You have to be an expert of sorts to walk through the grocery store nowadays, let alone the intense scrutiny that browsing the web or listening to the news necessitates. Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.
Q: True or False: A “whole grain” roll might contain only one teaspoon of whole grain flour.
A: True – a “whole grain” roll, or any other food, might only contain one teaspoon of whole grain flour. You want to look from products that are “100% whole wheat (or another grain)”
Q: True or False: By law, a “green juice” or “green smoothie” must contain a green vegetable, such as chard, kale, or spinach.
A: False – these juices and smoothies often contain no vegetables and are predominantly nutrient-deficient apple or white grape juice with supplements added to the mix.
Q: True or False: A food labeled as “heart healthy” must be proven to likely prevent the development of heart disease.
A: False – A claim such as this, which doesn’t name any specific disease, requires no evidence. If the label read “prevents heart disease’, there would need to be some evidence to back it up.
Q: True or False: A food that increases or boosts “energy” must contain one of a few select nutrients, including vitamin B12 or vitamin D.
A: False – “Energy” is a more enticing way of saying “calories.” All foods contain calories and therefore provide energy.
Q: True or False: The American Heart Association’s checkmark may only appear on foods that are low in both saturated fat and added sugar, and high in dietary fiber.
A: False – Any food that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol may bear the checkmark. This means that almost anything that isn’t made from an animal or prepared with animal fat, coconut oil, or palm oil may carry the symbol.
Q: True or False: A “natural” meat or poultry is one that contains no artificial ingredients and is only minimally processed.
A: True – Meat and poultry are the only foods that have a specific definition for what “natural” means.
Q: True or False – 10% of people have celiac disease, and another 20% are gluten-sensitive.
A: False – It is estimated that one percent of people have celiac disease and another six percent are gluten-sensitive. However, the number of celiac disease diagnoses have increased four-fold in the past fifty years.
Q: True or False: The resveratrol in a glass or two of red wine a day is good for your heart.
A: False – There is no convincing evidence that resveratrol has a heart-protecting effect in humans in the amount that you would get from drinking a glass or two of red wine. The relaxing effect of any alcohol, in moderation, MIGHT be good for your ticker – the jury is still out.
Q: True or False: Agave syrup contains less fructose than other added sugars, so is a healthier substitute for things like high fructose corn syrup, honey, or table sugar.
A: False – Agave syrup is 88% fructose, much higher than high-fructose corn syrup, honey, table sugar, molasses, brown sugar, or maple syrup.
Q. True or False: True or False: You crave foods that contain the nutrients that you are deficient in.
A. People who have pica crave clay, cement, and ice cubes when they are deficient in iron. People who need more sodium will want salty foods. Other than these two outliers, food cravings are emotionally based.