So you think you're a pretty health-savvy person, but how much do you really know about nutrition?
Test your knowledge with this short quiz, courtesy of Business Woman Magazine. You may just learn (or un-learn) something new! (Answers below.)
True or False?
1) If you're planning on having a big dinner, skipping breakfast will let you save up calories so you don't gain weight as a result.
2) Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water will keep you hydrated.
3) You should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables for optimal health.
4) "Whole wheat" and "whole grain" bread are the same thing.
5) High-fiber foods can help you lose weight.
6) Nuts are bad for you because they're high in fat.
7) Because they're high in calories, beans should be eaten only rarely.
And the answer is...
It seems logical that the fewer calories you eat for breakfast and lunch, the more you can afford to consume later on. But when you undereat during the day, you set yourself up for overeating at dinner, says Jackie Berning, Ph.D., R.D., professor of health sciences at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Better bet: Spread your calories evenly throughout the day.
The standard of eight 8-ounce glasses of water is only a guideline. For some people, this may be a sufficient amount of H2O - but if you exercise intensely, it may not be nearly enough. Consider this - according to the American College of Sports Medicine, people should drink 14 to 22 ounces of fluid 2 to 3 hours before exercise; 6 to 12 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise; and 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.
Five servings a day is a great start, but studies show that eating even more fruits and vegetables can produce additional health benefits such as reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. "Fruits and vegetables tend to be lower in calories and more jam-packed with vitamins and minerals than other foods," says Berning. The more you eat, the less you'll consume of more calorie-dense foods, which can help you lose or maintain your weight.
Food packages can be tricky. "Whole wheat" bread may have been processed and had caramel coloring added to look like whole wheat. To be classified as "whole grain", however, the food has to contain all three parts of the grain kernel including the bran, or outer coating, the germ, and the endosperm. Read your food labels carefully!
Research bears this out. Fiber helps fill you up, so you wind up eating less; studies have found that increasing fiber intake is associated with lower overall caloric intake. The American Dietetic Association recommends that you consume 25 to 30 grams a day.
Forget the idea that nuts or any other food is "bad." Nuts do contain fat, but it's a healthy fat that's good for your heart. Nuts also contain some protein and can be part of your diet - as long as you stick to small (like 1/4 cup or less) servings.
Beans are calorically dense but they're also a low-fat, high-protein food that contain phytochemicals and soluble fiber, which has been shown to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Make them a regular part of your diet.
So how did you do? Learn something new? Any answers surprise you?
Tell us about your results!