Pop quiz: Test your holiday nutrition knowledge
’Tis the season — for friends, family, fun and, of course, feasts. If you’re concerned about how to eat healthfully while surrounded by temptation, take this short nutrition quiz and learn how to enjoy the bounty of the season without sabotaging your diet.
1) True or false? If you’re watching your weight, holiday goodies like cookies and cake are an absolute no-no.
False. While “everything in moderation” is always good advice to follow, it’s important to note that some traditional holiday foods have health benefits, according to Susan Mikolaitis, RD, LD, clinical dietitian for gastroenterology at Rush University Medical Center. Dark chocolate is higher in antioxidants than green tea or red wine. Unsalted, in-the-shell nuts, such as almonds, are an excellent source of iron, B-vitamins, vitamin E and fiber. Macadamia nuts are rich in iron, magnesium and thiamin, and higher in monounsaturated fats (the good kind) than any other kind of nut.
2) Match the following holiday treats with their health benefits:
- Cranberries, currants and figs
- The only nuts that contain vitamin C
- A good source of beta-carotene
- Excellent source of vitamins C, B6 and fiber
Answers: 1C, 2A, 3B
3) Which of the following are healthy choices from a holiday buffet?
- Baked Brie
- Roast beef with gravy
- Fried shrimp
- None of the above
Answer: D. None of the above, but a healthful trip through the buffet line is just a few smart substitutions away.
Instead of cheese, which is high in fat and calories, look for a lower fat vegetable dip or hummus. Roast beef is rich in iron and other nutrients, but try it plain or with mustard instead of gravy. And stick with boiled, rather than deep-fried, shrimp.
“Eat a healthful snack that includes high fiber and lean protein prior to holiday parties to assist you in controlling your appetite,” says Mikolaitis. And if you overdo things one day, eat well the next day, she advises. Make time to exercise, and make smart food choices. Following this excellent advice will make for a healthier holiday season.
For more information about nutritional services at Rush visit our Food and Nutritional Services home page.
Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: (888) 352-RUSH (7874)
Looking for a dietitian? Call (312) 942-DIET (3438)
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