Lettuce Is Bullshit

Does it bug you that we’re living in a world where even the lettuce threatens our health? I have a solution. Toss out the romaine; dump the iceberg while you’re at it too. Lettuce is bullshit. Lettuce has always been bullshit. Here’s why:

It’s Mostly Water

Let’s start with nutrition. Lettuce has approximately nothing in it. You figure it must be healthy because there’s so much of it in your salad bowl and it’s a vegetable right? You’re eating so many vegetables! Run the numbers though: A serving of romaine is 85 grams 80 of which are water. In the remainder you get a measly two grams of fiber (we need 25 or more each day).

Surely it’s got vitamins though? Yes but not much compared to what’s on the rest of your salad. Romaine does have your full daily value of vitamins A and K but compare: that means it has as much vitamin A as a quarter-cup of shredded carrots and as much vitamin K as a few sprigs of parsley. Both of which I might note have more flavor.

Iceberg is even more useless: a serving has just one gram of fiber and nearly all of its vitamins in single-digit percentages of your daily value. Just chuck it in the garbage. You’ll never miss it.

Oh and if you’re happy that it’s “mostly water” because you need to hydrate? First of all no you don’t. And second that whole bowl of lettuce gives you two ounces of water. Just take an extra sip from your glass instead.

Salads Are Fine Without It

So let’s try a little experiment. If you take the lettuce out of your salad what’s left? If it’s a hearty healthy salad you’ll have plenty of veggies legumes grains and other foodstuffs both delicious and nutritious. If it’s a caesar salad you just have cheese breadcrumbs and a puddle of dressing. If it’s a side salad you might only have a few drops of vinaigrette and a single decorative cherry tomato.

This is why you’re always hungry after you have a salad for lunch: you barely ate anything. You just didn’t notice because you spent half an hour chewing on so much useless mostly-water. Try making your salads without lettuce and learn what it’s like to eat real vegetables.