Test Your Nutritional IQ

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Which of the following are true statements regarding sea salt, kosher salt and table salt?

  1. Because of its fine grain, a single teaspoon of table salt contains more salt than a tablespoon of kosher or sea salt.
  2. Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater and receives little or no processing, leaving intact the minerals from the water from which it came.
  3. Kosher salt contains no preservatives and can be derived from either seawater or underground sources.
  4. All of the above.

Answer:  4.  All of the Above.  Taste and texture are the main culinary differences between these three.  Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits, and includes a small portion of calcium silicate, an anti-caking agent added to prevent clumping. It possesses very fine crystals and a sharp taste.  The minerals in sea salt flavor and color the salt slightly. Sea salts are usually expensive.  It is worth keeping in mind that they lose their unique flavor when cooked or dissolved.  Aside from being a great salt to keep within arm’s reach when you are cooking, kosher salt is particularly useful in preserving because its large crystals draw moisture out of meats and other foods more effectively than other salts.

True or False: White vegetables offer little nutritional value; only brightly colored vegetables are nutrient powerhouses.

Answer:  False.  Vegetables of every color offer nutritional benefits, even white ones. White cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, contain many of the same compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention found in other more colorful cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts. The compounds that give onions and garlic their pungency have been linked to prevention of certain cancers in laboratory tests. Don’t discount white-fleshed potatoes, either.  They are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, when eaten with the skin.

Which of the following foods contains the most fiber?

  1. ¼ cup of black beans
  2. A turkey sandwich made with 2 slices of whole-grain bread
  3. 1 prepared packet of instant oatmeal
  4. 1 small pear

Answer: 4.  Just one small pear provides you with 5 grams of fiber – not bad!  You need approximately 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories you consume – for most adults that’s anywhere from 21 to 38 grams per day.  A half-cup of black beans would provide you with 7.5 grams, so be sure to add some to your next salad, soup, or casserole.  Whole grains like whole-wheat bread and oatmeal are, of course, another source of fiber – just not as much as the pear.

Match the proper serving size to the correct visual reference:

Closed fist             3-4 ounces of meat

4 dice                   1 teaspoon of fat

Cupped hand          Serving of fruits or veg.

Open palm             Serving of whole grains

Tip of thumb           1.5 ounces of natural cheese

Answer:

Closed fist = A serving of fruits or vegetables

4 dice = 1.5 ounces of natural cheese

Cupped hand = A serving of whole grains

Open palm = 3-4 ounces of meat

Tip of thumb = 1 teaspoon of fat

True or False: Within 30 to 60 minutes is the ideal time to eat after exercise.

Answer: True. As you exercise, tiny tears form in your muscle tissue. It’s a natural process that results in more toned muscles as they repair and strengthen. Exercise also causes your body to use glycogen, a form of glucose the body stores in your muscles to meet short-term energy needs. Eating a small snack 30-60 minutes after a workout is the most beneficial time to help your muscles recover and to replenish the body’s nutrient stores. Good post-exercise snack:  1 cup of low-fat milk and a piece of fruit.