What's Your Nutrition IQ?

Take this quiz to find out how you fare

Priti Salian Updated: Sep 4, 2019 16:41:12 IST
What's Your Nutrition IQ? Images used for representative purposes (All photos courtesy Shutterstock)

You already know the basics of nutrition—eat five portions of fruits and veggies every day, eat a rainbow diet, drink 10 to 12 glasses of water and so on. But to really help you climb up the health ladder we bring you a quiz that will spill the beans on the information overload that you may have received from several sources. Read on to know more.

1. Women who regularly eat soya products, such as soya, milk and tofu, have ... 

  • A lower cancer risk, compared to women who avoid soya products
  • A higher cancer risk, compared to women who avoid soya products
  • About the same cancer risk, compared to women who avoid soya products

Answer: A lower cancer risk, compared to women who avoid soya products.

Reason: Soya foods contain compounds, such as isoflavones, that have many important functions. They protect cells from damage and promote their growth, discourage damaged cells from multiplying and enhance cell-to-cell communication. While there are concerns about whether it is advisable for women with history of breast cancer to consume soya due to its oestrogen content, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to suggest it is totally unsafe. So, check with your doctor. 


2. Which of these dairy products is the best source of bone-building calcium?

  • Cottage cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Skimmed milk

Answer: Cottage cheese

Reason: Cottage cheese has 208 mg of calcium per 100 g, yoghurt provides 149 mg and skimmed milk contains roughly 120 mg of calcium. Although cottage cheese provides maximum calcium it also has saturated fats. So, remember that overall skimmed milk is a healthier option.


3. Egg is a complete protein.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Reason: Complete proteins contain all essential amino acids. Proteins derived from animals are considered complete, while plant proteins have limited amino acids. Albumin in egg white is not only a complete protein but also has the highest biological value (the measure of how well the body can absorb and utilise a protein) as well. The yolk of one large egg also contains approximately 2.7 g protein.


4. Which oil is the best source of Vitamin E?

  • Sunflower
  • Canola
  • Mustard
  • Olive

Answer: Sunflower 

Reason: Vegetable oils are rich in alpha-tocopherol, the form of Vitamin E that is bioavailable. Sunflower oil contains - 8.4 International Units (IU) of Vitamin E, Canola, 3.6 IU, Olive, 2.85 IU while mustard oil does not contain Vitamin E.


5. Which of the following sources of carbohydrates offer the least nutritional value? 

  • Wholegrain cereals
  • White bread
  • Brown rice
  • White rice

Answer: White bread

Reason: White bread is a simple carbohydrate with a high glycaemic index (GI) of 80 to 90. GI is measured by comparing the digestion rate of food items to that of glucose, which is 100 on the index. Complex carbohydrates keep hunger away as they take longer to digest due to slow break down. They have a low GI and are good for health. High-GI foods break down fast and push up the blood sugar, increasing diabetes risk. Generally, foods with a GI of 55 or lower are safe bets. Wholegrain cereals and brown rice measure 40 to 49 while white rice measures 60 to 69 on the GI scale.


6. One of the best sources of magnesium is half a cup of ...

  • Peanuts
  • Boiled spinach
  • Wheat bran cereal

Answer: Wheat bran cereal

Reason: Magnesium keeps bones strong and is important to control blood sugar and blood pressure. Wheat bran provides 89 mg of magnesium per half cup, spinach has 78 mg while peanuts have only trace amounts.


7. Which of the following edible oils is cholesterol-free?

  • Sesame
  • Mustard
  • Sunflower
  • All of the above

Answer: All of the above

Reason: Cholesterol is present in animal fats like butter and ghee. All plant-based edible oils are free from cholesterol. However, on consumption of edible oil the saturated fat in them gets converted into cholesterol.


8. Which of the following has the most calories per ounce? (1 ounce=28.34 g)

  • Roast chicken breast without skin
  • Regular soda
  • Cooked white rice

Answer: Cooked white rice

Reason: Rice has 100 calories, roast chicken breast without skin has 50 to 60 calories while regular soda has 20 calories.


9. ‘Organic’ and ‘natural’ on a label mean the same.

  • True
  • False 

Answer: False

Reason: Organic is natural food which is chemical- and preservative-free. However, natural food could be sprayed by chemicals, growth hormones or enzymes.


10. If you must have chips, which of these is the most nutritious? 

  • Banana chips
  • Potato chips
  • Vegetable chips

Answer: Vegetable chips

Reason: Chips lose their nutrient content because of the high fat value, blame it on deep frying. Fresh fruits and vegetables are of course the best source of fibre. However, from amongst the options available vegetable chips are definitely better. These offer the most fibre content and add more vitamins and minerals to your diet. For instance, spinach adds fibre and antioxidants while carrots contain Vitamin A.


11. Which one boosts your bone health?

  • Onions
  • Nuts
  • Wholemeal bread
  • All of the above

Answer: All of the above

Reason: Onions contain Glutamyl Peptide, an enzyme which slows down the resorption (break down) of bones by Osteoclasts (bone resorption cells). This was found in a study conducted at the University of Bern. The same year, in London, it was found that silicon, which is present in onions also helps in strengthening bones. Nuts contain proteins, potassium and Omega -3 fatty acids which are known as bone foods. Wholemeal bread consists of magnesium which makes your bones stronger.


12. There is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving”.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Reason: Most people mistake portion size for serving size. Portion size is the amount you choose to put on your plate. Serving size is a standard measurement of your food, such as a cup or a tablespoon.


13. Which of these foods offers the most metabolism-reviving potassium?

  • One medium banana
  • One cup cooked spinach
  • One large steamed sweet potato

Answer: One cup cooked spinach

Reason: Steamed sweet potato gives 508 mg, an average medium banana gives 422 mg while a cup of cooked spinach contains 839 mg of potassium. The ICMR recommends 3225 mg per day for women.


14. One of the best ways to boost your immune system is to add a little garlic to your recipes.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Reason: Garlic contains allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates—powerful compounds that help the body prevent and fight infections.


15. Would you say salmon is ...

  • Free of cholesterol
  • Low in fat
  • Both
  • Neither

Answer: Neither

Reason: Salmon is a fatty fish which has a high content of fat and cholesterol. A study conducted by USDA shows that raw salmon contains cholesterol ranging between 52 and 60 mg/100 g. But salmon is a food hero for the outstanding ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids that it possesses. The nutritional content in salmon prevents blood from clotting and also lowers blood cholesterol and boosts HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol. It is a good source of Vitamins A, B6 and B2, D, E, as well as niacin, riboflavin and anti-oxidants. It is beneficial for heart health, brain function and overall good health.


(Experts: Swati Dhingra, research dietician, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai; Dr Sonia Kakar, clinical dietician, Delhi; Malavika Athavale, consulting nutritionist, Eatrite, Mumbai; Dr Nupur Krishnan, Director, Nutrition Clinics, Mumbai; Dr Kamala Krishnaswamy, Former Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad)


Previously published in Prevention India © July 2012 Living Media India Limited.
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