1. Which most resembles your breakfaston most days?
Here’s a wake-up call: studies showbreakfast eaters maintain healthierweights and perform better on tests. Aprotein- and fibre-filled breakfast with atleast three of the four food groups fromCanada’s Food Guide, such as “c,” is yourbest bet. As for “a,” flavoured oats aretypically full of sugar, so prepare plainoats and stir in your own add-ins, such ascinnamon, sunflower seeds and berries.
An egg-and-sausage sandwich is okay onoccasion, but sausage and other processedmeats are higher in fat and sodium.
2. Which most closely resembles yoursnacks?
Eating a small snack between meals canhelp to balance blood sugar and preventovereating at meals. If you circled “c,”you’re snacking smartly: vegetables, fruitand whole grains provide energy andfilling fibre, and the protein in hummuswill help to hold you over until your nextmeal. As for “d,” pretzels provide littlestaying power on their own. Satisfy yourhunger by pairing lower-sodium pretzelswith a spoonful of protein-packed peanutbutter.
3. Where do you eat dinner most nights ofthe week?
The all-star answer is “c”: dining ata table with family or friends, withfew distractions other than goodconversation, is ideal. Eating with othershelps strengthen relationships. It’s easyto overeat when you’re not focusingon eating, so wait until dinner is doneto watch TV, read or surf the Internet.
Otherwise, “a” is acceptable if you orderwisely. Opt for smaller portions, grilled
For helpful nutrition information, visit:
items and salads (dressing on the side)and skip battered and fried foods. Anoccasional fast food meal won’t derailyour health, as long as it’s not a habit.
4. Do you read nutrition labels on foods
Give yourself a gold star if you circled
“c.” Scoping the Nutrition Facts table
and the ingredient list on packaged
foods and drinks are the keys to tracking
your nutrient intake and to comparing
products. Even seemingly nutritious
foods require a once-over. For example,
some yogurts and juices are high in
natural or added sugars, and soup,
cottage cheese and salsa are often loaded
with sodium. For a tutorial on label
reading, visit Health Canada’s website:
5. How much fibre do you think youconsume each day?
If you answered anything but “c,” bulkup! Fibre promotes regularity and maylower cholesterol. It also steadies bloodsugar levels, helping to manage cravingsand weight. In fact, research finds thatpeople who eat more fibre are less likelyto develop obesity and diabetes. To boostyour fibre quota, include vegetables andfruit at meals and snacks, swap whiteflour and bread for whole grain varieties,and eat more beans and lentils. To preventintestinal discomfort, increase your fibreintake gradually and drink plenty ofwater.
6. What’s your eating philosophy when itcomes to holidays and celebrations?
Birthdays, weddings, vacations, sportingevents . . . celebrations and food often gohand in hand! However, the “b” and “d”mindset can cause weight gain. Answers"a" and "c" are the healthiest approaches.
Small portions, buffered with a bit ofextra activity, are the secret to partakingin special occasions while sticking tohealthy eating habits. At parties, surveythe buffet table before choosing the itemsyou want most. Fill a smaller plate justonce (load half with vegetables and fruit).
Enjoy a small slice of cake or dessert. Aimto make healthier food choices even whenfood is part of the celebration.
7. When do you grocery shop?
If you chose “d,” you’re likely to make
less healthful choices and spend more
money. After all, you’re hungry and in
a hurry, and supermarkets are set up to
encourage impulse buying. Once again,
the top answer is “c.” Additional tips on
shopping include: block off time each
week to grocery shop—and stick to a
list. Also, avoid shopping when you’re
8. How large is your usual portion ofmeat (after cooking)?
If you picked any answer but "c," it's timeto downsize! A serving of meat, accordingto Canada’s Food Guide, is 2½ ounces or½ cup (75 g and 125 ml) of cooked meat.
Men need three servings of meat andalternatives daily and women need twoservings. Opt for poultry or fish (withlittle added fat) and meat alternativessuch as beans, lentils and tofu.
9. How many servings of vegetables doyou eat on most days?
If you picked “c,” kudos! You’re meetingCanada’s Food Guide recommendations,which advise that adults eat sevento 10 servings of vegetables and fruitdaily, including at least one dark greenvegetable (e.g., broccoli, spinach) and oneorange vegetable (e.g., carrots, squash).
Aim to eat a variety of vegetables (notfried) with all your meals and snacks.
10. What do you most often drink withlunch and dinner?
The healthiest answer is “c.” Drink waterthroughout the day and skim, 1% or 2%milk at meals; for children under age two,serve whole-fat ( 3.5%) milk. Adults need 2cups (500 ml) of milk a day and childrenneed 2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 ml) a day.
Soft drinks not only have lots of sugar( 10 tsp., 50 ml or 10 packets of sugar in aregular can of cola) and sugar-sweetenedbeverages are linked to higher weights.
And while wine contains heart-healthycompounds, alcohol may raise therisk of some cancers. The maximumrecommended intake is one to twoalcoholic drinks per day.
The results are in . . .
If you answered mostly “c,” you’re anA+ nutrition student!
If you checked mostly “a,” you’re on theright track, but you could score evenhigher marks.
If you circled mostly “b” or “d,” a littlestudying is needed. Incorporate thesesuggestions to fast-track to the healthyeating honour roll!