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CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
8/18/12 4:55 P

Weighing tends to be more of a non-American measure with grams from the metric system. America measures most things by volume with cups and tablespoons. It can create a problem for those of us who are trying to get exact portions!

I started this thread because I was confused about how to measure greens as I'm on a very strict low-potassium diet - I can't eat all the greens I want regardless of their calories. I can have 1 cup period.

The answer to this particular question was answered early in the thread for us Americans who don't use grams. One cup of greens volume is one ounce in weight.

MAYPOSPANKY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (925)
Posts: 22
8/18/12 3:18 P

I think that is the main point - you said "just pack them .... and keep adding them, pressing down, till you can't fit anymore".

That is the biggest problem with my entire diet. I push and pack and convince myself that a portion size is huge. I have this ability to push and pack myself with food until I am ready to pop - or be overweight.

I understand it might be okay with lettuce, but with all food, I have to learn what an actual serving looks like. That can be done exactly in a weight.

So the bottom line is. Off the Nutrition Data site (which seems to be pretty accurate all the time) 1 cup of shredded lettuce is 47 grams and 8 calories, and exactly matches the calorie count of 1 cup on the Sparkpeople site but without the gram equivelent to really see how much food it is. The Sparkpeople site in my opinion is missing relevant information for a good program.

Just from usage in the first week I have found a serious deficiency that is driving my crazy. Or it may be just the lack of food to a network engineers head.....

KFWOHLFORD SparkPoints: (3,013)
Fitness Minutes: (2,581)
Posts: 729
8/18/12 9:32 A

I measure leafy green veggies by grabbing a large handful that looks like a cup or more. Really, there's no harm in eating more than a cup, they're so low in calories. For more flavor and nutrients, try mixed greens, spinach or arugula instead of lettuce.

If you really want to measure, just pack them into a dry one- cup measuring cup and keep adding them, pressing down, til you can't fit anymore.

MAYPOSPANKY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (925)
Posts: 22
8/18/12 9:29 A

I am a new member and am finding it very difficult to track portion control on Sparkpeople (which is my worst enemy).

I keep running into foods on the list and meal plans that are portioned from volume rather than weight.

The easiest way I have found is to keep a small electronic scale around that weighs in both grams and ounces.

Does anyone have a suggestion for getting the foods that are on spark to be presented in a weight instead of a volume????

New and frustrated....

6/24/12 1:59 P

I sympathize with your problem on so many levels. A quiz I took today said 4oz of juice was about the size of a hockey puck. I can't figure out how to put a hockey puck into my juice glass. And goodness only knows how we're supposed to get a golf ball open to stuff a serving of anything into it! LOL

Best wishes in your quest for better health. emoticon

ELENGIL Posts: 957
3/17/12 11:39 P


CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
3/17/12 11:14 P

I'm sorry I missed that; I must have been reading too quickly in my distress and frustration. Sorry I seemed so obtuse; I'm a bit OCD and it gets in my way all too often.
I appreciate everyone's attempt to help me see the light and I'm especially glad that now I can say weight and volume in the same sentence with lettuce without having a stroke!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

ELENGIL Posts: 957
3/17/12 10:29 P

I posted that in my first reply:

This says that 1 cup of lettuce is equivalent to 1 oz of weight.

Conversely, you can pick iceburg lettuce from the nutrition tracker, enter 28 grams and look at the nutrition values. If you know how much potassium you should be allotting to lettuce, compare what the nutrition tracker gives you to what you should have. If it's under, up the weight. If it's over, reduce it. Play with the numbers until you find the one that matches your goal, then weigh out that amount.

CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
3/17/12 10:18 P

I'm trying to understand what you're saying, but you still lose me. How can it be inferred that one ounce weight of lettuce is = 1 cup of volume? If that is an accepted ratio for lettuce and someone can show me where that is documented, then I'm good to go because that IS a clear answer to the question.

ELENGIL Posts: 957
3/17/12 9:03 P


We are trying to help you by saying measuring the volume of lettuce can vary so greatly based on air, it is *more accurate* to measure 1 cup of lettuce by weighing it out as 1 ounce by weight instead. NOT 8 OZ. 1 oz of weight.

One cup by volume is equal to one ounce by weight. This has been said a number of times now. Measure ONE ounce on the scale by weight and you will have the equivalent of 1 cup of lettuce by volume. If you try to measure 8 oz by weight you will have 8 cups of lettuce! The ratio is 1 weight oz = 1 cup volume for lettuce.

No one has suggested eating 8 oz by weight of lettuce. You are confusing weight ounces with volume ounces.

Edited by: ELENGIL at: 3/17/2012 (21:19)
CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
3/17/12 7:43 P

The amount of discussion on weight in this thread is adding to the confusion here. I know exactly how much a serving size is for all the high potassium foods - there are many many sources for that information. I carry the list everywhere in case I need to eat out. I know whether I should be measuring a particular item by weight or volume. I calculate my potassium intake every day.

My lettuce is supposed to be measured as one cup by VOLUME. Putting a pile of lettuce on a scale until I get up to 8 oz or the equivalent grams is easy if I needed a weight measurement. Figuring out how to do it by volume has been my question.

And, LAETU5 wins the prize! I decided to call my dietician and ask her (yeah, I should have done that in the first place, but I didn't really want to spend the money on a phone consult) and she said to grab a handful about the size of my fist. To wrap my hand around the handful until my fingers almost touch my palm. And to err on the small side.


LAETU5 Posts: 1,405
3/17/12 2:46 P

Grabbing a handful of baby spinach is about a cup. But if you are having to track for health purposes; as is the case here; then the most accurate way would be to find out how many ounces of each type of high potassium food you can have in order to fit servings into your daily diet. Shoving anything other than liquids or powders into a measuring cup isn't very accurate since how much you chop up the food can affect how much fits in there.

ELENGIL Posts: 957
3/17/12 2:30 P

Yes, there is a confusion between oz: weight and oz: volume. Both are called ounces, but they are two different measurements.

As I noted, 1 cup (8 oz) of lettuce by volume = one ounce of lettuce *by weight*.

Get a bowl, put it on your scale, zero the measure and then start adding lettuce until it measures 1 oz. of weight. That is one cup of lettuce.

-POOKIE- Posts: 22,528
3/17/12 1:02 P

... and this is why I track everything in grams

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
3/17/12 9:14 A

Az, I think that's part of the point - 8 ounces by weight is not always a cup. As posted above, 1 cup of lettuce = 1 ounce.

SBNORMAL Posts: 880
3/17/12 5:39 A

helpful info

CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
3/17/12 5:18 A

I guess that's the question for the dietician: measure weight or volume? Although 8 oz of lettuce would be almost a full bag of the pre packaged stuff. That's a LOT for a serving.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,331
3/16/12 4:11 P

when it comes down to it, companies use weight, not volume [except in the case of beverages] to pack their bags/boxes and submit their nutrition info. sure, they provide volume measurements because people seem to like them and think they are easier, but the more accurate way to go is by weight.

ELENGIL Posts: 957
3/16/12 3:32 P

"Lettuce is measured by volume (like you measure flour or sugar), not weight, so a scale is useless in this case."

Food can be measured by either, and weight is often much more accurate because of exactly what you said: air. It's hard to tightly pack lettuce.

The food tracker gives you the option to track iceburg lettuce by weight (grams). If you have a scale that only measures in ounces, just multiply your oz by 28 and that will give you grams, so yes, you can track your lettuce by weight and will avoid the issue of air entirely.

I found this: which gives:
How much does lettuce weigh?
1 cup = 1 oz by weight not measuring cup

I know you said to end the thread but I did want to address that: any food can be measured by weight.

Edited by: ELENGIL at: 3/16/2012 (15:40)
CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
3/16/12 3:20 P

ok folks. Lettuce is measured by volume (like you measure flour or sugar), not weight, so a scale is useless in this case. (Although I have one and use it daily.)

I think the best choice is to chop it up thoroughly enough that the bits fit into the measuring cup as 2012ISNOW suggests.

I am under the care of a nephrologist and a renal dietician, whom I'll ask this question the next time my insurance allows me to see her again. Just wondered what other people were doing.

And, Sunshine, your meals sound wonderful! I used to eat like that. However, on a renal diet the only lettuce I should have is iceberg because the darker ones have too much potassium.

No beans, seed, nuts, avacados, bananas, fiber, dairy - the list goes on and on. I ate very little animal flesh until I got kidney disease and now it's pretty much my only source of protein except for grains - oh, no whole grains either. I miss my pb&j's with ice cold milk.

Thanks everyone for your ideas! Let's end this thread now.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
3/16/12 9:09 A

I use a scale. I don't measure lettuce that much (as others said) because it is so low calorie, but for someone with your health issue I would invest in a $20 food scale.

BASHERA11 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (48)
Posts: 64
3/16/12 9:04 A

Sunshine, OP said they're worried about potassium in lettuce, not calories. Good ideas, nonetheless. OP, in the facility I work at dietary chops the lettuce/greens up then measures them packed so we can input how many our patient's eat (so if we have a renal patient who absolutely insists on a salad, we can chart how much they ate so the doc knows about how many nutrients they're taking in). So I'd follow above advice: take the lettuce, chop it up into strips, then pack it and measure it.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,320
3/16/12 8:04 A

Sounds like your new to dieting. Lettuce is very low in calories, you could eat the whole bag and not worry. It is loaded with vitamin C. Romaine lettuce keeps well. Consider adding fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, or a few grapes to tour salad. Mixing in blue, feta, or goat cheese is a great way to add flavor & protein, or turn any salad into a main meal with the addition of shrimp, chicken, sliced steak, Avocados, olives, and pine nuts. Kindney Beans, Black Beans or chickpeas add fiber. 10 Fat Free Croutons or 1 Tbs. of Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits for flavor, and matchstick carrots for crunch. Add seeds like flax or seasame. Almonds & chopped walnuts are good.
SPINACH IS ESPECIALLY GOOD and high in nutrients, as well as, arugula. Dont worry about the calories in lettuce, just enjoy a salad a day. It's good for your health!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,331
3/16/12 7:36 A

ASK YOUR DOCTOR!!!! you have a medical condition with serious issues and consequences. as others have noted, most people care about the cals, which is a very low issue on the totem pole for you, and aren't even thinking about the potassium.

so call your doc. ask how tightly you should be measuring that cup, or ask for a limit in ounces. or, if you buy your greens in the bags, say i have a bag of spinach here that is 9oz [or whatever you actually have in front of you]. with my issues, how many days should this bag last me to keep me within my cup a day limit?

SHERISMILEY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,455)
Posts: 111
3/16/12 6:47 A

Dont measure...fill your plate up with wonderful lettuce! No iceburg of course! emoticon

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
3/16/12 6:16 A

It has so few calories, I don't measure lettace, my bowl holds about a cup, close enough

2012ISNOW SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,209)
Posts: 180
3/16/12 5:51 A

I'm no expert, but most of the times, I chop my lettuce and measure it. At least for Romaine, there are nutrition facts for '1 inner leaf' as well.

CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
3/16/12 4:49 A

I didn't think about the fact that most people see it as a free food! I'm on a low potassium diet. The darker lettuces have a lot. So I can have a cup a day. And I love salads!

NAYPOOIE Posts: 12,089
3/16/12 1:12 A

if someone said a cup of lettuce, I would imagine that would include a lot of air space.

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
Fitness Minutes: (39,981)
Posts: 2,322
3/15/12 11:02 P

I don't measure lettuce, I just put down 2 cups of lettuce if I'm eating a medium size salad.

3NORNS Posts: 351
3/15/12 10:53 P

i don't measure lettuce - it's free food. you'd have to eat a bucket packed tight for the calories to be significant.

SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
3/15/12 10:41 P

I don't measure lettuce since it has so little in nutritional value, but I'd lean towards something in between packing it in and leaving space; I'm sure it makes a difference too if it's shredded or off the head.

10LBJEN Posts: 146
3/15/12 10:34 P

I wouldn't even bother measuring lettuce, barely any calories

CLAIRE_LEFT_SP Posts: 2,802
3/15/12 10:19 P

Do you jam your lettuce in there nice and tight?

How do you account for the air space in that cup measurement if you don't?

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