Nutrition: Do you know the basics?
When I first started my weight-loss transformation four years ago, I didn’t know that fruit was a carbohydrate. It’s true. I was surprised when I learned this in a nutrition lecture during weight-loss boot camp and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it here.
We took a field trip to the grocery store and learned about the marketing tricks on food labels and how to look more closely at the macro-nutrient counts (carbohydrates, fats, protein). I now read labels on everything, looking for hidden sugars and processed “stuff” that can slow metabolism, cause spikes in blood sugar or be just plain unhealthy.
What we eat, not just how much, does matter.
This was a key takeaway for me in the weight-loss boot camp and it’s why I don’t subscribe alone to the “calories in, calories out” method of weight loss. And with all of the jargon on food labels today — terms like vegan, all natural, fat free, low fat, organic — it’s tough to know what’s really healthy unless we analyze those labels and/or get smart about our nutrition facts.
Contrary to what I believed before weight-loss boot camp, our bodies need carbohydrates. We just need to know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs so we can reap the benefits of fibrous carbs that get absorbed slowly into our systems, avoiding spikes in blood sugar. Things like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. And we need to know that we can minimize health risks associated with bad carbs and lose weight by eating no/fewer refined and processed carbohydrates that strip away beneficial fiber. Things like white bread and white rice.
So how well do YOU know your nutrition facts? Do you know how to see through some of the jargon on our food labels – like the label “all natural?” It can be tricky.
I just took this cool nutrition quiz on Huffington Post and wanted to share it here. It only takes a few minutes to test your nutrition knowledge and it’s fun. I am proud to report that I got 8 out of 10 right! Four years ago, I would have flunked, for sure. Today, I’m much smarter about what I put in my body, how much, and when. Another small part of my transformation success.
Test your knowledge here and let me know how you do, and what surprises you most?