Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about lettuce, is it good for weight loss?
Lettuce is a popular type of leafy green vegetable available all around the world. You can eat lettuce raw on its own or as part of recipes like salads.
There are different types of lettuce with slightly varying nutritional details but this article will use the nutritional details for iceberg lettuce. These differences will not matter a lot when it comes to losing weight.
Like most vegetables, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more lettuce. Find out just how good it is for weight loss and how you can implement this food in your diet.
Micronutrients in lettuce
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in lettuce.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of iceberg lettuce provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin K: 30% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin A: 10% of the DV
- Folate: 7% of the DV
- Manganese: 6% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. These are not very large amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to many whole foods. You will definitely need other nutritious foods as well to reach your daily goals.
Lettuce does contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in lettuce for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Iceberg lettuce contains around 1.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a decent amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in iceberg lettuce you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a decent amount.
Does lettuce help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not lettuce deserves a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in lettuce.
Iceberg lettuce contains 14 calories per 100 grams. 10.6 of these calories come from carbohydrates (3.2 g per 100 grams of which 1.2 g fiber).
You should definitely be able to fit in iceberg lettuce in low carb diets like the keto diet.
The amount of calories in lettuce is even low compared to many other vegetables. Fruits, legumes, meats, and everything in between are usually higher in calories than lettuce.
Iceberg lettuce is a very low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more lettuce, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like lettuce you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, lettuce is not a unique weight loss food. Other foods can be just as useful for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating lettuce, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Lettuce is generally not fattening.
Does lettuce help you burn belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To reduce belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since lettuce can help you lose weight in general, depending on your current habits, this food can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
How much lettuce should you eat to lose weight?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Lettuce can help you reach your daily vitamin and mineral goals to some extent but you will need other nutritious foods as well.
If you have consumed enough micronutrients, or you are close to your daily goal, you can see how much lettuce still fits within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too. That being said you generally don’t have to worry too much about portion control with lettuce.
How to eat lettuce for weight loss
You can snack on lettuce on its own but it also combines great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with lettuce:
- Low-carb wrap
How weight loss friendly each option is depends a lot on the specific dish. There are for example types of smoothies that are not helpful for losing weight.
Lettuce vs other popular vegetables for weight loss
You now know how good lettuce is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other vegetables? Find out how good lettuce is for weight loss vs cabbage, spinach, and kale.
Lettuce vs cabbage
However, cabbage is also higher in fiber, 2.5 grams per 100 grams. In terms of vitamins and minerals, cabbage takes the lead.
It is hard to predict whether lettuce or cabbage will be more helpful for losing weight. In any case the difference will not be that big.
Lettuce vs spinach
On the other hand spinach does contain more fiber. Iceberg lettuce has about 1.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs spinach with 2.2 grams. Spinach contains bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals than lettuce.
Again it is hard to predict which option will be more weight loss friendly.
Lettuce vs kale
Lastly there is lettuce vs kale another popular vegetable in the weight loss and health world. If you look at the calorie numbers you can see that kale contains a relatively high amount more. Lettuce contains around 14 calories per 100 grams vs the 50 calories per 100 grams of kale (4).
Kale contains around 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, lettuce 1.2 grams. Kale also contains bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Lettuce will likely be slightly better for weight loss than kale. Even with that in mind kale is still a good food when trying to lose weight.
Chart of lettuce vs other popular vegetables
All in all, the differences between these vegetables won’t make that much of a difference when it comes to losing weight. If you like all these vegetables equally you might as well choose the ones that are slightly better for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for lettuce (1), cabbage (2), spinach (3), and kale (4) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Iceberg Lettuce||Cabbage||Spinach||Kale|
|Calories||14 calories||25 calories||22 calories||50 calories|
|Fiber||1.2 g||2.5 g||2.2 g||2 g|