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Healthy Living

3 Questions to Test Your Healthy Nutrition Smarts

By Sheryl Kraft

Created: 12/22/2009
Last Updated: 01/14/2010

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I do my best to eat healthy foods, especially as I get older and find out how important it is for my body to run at its peak performance. And I do okay – most of the time. As I've said in the past, it's amazing how most of the time I find my body gravitating toward fresh fruits and veggies and lots of grains, anyway. Give me a salad with lots of colors thrown in, and I'm happy. Give me a steak and mashed potatoes and you'll get the entire plate back, untouched.

But something recently shocked me – and made me realize that what I know is, well, limited. Here I am, thinking I know what’s good and what’s not – and when I sat down to take a quiz I stumbled across on WebMD, I haven’t felt so bad about my grade since the first time I took the SAT back in high school.

So, rather than put you through the pains of the whole quiz, I thought I’d share my newfound knowledge with you. Of course, if you want to challenge yourself, here’s the link: (http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/nutrition-labels-9/nutrition-label-quiz)

Confused about low-fat, fat-free and reduced or less fat? Me too. "Low-fat food" means 3 grams of fat or less per serving (Fat-free has less than 0.5 grams) And "reduced fat” or “less fat," although better than full-fat, has at least 25% less than its regular counterpart. Want to know about good foods to help reduce belly fat? Click here.

Because I worry about salt’s effect on my blood pressure, I got this one right (or it was a lucky guess):  For a food to be marked 'low-salt' or 'low-sodium,' it has 140 mg. of sodium in a serving. Watch out for processed foods like soups and frozen food, which is loaded with sodium. Just one teaspoon of salt a day is what experts recommend you limit your intake to (even less if you have high blood pressure or prehypertension). Click here for info on blood pressure. 

I try to get enough fiber because, well, you know, it helps keep everything moving in the right direction. But maybe I think enough is too much, since I flunked this question: How many grams of fiber are in a 'high-fiber' or 'rich in fiber' food, per serving? I guessed 10 grams. Wrong. Foods labeled "high-fiber" must have 5 grams or more of fiber in a serving.

You can read more about fiber here.

Comments

Thanks - I love a good quiz and one that helps me healthier is a bonus!

I agree with Marthaandme - the quiz was quick and interesting, too.

This reminder is timely. I gained back all the weight after my daughter's wedding. Now I'm finding it hard to resist holiday foods, and the foot of snow outside makes exercise impossible. Off to take the quiz.

There's debate about these health claims and the more I read WebMD the more I am skeptical. I've been told by a nutritionist here that salt--sea salt--is good for you and should not be worried about, and that we need healthy fats in our diets (like butter). It's more that when we are sedentary, as so many Americans are, these foods can have a bad effect. So, eat the salty fatty foods but don't overeat and exercise like crazy and you'll be very healthy, according to this theory. At the same time, everyone's body is different and I'm not sure any one diet can work for all humans...

These days I'm wary of anything processed and make most things myself because salt, sugar and all sorts of preservatives make up so many foods! That said, I don't watch out for salt and sugar and fat as much as I probably should when I'm cooking. I feel like I eat what I'm in the mood for and so far everything's been balancing itself out.

I appreciate the information on "low fat" and "reduced fat" products - good reminders for healthy eating. Cutting back on simple carbs after the holidays will be my greatest challenge.

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