Health Watch — Food Choices: Lettuce

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about choosing the right foods. It can be difficult to eat a nutritious, low-calorie diet when the information we have about food is so confusing. Sometimes the things we think are great for our diets may not be so wonderful. Take lettuce, for example. It’s a staple of diet plates, but iceberg lettuce doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value. Mostly, it’s good for filling you up without adding a lot of calories.

Dr. Scott Grundy, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you’d do better to look for dark, leafy greens or cabbage as a base for your salads. Those provide a lot more nutritional value than iceberg lettuce. Dark greens are a good source of vitamin A and iron, while cabbage provides a lot of vitamin C. Your salad also becomes a lot tastier and more interesting when it’s got some variety and color to it.


March 2007

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