as broccoli and carrots just to make it as nutritional as possible and to add some variation to the meal. 

What Is The Healthiest Type Of Lettuce?

While having the same low calorie count as the other types of lettuce at around 15 per 1 cup serving, if you are looking at actual nutritional value romaine lettuce can be considered the healthiest in this regard as while it is also low in fiber, it is packed full of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and even potassium while at the same time being naturally low in sodium.

Additionally, 1 single cup contains 85% of our daily Vitamin A as well as also having some B Vitamins as an added bonus.

Romaine lettuce has even been ranked on the CDC’s ‘Top 10 Powerhouse Foods’ which lists foods based on their relation to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, making it an extremely healthy option with barely any calories when consumed in moderation. 

Summary

Next time you are thinking of adding a bowl of lettuce to a salad to give it that bit of extra crunch or you’re placing it between two buns as part of a delicious burger, there is no need to worry about the calorie intake as lettuce contains barely any calories even when eaten in decent portions.

Just make sure to not incorporate it too much in a diet as it still lacks a lot of our required daily nutrients, so using it as a side ingredient rather than a main meal is the best way to go.

Jenna Priestly
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