Sharpen your nutritional know-how with these quick questions, then hit the supermarket with your savvy new skills!
Q. Which food has more vitamin C per 100g? Broccoli, orange or red capsicum
A. Red capsicum. Though most of us associate vitamin C with the colour orange, red capsicum has more than three times the vitamin C of an orange.
Q. Which milk contains more calcium—skim or regular?
A. Surprisingly, skim milk is slightly higher in calcium than the same amount of regular milk. Milk’s fat-removal process increases its watery portion, which contains the protein. A 250ml glass of skim milk has about 350 to 400mg of calcium—a third of your recommended daily intake for this mineral.
Q. How many serves of fruit and veg do you need to eat each day?
2 fruit, 3 veg
4 fruit, 6 veg
2 fruit, 5 veg
3 fruit, 3 veg
A. 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegies. One serve of vegies is 1 cup of salad, ½ cup of cooked vegies or ½ medium potato. One serve of fruit is 1 medium or 2 small pieces, or 30g of dried fruit. To get your five daily veg, fill half your plate with leafy greens or cooked vegies.
Q. How often should oily fish, such as tuna, salmon or sardines, appear on your menu?
Once a week
Two to three times a week
Once a month
A. Two to three times a week. To maintain heart health, the National Heart Foundation recommends we eat about 500mg of omega-3 fats a day. Hook two to three 150g serves of oily fish each week to enjoy their benefits.
Q. What’s the maximum amount of salt you should eat in one day?
A. Consuming more than 1 teaspoon (or 2300mg of sodium)—which is the national recommended upper limit—in a single day can raise both your blood pressure and your stroke risk. Yet most Australians are eating one and a half times that!
Q. Which biscuit has more fat? A Tim Tam or an Oreo?
A. Tim Tam. With 5.1g of fat, one Tim Tam contains more than twice the fat of an Oreo. Snack on two Tim Tams, and you’ll have munched nearly a quarter of your daily requirement for saturated fat!
Q. Which food is higher in fibre?
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked wholemeal pasta
1 medium jacket potato
A. Boasting 10g of fibre (a third of your daily needs), 1 cup of wholemeal pasta has three times the amount of fibre of brown rice or a baked potato, each of which provide about 3g of fibre.
Q. How many minutes of house cleaning does it take to burn off a 150ml glass of wine?
A. 36 minutes. You’d need to clean the house for slightly more than half an hour to burn the 424kJ (101cal) in a 150ml glass of wine.
Q. Which of the following foods provides you with a third of your daily needs for calcium?
A 200g tub of low-fat yoghurt
2 slices (40g) of reduced-fat cheese
A 250ml glass of low-fat milk
A 250ml glass of low-fat milk
A. All of the above. Each of these foods gives you 300 to 400mg of calcium. Aim to include three of these options in your daily eating plan. (To reduce the saturated fat in your diet, choose reduced-fat dairy most of the time.)
Q. How much weight are you at risk of gaining if you down a can of soft drink every day for an entire year?
Nearly 2 kg
Nearly 5 kg
Nearly 7 kg
Nearly 10 kg
A. Studies suggest that drinking one 375ml can of fizzy drink per day can lead to an annual gain of 6.75kg. Worse still, you’d be guzzling more than 14kg of sugar!
Q. Which type of meat contains the most saturated fat?
100g salami (4 x 10 cm slices)
100g deli-sliced ham (4 thin slices)
100g middle bacon (2 rashers)
100g beef sausage (1 thick sausage)
Salami, because 100g has half of your recommended daily intake for saturated fat (12.4g!) plus 60 per cent of your requirements for salt. This is one deli meat to leave on the supermarket shelf.
Q. At the age of 70, you don’t need as many kilojoules as you did at 20. How many should you cut each day?
200kJ (about 50 cal)
1000kJ (about 240 cal)
2200kJ (about 530 cal)
A. It depends on your gender! At rest, muscle burns more energy than fat does. Men tend to carry more muscle, so their metabolism is usually higher than women’s. From the age of 50, both men and women lose roughly 1 to 2 per cent of muscle mass each year, and this loss results in a slower metabolism.
So by the age of 70, women need to cut approximately 1000kJ (about 250cal) from their daily diet, and men should aim to slash up to 2200kJ (around 550cal).
Q. Why are low-GI carbs such helpful weight-loss tools?
A. Low-glycaemic-index (low-GI) carbs break down in the body slowly, creating a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream. This process helps you feel full for longer, and explains why low-GI oats are much more satisfying than high-GI rice bubbles.
Q. Which activity torches the kilojoules in a packet of potato chips in one hour - gentle walking, pilates or gardening?
A. All of them do! Spend 60 minutes huffing and puffing to burn around 1200kJ (almost 300cal). The harder you work, the faster you’ll burn those kilojoules.
Q. How many kilojoules are there in a Magnum Classic ice-cream?
A. 1181kJ (283cal). Reserve this indulgence as a special treat, and lick a chocolate Paddle Pop instead—for a third of the kilojoules!
Q. In which food would you find omega-3 fats - sardines, kale, chia sees or walnuts?
A. All of them! Heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids have both plant and marine sources, but the omega-3 fats in oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, are more potent.
Q. What’s the ideal number of kilojoules for a healthy snack?
Fewer than 200kJ (about 50cal)
Around 600kJ (about 150cal)
At least 1000kJ (about 240cal)
A. Around 600kJ (about 150cal). Stock up on well-portioned snacks that are high in protein and fibre. These will fill you up and stop you reaching for a sugar hit when hunger (or boredom!) strikes. Choose healthy hunger-busters, such as low-fat yoghurt, wholegrain crackers and dried fruit and nuts.