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Do You Eat Smart?

Take a closer look at yourself--your current food decisions and your lifestyle.

March 02, 1998

Think about your typical eating pattern and food decisions.

Do you . . .

1. Consider nutrition when you make food choices?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

2. Try to eat regular meals (including breakfast) rather than skip or skimp on some?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

3. Choose nutritious snacks?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

4. Try to eat a variety of foods?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

5. Include new-to-you foods in meals and snacks?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

6. Try to balance your energy (calorie) intake with your physical activity?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

*

Now for the details. Do you . . .

7. Eat at least six servings* of grain products daily?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

8. Eat at least three servings* of vegetables daily?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

9. Eat at least two servings* of fruits daily?

10. Consume at least two servings* of milk, yogurt or cheese daily?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

11. Go easy on higher-fat foods?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

12. Go easy on sweets?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

13. Drink eight or more cups of fluids daily?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

14. Limit alcoholic beverages (no more than one daily for a woman or two for a man)?

Usually

Sometimes

Never

*

Sample serving sizes

Bread, cereals, rice and pasta group--six to 11 servings daily:

1 slice (1 ounce) enriched or whole-grain bread

1/2 hamburger roll, bagel, English muffin, or pita

1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta

1 ounce (1 cup) ready-to-eat cereal

*

Milk, yogurt and cheese group--two to three servings daily:

1 cup milk, buttermilk, or yogurt

1 1/2 ounces natural cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss)

1 cup frozen yogurt

*

Vegetable group--three to five servings daily:

1/2 cup chopped raw, non-leafy vegetables

1/2 cup cooked vegetables

1 small baked potato (3 ounces)

3/4 cup vegetable juice

*

Meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts group--two to three servings daily:

2 to 3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish

1/2 cup cooked legumes (equals 1 ounce meat)

1 egg (equals 1 ounce meat)

*

Fruit group--two to four servings daily:

1 medium fruit (apple, orange, banana, peach)

3/4 cup fruit juice

1/2 cup canned, frozen or cooked fruit

*

Fats, oils and sweets--use sparingly:

sugars

salad dressings

oils

cream

butter

soft drinks

*Serving sizes vary depending on the food and food group.

Score Yourself

(Answers to the quiz that appears on S1)

Usually = 2 points

Sometimes = 1 point

Never = 0 points

If you scored ...

*

24 or more points

Healthful eating seems to be your fitness habit already. Still, look for ways to stick to a healthful eating plan--and to make a "good thing" even better.

*

16 to 23 points

You're on track. A few easy changes could help you make your overall eating plan healthier.

*

9 to 15 points

Sometimes you eat smart--but not often enough to be your "fitness best."

What might be your first steps to healthier eating?

*

O to 8 points

For your good health, you're wise to rethink your overall eating style.

Take it gradually--step by step!

Whatever your score, make moves for healthful eating.

Gradually turn your "nevers" into "sometimes" and your "sometimes" into "usuallys."

Adapted from "The American Dietetic Assn.'s Monthly Nutrition Companion: 31 Days to a Healthier Lifestyle," (Chronimed Publishing, 1997).

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