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Quest for health

Arm yourself with nutrition knowledge for the new year

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Arm yourself with nutrition knowledge for the new year with our quiz.

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Arm yourself with nutrition knowledge for the new year with our quiz.

You're on a mission in 2014 to lessen your intake of french fries and cupcakes in favour of foods that fuel your body with energy and nutrients.

While that's an admirable goal, are you certain you know enough about what foods are best for your health?

Take this quiz to find out:

1. Which of the following oils contains the least amount of fat and calories?
A. Olive oil
B. Butter
C. Peanut oil

Answer: While different cooking oils vary in the types of fats they contain, each has about the same number of fat and calories (about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat in a tablespoon). That means each will equally contribute to weight gain. However, oils containing less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat are healthier for the heart. Of the above list, butter contains the most saturated fat and olive oil the least.

 

2. Studies suggest that omega-3s can boost brain function and reduce risk of heart-attack fatalities. Which of the following seafoods contains the highest amount of the essential fatty acids?
A. Tilapia
B. Shrimp
C. Sardines

Answer: Sardines contain the most omega-3s, at about 400 milligrams for every 28 grams. Shrimp contains some but fewer omega-3s. Tilapia, however, contains negligible amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Some reports even claim the popular restaurant item contains an unhealthy proportion of omega-6 fatty acids, thought to be a factor in inflammation and disease. To get your omega-3s, stick to deep-water fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel. You can also get omega-3s from plant sources such as flax. The body has an easier time using those found in fish, however.

3. A person with lactose intolerance has trouble digesting milk. Which of the following dairy-based foods is high in calcium and suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant?
A. Cottage cheese
B. Yogurt
C. Cream

Answer: If you chose B, you are correct. Yogurt not only contains the same amount of calcium as milk, most people with moderate lactose intolerance can digest yogurt -- the kind with active bacterial cultures -- with ease. That's because yogurt is fermented and therefore contains probiotics. These bacteria help digest some of the lactose in yogurt so you don't have to. Cottage cheese, by the way, is high in protein but not in calcium the way milk is.

4. Some studies suggest that vitamin C helps prevent colds. Which of the following foods contain the most of the antioxidant vitamin?
A. Six brussels spouts
B. A mandarin orange
C. Six strawberries

Answer: Surprisingly, six brussels sprouts contain the most vitamin C here -- nearly 70 milligrams of the stuff. Red and yellow bell peppers contain among the most vitamin C -- up to 144 mg in a half-cup serving. One medium orange, by comparison, contains about 43 mg of vitamin C.

5. Reducing sugar intake will cut calories and help your metabolic system run more efficiently. Which beverage contains the most sugar?

A. One cup of unsweetened apple juice
B. One can of pop
C. One venti skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks

Answer: The 355 ml of pop contains the most sugar, at 39 grams in a can. That's about nine teaspoons. But juice contains about the same amount: one cup (250 ml) has between 24 and 29 grams (about six teaspoons). Even though juice contains some vitamins, keep your juice consumption to a minimum. It's relatively high in sugar and calories. As well, it does not contain the fibre of its whole-fruit counterpart. That means juice, like pop, causes extreme spikes in blood-sugar levels, which can lead eventually to extreme blood-sugar drops.

6. Fibre can help us feel full longer as well as keep our colons healthy. Which of the following contain the most fibre?
A. One slice of 100 per cent whole-wheat bread
B. One-quarter cup whole, raw almonds
C. Three-quarters of a cup of frozen raspberries

Answer: Raspberries are the winner here, containing nine grams of fibre (and only 70 calories). Almonds contain a healthful four grams of fibre, while one slice of Dempster's original 100 per cent whole wheat bread contains 1.75 grams of fibre. The lesson: Don't be fooled into thinking that bread is always the best source of fibre.

 

Have an interesting story idea you'd like Shamona to write about? Contact her at shamona.harnett@freepress.mb.ca.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 6, 2014 D1

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