Test Your Nutrition I.Q.
To be your best, you need to nourish your body with healthy foods. When you're juggling everything on your busy calendar preparing for your wedding, it may be challenging to eat properly. However, it is well worth your time to learn the principles of good nutrition and make an effort to make smart food choices and to exercise portion control.
Resist the urge to crash diet during your wedding countdown. Good nutrition is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle, and you need enough energy to follow through with your wedding workouts. There's no “perfect” body — exercise and eat right to make the most of your assets. You want to look healthy on your wedding day, not stick thin!
Healthy eating is the foundation for feeling great, preventing diseases, and maintaining a strong body and a healthy weight. Evaluate your nutrition know-how by taking the following quiz.
Answers to the Nutrition Quiz
Two cups of fruit a day are recommended for a 2,000-calorie diet. Adjust your intake higher or lower depending on your daily calorie level.
Two and a half cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a 2,000-calorie diet.
The five vegetable subgroups include dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables. Try to select from each of the five subgroups several times a week.
Eat three or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day.
Eat three cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent foods that supply adequate daily dietary calcium.
Try to keep total fat consumption to between 20 to 35 percent of total calories. Emphasize healthy fats from sources like fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Health-enhancing fats come primarily from vegetable oils such as canola, olive, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oils. Fish oils from fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are also rich in healthy fats.
Avoid or limit excess consumption of saturated fats and trans fat. The harder the margarine or shortening, the more likely it is to contain more trans fat. Coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils contain more saturated fat than unsaturated fat.
Eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of minimally processed, whole foods and beverages that are rich in nutrients, but low in calories, and balance the amount of food eaten with the amount of activity and energy expended.
Eat a variety of foods from all the basic food groups. Limit consumption of saturated and trans fats and added sugars. Avoid processed and highly refined foods. Choose minimally processed, nutrient dense, whole foods in a variety of colors.
Source: Based on The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.
Researchers are currently developing standards for identifying which foods provide the highest nutritional value with the lowest calories. Colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans, whole grains, seafood, low or nonfat dairy foods, and lean meats are more nutrient dense than junk foods such as soft drinks and processed foods that are high calorie and nutrient poor. Among vegetables, spinach and broccoli are more nutrient dense than iceberg lettuce.