Why You Might Want To Choose Romaine Lettuce Over Iceberg Lettuce

When perusing the produce aisle, the choices of leafy greens can be borderline overwhelming. Apart from all the various brands, there are also plenty of different types of lettuce-like produce, from spring mix to kale. But lettuce itself has numerous varieties, including butterhead, bibb, and more. The kind of leafy greens you choose usually depends on the recipe you're making, but when it comes to lettuce, there are two varieties you're bound to at least be somewhat familiar with.

Romaine and iceberg are among the most common lettuce types, found everywhere from grocery stores to restaurants. Though lettuce on its own doesn't seem so confusing, it turns out that the type you choose to eat can make a big difference in your body, primarily when it comes to nutrients (via MasterClass). Romaine and iceberg have a few distinct differences, from their color to their crunch. But if you're looking at which is the healthier option, you might want to go for romaine over its crunchier, lighter-colored counterpart.

Romaine lettuce is healthier than iceberg

The most important distinction between the two types of lettuce boils down to their nutrition facts, and romaine is the healthier option compared iceberg. The bright green leaves of romaine are loaded with nutrients, including vitamin A, as well as vitamin K. This lettuce has 48% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, per Healthline, plus 85% of vitamin K.

According to MasterClass, romaine lettuce beats iceberg in nearly every nutritional category. Beyond having more vitamin A and K, it also contains more folic acid than iceberg, which is a B vitamin that helps the body produce new, healthy cells, per MedlinePlus. Plus, it comes in at just 8 calories per serving.

Though iceberg is not as healthy, it does have a longer shelf life, which explains why it's commonly favored over romaine in restaurants. It's important to note that iceberg does offer some nutritional value; it contains only 12.5 calories per serving, plus B-complex vitamins, as well as A, C, E, and K vitamins — just in smaller quantities than romaine. In terms of choosing between the two, the easiest way to remember which is healthier is to look at their colors. Bright, leafy green romaine lettuce has more nutrients than pale, crunchy iceberg lettuce.