Recipes

Test your nutrition know-how

How good are you at choosing the healthiest option when it comes to your diet? Find out with our calorie quiz below.

When it comes to eating healthy, some choices are obvious: baked over fried, low-fat over full-fat. But agonizing at your local coffee counter about what’s better between baked goods is a much more difficult decision. We asked Kirsten Bustamante, certified personal trainer and owner of Stretch Fitness Boutiquein Toronto to break down what’s good, what’s better and what’s to be avoided when it comes to basic meal and snack choices. Find out how well you know your nutrients* with the quiz below – you may be surprised to learn where calories can sometimes sneak in!

* Nutritional percentages are based on a 2000 calorie/day diet

1. How would you rank these four fast breakfast ideas from best to worst?
– Croissant
– Blueberry muffin
– 2 scrambled eggs with 1 slice of whole wheat toast & 1 tsp of margarine
– ¾ cup whole grain cereal with 4oz of skim milk

eggs and toast, blueberry muffin, cereal with milk, croissant
cereal with milk, eggs and toast, blueberry muffin, croissant
blueberry muffin, cereal with milk, eggs and toast, croissant
cereal with milk, eggs and toast, croissant, blueberry muffin

Correct!
1. ¾ cup of whole grain cereal with 4oz of skim milk
2. 2 scrambled eggs with 1 slice of toast & 1 tsp of margarine
3. Croissant
4. Blueberry muffin

The bowl of cereal takes first prize because it offers the most nutritional value for the lowest amount of calories, plus calcium is necessary to help prevent osteoporosis. The eggs and toast comes in second because of the higher amounts of both fat and cholesterol. If you’re an egg person, however, then a quick way to bring down the fat and cholesterol is to combine 1 egg white with 1 full omega egg instead of 2 full, regular eggs. The worst choice? A floury, sugary blueberry muffin takes fourth place with more calories, fat and almost double the carbs of a buttery croissant. It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re trying to eat healthy, stay away from the pastries altogether. They’re simply empty calories.

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2. Which snack is the healthiest, from best to worst?
– 150g plain non-fat yogurt with 1tbsp of granola
– 150g regular fruit yogurt
– 1 package of Skittles
– 1 Dark Kit-Kat Single chocolate bar

Regular fruit yogurt, Dark Kit-Kat Single, non-fat yogurt with granola, Skittles
Non-fat yogurt with granola, regular fruit yogurt, Dark Kit-Kat Single, Skittles
Dark Kit-Kat Single, non-fat yogurt with granola, Skittles, regular fruit yogurt
Non-fat yogurt with granola, Dark Kit-Kat Single, regular fruit yogurt, Skittles

Correct!
1. 150g of plain non-fat yogurt with 15g of low-fat granola
2. 150g regular fruit yogurt
3. Dark Kit-Kat Single
4. Skittles

While the Kit-Kat is lowest in calories, the high amount of saturated fat and low protein keeps it from taking the top spot. Always try to eat a low-sugar, high-protein (10g is a good amount) snack in between regular meals. This keeps your sugar levels balanced, increases your metabolism and curbs your appetite so you’ll tend not to overeat during meals.

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3. Rank these everyday lunch choices from best to worst.
– 6″ turkey sub with low-fat mayo, 1 slice of cheese on whole wheat bread
– Tuna salad sandwich with low-fat mayo, tomato, lettuce and cucumber on dark rye bread
– 6 pieces of California roll with miso soup
– 4 oz. (about 6 pieces) tuna sashimi with ¼ cup of brown rice, and miso soup with tofu

Tuna sandwich, turkey sandwich, California roll with soup, tuna sashimi with rice and soup
Tuna sashimi with rice and soup, California roll with soup, turkey sandwich, tuna sandwich
Turkey sandwich, tuna sashimi with rice and soup, tuna sandwich, California roll with soup
Tuna sashimi with rice and soup, California roll with soup, tuna sandwich, turkey sandwich

Correct!
1. Tuna sashimi with ¼ cup of brown rice, and miso soup with tofu
2. 6 pieces of California roll with miso soup
3. Tuna salad sandwich with low fat mayo, tomato, lettuce and cucumber on dark rye bread
4. 6″ turkey sub with low-fat mayo, slice of cheddar cheese and whole wheat bread

The sushi is a healthier choice than both sandwiches because the turkey cold cuts are processed, which is high in sodium – twice the amount of the sushi! While the tuna sandwich is higher in fat overall, it’s lower in the dreaded saturated fat and is much lower in sodium than the turkey sandwich. The California roll may be lower in overall calories, but its high sodium level puts it in second place. Be wary of the high-sodium soy sauce sitting at your sushi table. Don’t use it! You’ll only take a healthy meal and make it worse.

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4. Keeping in mind the qualities that made the other meals healthy overall, see if you can figure this one out.
– 1 cup of whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and spicy pork sausage
– 3oz salmon fillet with one sweet potato and spinach salad with 2tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette dressing
– 1 cup whole wheat pasta with ¼ cup of creamy Alfredo sauce and turkey sausage
– 3oz lightly pan-fried haddock with cooked veggies and spinach salad with ¼ cup of chickpeas and 2 tbs of balsamic vinaigrette dressing

pasta with marinara and pork sausage, salmon, haddock, pasta with Alfredo and turkey sausage
salmon, haddock, pasta with Alfredo and turkey sausage, pasta with marinara and pork sausage
haddock, salmon, pasta with Alfredo and turkey sausage, pasta with marinara and pork sausage
pasta with Alfredo and turkey sausage, salmon, haddock, pasta with marinara and pork sausage

Correct!
1. 3oz salmon fillet with one sweet potato and spinach salad with 2tbs of balsamic vinaigrette dressing
2. 3oz lightly pan-fried haddock with cooked veggies and spinach salad with ¼ cup of chickpeas and 2 tbs of balsamic vinaigrette dressing
3. 1 cup whole wheat pasta with ¼ cup of creamy Alfredo sauce and turkey sausage
4. 1 cup of whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and spicy pork sausage

Even though the marinara sauce looks like it would be the better choice in the pasta battle, it adds almost double the sodium of the Alfredo sauce to your dinner. The oven-baked salmon beats the pan-fried haddock overall, even though it has slightly more fats. The lower sodium and carbs make salmon the wisest choice.

Note: At a restaurant you’re likely to get a double serving of dinner. Your best bet is to have them put half the meal away for you before they bring it to the table, that way you won’t be tempted to overeat.

Get the nutritional breakdown of each item

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