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This article was published 8/3/2009 (4584 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
You eat fish once a week. You push away the basket of white bread while at your favourite restaurant. You limit your sugar intake. (At least you're pretty sure you do).
Despite all your efforts to watch what you eat, are you really doing your body good?
March is Nutrition Month. In honour of the yearly awareness campaign created by the Dietitians of Canada, I've created this nutrition quiz:
1. We know that we should reduce our sugar intake. 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
The apple juice contains the most sugar, at 29 grams in a cup. That's 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 causes extreme spikes in blood-sugar levels, which can lead eventually to extreme blood-sugar drops.
One 240-gram can of pop comes in a very close second at 27 grams of sugar.
Even with the sugar-free syrup, the latte has 22 grams of sugar, most of which comes from the lactose in the milk.
2. Sodium can cause high blood pressure. Which item contains the most of this heart-unhealthy substance?
A. One 12-grain bagel from Tim Hortons with no toppings
B. A 50-gram serving of Old Dutch ketchup potato chips (that's about 31 chips)
C. One Snickers bar
You may have thought that your favourite Winnipeg delicacy -- ketchup chips -- would have been the culprit highest in sodium. But believe it or not, the bagel contains the most at 580 mg. That's a sizable portion of Health Canada's 1,500 mg daily limit of sodium. Bread is often a hidden source of sodium since the substance plays an important role in dough formation.
The chips have 460 mg of sodium while the chocolate bar contains 140 mg of sodium.
3. Breakfast is an important meal that sets our energy levels for the whole day. Which breakfast -- each identical in calories -- is most likely to keep you feeling fuller longer?
A. One vegetable omelette
B. One bowl of instant oatmeal
C. One serving of steel cut oats
A study by a Harvard professor, Dr. David Ludwig, found that the veggie omelette kept people fuller longer. He studied three groups of obese teens who were fed breakfasts of equal calories. The group that had the veggie omelette as the first meal of the day ate less for several hours. That's probably because most veggies are low glycemic, meaning they raise blood-sugar levels the slowest, resulting in less insulin production and, therefore, less hunger. The fat and protein that come from the eggs in the omelette also contribute to a lasting feeling of fullness. The instant oatmeal group reported feeling the most hungry after their meal. That's because the carbohydrates in instant oats are more processed and enter the bloodstream faster. There is little fat and protein in instant oats to keep stomachs full.
4. We know that yogurt contains calcium and good-for-you bacterial cultures. Which of the following yogurt options will lead to the slowest rise in your blood-glucose levels?
A. Full-fat plain yogurt
B. Low-fat plain yogurt
C. Sugar-free strawberry yogurt containing artificial sweetener
Full-fat plain yogurt contains less sugar, more fat and more protein -- which contribute to a slower rise in blood-sugar levels and greater satiety. Some may argue that low-fat yogurt is a better option because it contains little or no saturated fat. However, lower-fat yogurts tend to have more additives, less protein and more sugar. Sugar-free yogurt with added fruit contains the most sugar of the above three, mostly in the form of fructose.
5. The Canada Food Guide suggests adults consume seven to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. All but one option makes up one serving. What option constitutes two servings of this food group?
A. One avocado
B. Six asparagus spears
C. One cup romaine lettuce
Many people complain that it's too difficult to get up to 10 serving of fruit and vegetables everyday. But it's not that hard to accomplish considering single serving sizes of fruits and veggies are not huge. One avocado equals two servings. Both the asparagus and the lettuce constitute one serving.
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
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.
7. Scientists have proven that omega-3 fatty acids can prolong our lives by boosting cardiovascular health. Which seafood contains the most omega-3s?
Salmon contains the most omega-3s because it's a deep-water, oily fish. When choosing canned salmon, splurge on the sockeye variety. It is more expensive, but it is usually higher in omega-3s. Plus, it's more red, rich and tasty. (Clover Leaf skinless, boneless canned sockeye salmon has 2.5 grams of omega-3 per 85 gram serving.) Tuna has about 0.5 grams of omega-3 per serving, while pickerel has approximately 0.3 grams per serving.
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