Test your food IQ

Author: Canadian Living


Test your food IQ

Think you've got the goods on vitamins and vegetables? Answer our questions and see if your know-how has you eating smart.

1. Place these foods in order of their fibre content, from greatest to least.
a. Two slices white bread
b. 250 millilitres (one cup) baked beans
c. Two slices whole wheat bread
d. One pear
e. 250 millilitres (one cup) enriched pasta
f. One medium orange

b. 250 millilitres (one cup) baked beans, 19 grams of fibre
d. One pear, five grams
c. Two slices whole wheat bread, 3.5 grams
f. One medium orange, 2.5 grams
e. 250 millilitres (one cup) enriched pasta, two grams
a. Two slices white bread, 0.7 grams

The recommended daily intake of fibre is 25 to 35 grams. Generally, the best sources of fibre are legumes, some – but not all – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, bran and whole grain cereals. Most beans, with the exception of green and yellow string beans, are excellent sources of fibre. Surprisingly, meats and some vegetables, such as lettuce, are very low in fibre: 90 grams (three ounces) of roast beef, for instance, has 0.2 grams of fibre; 250 millilitres (one cup) of lettuce has 0.6 grams.

2. Which type of oil has the lowest fat and calorie content?
a. Olive oil
b. Corn oil
c. Coconut oil

They're all equal. When it comes to fat and calories, all oils are the same. All contain about 14 grams of fat and 125 calories per 15 millilitres (one tablespoon). What separates the good from the bad is their respective mixes of unsaturated and saturated fats.

Olive oil is mainly made up of monounsaturated fats, which help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol). Corn oil contains mostly polyunsaturated fats, which are also linked to lowering LDL cholesterol. Coconut oil is almost wholly composed of saturated fats, which tend to raise LDL cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease.

3. Vitamin supplements will give you extra energy. True or false?

False. Our energy is fuelled by the calories we consume in food, so adding supplements to a well-nourished body won't provide extra energy. While the function of some vitamins is to help your body use calories, vitamins on their own won't provide energy.

If, however, you have low energy levels due to a vitamin deficiency, correcting that deficiency – whether through food or supplements – will increase your energy.

4. Which foods can help lower your cholesterol?
a. Oatmeal
b. Dried beans
c. Flax
d. Whole wheat bread

All except d. Oatmeal, dried beans and flax are rich sources of soluble fibre, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels and, therefore, reduces the risk of heart disease. The whole wheat bread contains insoluble fibre, which may help prevent constipation and bowel disease but has little effect on cholesterol levels.

5. Cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium. True or false?

False. Cottage cheese is high in protein, but it isn't the excellent calcium source that many of us assume. A 250-gram (eight-ounce) measure of cottage cheese contains about 150 milligrams of calcium, while 45 grams (1 1/2 ounces) of hard cheese, such as Cheddar, contains 325 milligrams, and 250 millilitres (one cup) of 2% milk contains 310 milligrams. Adults from 19 to 50 should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily; adults over 50 need 1,200 milligrams daily.

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6. The daily need for vitamin C can be met by eating which of these foods?
a. One-half of a red pepper
b. One-quarter of a cantaloupe
c. 250 millilitres (one cup) cooked broccoli
d. 250 millilitres (one cup) strawberries
e. 250 millilitres (one cup) orange juice

All of the above. It's not difficult to get the 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C we need daily for good health. Half of a red pepper contains about 120 milligrams; 250 millilitres (one cup) of orange juice, 103 milligrams; 250 millilitres (one cup) of cooked broccoli, 100 milligrams; 250 millilitres (one cup) of strawberries, 89 milligrams; and one-quarter of a cantaloupe, 60 milligrams.

7. Freezing raw ground beef will kill any potentially dangerous bacteria. True or false?

False. Freezing does not kill bacteria; it just stops them from growing. The way to kill foodborne bacteria is to cook food properly. Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 70 to 75C (160 to 170F). To ensure safety, cook ground beef all the way through, and don't eat it rare or pink.

8. In each group, which food is lower in calories?
a. One large skim-milk caffe latte or one large hazelnut coffee with 25 millilitres (two tablespoons) 2% milk
b. One-quarter of a cantaloupe or 250 millilitres (one cup) apple juice
c. One English muffin or one low-fat bran muffin
d. Eight green olives or 30 grams (one ounce) of pretzels (about 35 sticks or nine twists)
e. 250 millilitres (one cup) cooked long-grain white rice or one medium sweet potato

a. One large hazelnut coffee, since there are no calories in flavoured coffees. The only calories would come from the added milk, and the latte would have more milk.
b. One-quarter of a cantaloupe contains only 50 calories yet is much more filling than 250 millilitres (one cup) of apple juice, which contains 125 calories.
c. One English muffin only contains 130 calories. As for the bran muffin, low-fat does not necessarily mean low-calorie. Even though low-fat muffins are lower in fat than regular ones, they still contain 250 calories or more.
d. Eight green olives contain 72 calories, while 30 grams (one ounce) of pretzels contains about 115 calories. Unsalted pretzels are a good snack because they're low in fat, but enjoying a few olives as a nibble or in a salad will not put on the pounds.
e. It may taste sweet and rich, but one medium sweet potato contains only about 150 calories. A 250-millilitre (one-cup) measure of cooked long-grain white rice contains about 230 calories. Sweet potatoes are also one of the best vegetable sources of beta-carotene and a source of fibre and vitamin C.

9. To build muscles, increase your intake of:
a. Protein-rich foods, such as steak and eggs
b. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as pasta and bread

b. Building muscles requires a combination of food and exercise. It takes physical exercise to build muscles, and carbohydrate-rich foods are important to meet the increased energy needs of your muscle-building regimen. Although athletes and those who work out regularly need slightly more protein in their diets for extra muscle development and maintenance, this is easily achieved by eating a balanced diet.

10. Which is the lowest-fat menu choice at a fast-food restaurant?
a. Plain hamburger
b. Breaded-chicken sandwich
c. Slice of cheese pizza
d. Salad with house dressing and a sprinkle of cheese

a. A plain hamburger has about 12 grams of fat, while cheese pizza has 15 grams per slice. The breaded-chicken sandwich and salad with all the fixings each contain more than 20 grams of fat.

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Test your food IQ