Kale vs. Spinach: Which Is Heart-Healthier? (Infographic)

Pick the winner of our HealthHub Knockout

See the results of our HealthHub Knockout below — and get tips for working leafy greens into your diet in Spinach vs. Kale

Kale and spinach — both “super veggies” — are packed with nutrients because they’re leafy greens. To find out if one or the other is better for your heart, we asked Heart & Vascular Institute dietitians Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, and Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD. See the results of our Health Hub Knockout below — and get tips for working leafy greens into your diet.

See the results of our HealthHub Knockout below — and get tips for working leafy greens into your diet in Spinach vs. Kale

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  • Sarah Buckheit

    Does a cup of cooked spinach really have 7 grams of fat? I find that hard to believe. Maybe 0.7?

    • Dave Barry

      The chart reads 7 grams of carbs/cup cooked, not fat (0.5g).

  • sam

    Any suggestions for someone that has 4 main problems, Vascular, Heart, Kidneys and Diabetes, I need a diet that will fit all. I am having trouble finding one.

  • William Powers

    I love all kinds of greens, anyone ever try creases, water or dry land.

  • nanfor6

    Which has more Oxalates, spinach or kale? (a contributor to kidney stones)

    • Brianm14

      Both have plentiful oxalates, which can also interfere with calcium absorption.

  • Chris Bechetti

    That is 7g of carbs not fat. The fat was .5. I love to make Kale & white beans.

  • GeorgeBMac

    Uhh, and what is wrong with 7g of carbs? (Unless you are on an Atkins or high fat diet?)

    Unlike animal fats and protein, carbs do not promote heart disease, cancer or diabetes. In fact, a whole food plant based diet that is both high carb & low fat can prevent and even reverse all three of those diseases. (See studies by Ornish, Esselstyn and others)

    But, while carbs do not promote the chronic western diseases, they do provide the energy that your brain and muscles both require to function properly.

    • Brianm14

      Conversely, a low-carb and higher healthy fat diet also can be very heart-healthy. (Adherence is also poor with the ultra-low-fat diet suggested by Orish.) It is inaccurate and quite simplistic to baldly state that a high carb diet is good for preventing heart disease or diabetes. Carbs are not created equal! Simpler carbs certainly can promote chronic Western-type diseases. Agreed that 7 grams of carbs (especially these more complex carbs) is not significant; cost-to-benefit ratio here is excellent.

      • GeorgeBMac

        The evidence shows that while the high fat diets can cause some temporary weight loss, the end point of death and disability from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are ultimately increased.

        Alternatively, Esselstyn, Ornish, Bernard and others have proven that a Whole Food, Plant Based Diet not only decreases weight and improves most bio markers it also decreases death and disability from heart disease, diabetes and the most common cancers.

        In addition, Esselstyn has shown that long term compliance with a Whole Food, Plant Based Diet can be exceedingly high – if the program is properly administered. (Which, admittedly, most western physicians are not capable doing.)

  • Brianm14

    Error: The amount of vitamin C per cup (cooked) should be in MILLIGRAMS (mg) not micrograms (mcg)! Kale is rich in ascorbic acid.

  • Kathy Erdner

    Spinach is better because Kale would not get eaten in my house!! My family finds it is bitter, even in it’s early stages…..I grew up being forced to eat it so I never forced it onto my children. We use spinach instead of lettuce in salads and have for years….it gets put into soups, onto pizza, into eggs, into casseroles,, meatballs, pasta sauces,just about everything!!

  • Cindy Rigot

    Surprised you didn’t mention iron contents since that is one of the big benefits of spinach.

  • Lou

    I will gladly eat the spinach. Especially in a salad with a hot vinegar,oil dressing. Some sauteed shrimp would be good too. Kale? I am still working on that, along with hummus.

  • Bonnie Hayes Webster

    I am hypo-thyroid and red tha kale can interfere. Should not be eaten in excess or maybe not at all for people with Thyroid conditions. I love kale and it disappointed me.

  • James Baker

    A Kleveland favorite was always kale and kielbasa! That would make it ‘unhealthy’.

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Nice! I think the Kale would be ok – but the Kielbasa…… :) betsyRN