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Can you eat lettuce every day?

  1. Nitrate occurs naturally in vegetables, but also in water, for example. Too much of it is not good, because the body can convert it into nitrite. We all know that spinach and lettuce contain nitrate, which is why many people think you shouldn't eat it too often. However, that advice has been overtaken by science.

  1. Nitrate in itself is not harmful. But by storing, preparing or eating nitrate-rich vegetables, part of it is converted into nitrite. And nitrite can be converted back into nitrosamines, which are potentially carcinogenic. For years it was therefore said that you should not heat spinach, that you should not eat nitrate-rich vegetables with fish or shellfish and that you should not eat nitrate-rich vegetables more than twice a week. Further studies now show that eating nitrate-rich vegetables does not pose a health risk. It is therefore no problem to combine fish with nitrate-rich vegetables. Moreover, it does not matter how often you eat it because the amount of nitrosamines formed is far too small for health risks.

Nutritional advice

  1. There are still two pieces of advice left to limit the intake of nitrate. Firstly, it is not recommended to use water from private sources for the preparation of formula. Water from private sources can contain elevated concentrations of nitrate, which is detrimental for babies. Tap water in the Netherlands is suitable. Just let the tap run and then it is immediately ready for use with bottle feeding. Secondly, it is not recommended to use nitrate-rich (sports) supplements such as beet juice or beet juice concentrate on a daily basis. The high dose of nitrate in such supplements is in addition to the daily amount of nitrate and can therefore cause an increase in nitrosamine formation. That is why athletes are advised to exercise restraint.

Nitrate-rich vegetables are:

  1. Endive Beetroot Celery Chinese cabbage Kohlrabi Bok choy Purslane Turnip greens Lettuce, all kinds Swiss chard Spinach Oxheart cabbage Fennel Watercress

Low-nitrate vegetables are:

  1. Asparagus Eggplant Cauliflower Broccoli Peas Celeriac Cucumber Cabbage, red, white, savoy Rutabaga Bell pepper Leeks Salsify String Beans Green beans Brussels sprouts Tomatoes broad beans Onions chicory Carrots A

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