Best and Worst Salad Greens
Taking a closer look at the nutritional value of greens so you can make the healthiest salad possible
Congratulations, you decided to skip the double cheeseburger for a wedge salad made with iceberg lettuce or chose a side salad made with Romaine instead of a plate of French fries. But before you burst with pride for making such healthy choices, you should know that not all salad greens are created equal. While there are some salad greens that are full of vitamins and minerals, there are also some greens with little nutritional value.
The average American diet consists of about 30 pounds of salad greens per year, and iceberg lettuce, the least nutritious of these greens, makes up the bulk of what most of us eat. With its rather bland flavor and high water content, iceberg lettuce isn’t the ideal choice for your salads. On the other hand, everything your mother ever said about spinach is right. It’s full vitamins and minerals and it’s only seven calories per cup so it is a great choice when picking greens for your salad.
As a general rule of thumb, the darker the greens the more fiber, flavor, and nutrients the greens possess. But just because iceberg lettuce isn’t as good for you as watercress or spinach, it’s still a better choice than a bucket of chicken, so don't make it your life's mission to figure out the eleven secret herbs and spices that the Colonel uses. Once you know what the least and most nutritious salad greens are, eating a healthier salad won‘t be hard at all.
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