Quiz: Are You Eating Right? | Reader's Digest

Quiz: Are You Eating Right?

Part 5 of our 8-part series: Take this fun quiz, and learn the Secrets of Healthy Americans, based on our national poll. And be sure to download our free Secrets of Healthy Americans reports at the end of this quiz.

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    Humana and Reader’s Digest polled the nation to bring you the Secrets of Healthy Americans, and we’re sharing the highlights with you in this 8-part series. Answer the questions here. Then see how you compare to the nationwide sample who took the Humana Reader’s Digest Healthy Habits Survey 2012—and get easy-to-follow advice to help you live a healthier life.

    And, as an exclusive bonus, download all 8 free parts of our Secrets of Healthy Americans reports, including 200+ health tips on Fitness, Sleep, Germs, Protecting Yourself From Illness, Eating Right, Boosting Your Mood, Reducing Stress, and Sharpening Your Brain.

    Do you eat three meals a day?

    a) Yes
    b) No

    Here’s how you compare:

    Our Healthy Habits Survey shows that nearly two-thirds of all Americans (62 percent) eat only 2 meals a day. If you skip meals—especially breakfast, which 43 percent of adults do—you may reduce your immunity and then do more harm overeating later. Healthy Eaters have 3 balanced meals a day.

    Here’s an idea: People who skip breakfast often say they do it to save time. For a healthy breakfast in a hurry, try a fruit smoothie. Simply stir up a cup of strawberries and a banana in the blender, add a scoop of protein powder and a cup of crushed ice, and you’ve got a quick breakfast filled with healthful antioxidants. You also can toss in a cup of plain yogurt for an added bone-strengthening dose of calcium.

    If you’re not in the habit of eating breakfast, these 3 tips can help you do so:
    •    Set the table the night before. Put out cereal bowls or plates, utensils, napkins, and cups.
    •    Get the coffee maker ready before you go to sleep, or put the tea bags next to your cup.
    •    Set your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier. That’s all the time it takes to make a healthy breakfast.

    Do you eat 3 to 5 servings each of fruits and vegetables every day?

    a) Yes
    b) No

    Here's how you compare:

    More than 4 of 5 Americans (82 percent) eat only half the vegetables or fruit they should.

    Here’s an idea: It’s not hard to eat the 3 to 5 servings each of fruits and vegetables that health experts say you should. Make a fist. That’s a serving. Eat an orange in the morning to get off to a great start. Also, blend vegetables as sauces to get extra servings. For example, puree butternut squash with carrots and grated ginger as a topping for chicken or turkey. Or puree roasted red peppers with herbs and a bit of lemon juice, and drizzle it over fish.

    How many 8-ounce glasses of water do you drink every day?

    a) 5 to 8
    b) 3 to 4
    c) Less than 3

    Here’s how you compare:

    Our national survey shows that Americans aren’t drinking nearly enough water. Adults are averaging a little under four glasses a day instead of the 5 to 8 glasses experts say we all should have. If you don’t drink enough water, you risk becoming dehydrated, which can make you feel tired and lead to constipation. Over time, not drinking enough water can help to thicken your blood and raise your risk of clotting and heart attack.

    Here’s an idea: Have a glass of water first thing in the morning, and with each meal and snack. Also, carry a large bottle of water with you—and keep drinking from it throughout the day.

    How much soda do you drink?

    a) 5 to 8 cans a day
    b) 2 to 4 cans a day
    c) Less than 2 cans

    Here’s how you compare:

    A full 28 percent of Americans drink 2 to 8 cans of unhealthy, sugar-packed soda a day. Half of the people consuming that many sugary drinks are also 30 or more pounds overweight. And drinking soda and other sweetened beverages, including “energy” drinks, not only increases your risk of obesity, but also of deadly illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

    Here’s an idea: Plan your daily beverage intake. Water is your healthiest choice. Other drinks that are good for you include coffee, tea, milk, and natural unsweetened fruit juices. Spread those out through the day. And whatever you do, shun soda.

    How many snacks do you have in a typical day?

    a) Two or more
    b) One
    c) None

    Here’s how you compare:

    Half of Americans (51 percent) have two or more snacks during the day, 27 percent have one, and 22 percent have none.

    Here’s an idea: Nibbling can be healthy. Eating the right snacks during the day can stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, and provide relief from stress, tension, and boredom. But the snacks must be healthy. Avoid processed foods with unhealthy trans fats, and manufactured treats like commercial baked goods. They are packed with sugar and sodium. Choose healthy alternatives. Fruit is a terrific choice, particularly sweet and satisfying watermelon, peaches, and berries. Nuts also are a good choice. Pretzels or chips? You know the answer.

    How many times did you have fast food last week?

    a) 4 or more
    b) 2 or 3
    c) 1
    d) none

    Here’s how you compare:

    About 1 in 10 Americans (9 percent) said they had 4 or more fast-food meals last week. A quarter (25 percent) had 2 or 3, and 22 percent had 1. The good news: a full 44 percent avoided those calorie-packed, fat-loaded, sodium-filled meals completely.

    Here’s an idea: If your friends or co-workers insist on a fast-food restaurant, keep these tips in mind:
    •    Go for the salads, minus the fried toppings
    •    Skip the cheese on sandwiches and burgers
    •    Always say no to special sauces, which are invariably loaded with mayonnaise and overflowing with fat and calories
    •    Do not supersize—ever
    •    Ask for vegetable or fruit with every fast-food meal.
    •    Look for the words “grilled,” “baked,” and “broiled,” and choose those over fried items. And, yes, that includes French fries. Think of them as fat fries.

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    Your Comments

    • Guest

      What about zero calorie diet soda?  Complete ignoring diet soda, or including in with sugar soda isn’t helpful.

    • Guest

      What about zero calorie diet soda?  Complete ignoring diet soda, or including in with sugar soda isn’t helpful.