Level II. Diet Hacks

Since there are 50 known nutrients needed by the body that are available in your food, it might seem too difficult and complicated to obtain all that is required via your daily diet. Plus there are additional substances in food that may prevent disease. That's a lot to keep track of! So how can you even begin to make good food choices? How is it even possible to eat right?

Fortunately, it's not only possible to eat healthfully, the process can be streamlined. There are hacks.

However, since each of us has a unique genetic makeup, physiological and environmental history, as well as differing personal likes and dislikes, idiosyncrasies and issues, a diet plan that works well for one person may not work at all for you. Your Level Up Nutrition goal is to find what does work for you and your body—then do that. You want to eat right for you.

And you'll want to be able to go with the flow nutritionally. As you age or move around or change aspects of your lifestyle, you'll need to adjust your diet accordingly. A hack that works today may need to be replaced in the future with something better suited to who you become.

Level II explores some of the potential influences on a balanced diet that you might want to consider. These include the need to optimize body weight, the influence of lifestyle on body weight and diet, and illnesses that may require dietary interventions. If you are in need of assistance and individual instruction for any of these situations, you may want to contact your primary physician to ask for a referral. He or she can refer you to a qualified nutrition counselor who will help you modify your diet to meet your special needs.

In the meantime, level up with this overview to learn how you can make the best food choices for your nutrition and health.


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Your Diet Diary

Level I provided you with information on the nutrients essential to include in your daily diet. So you know that you need to obtain adequate protein, good carbs, good fats, vitamins and minerals, as well as enough water. In order to do all this, you now know that it's best to choose healthy protein foods while being sure to include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, plus whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. And you are aware of how important it is to drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids. So what else do you need to know?

You need to know yourself. Just because you have information about what's best to do does not mean you will do it! Most of us don't, at least not with diet and exercise.

Let's face it: the reality is you might need to make some lifestyle changes. Eating a well-balanced diet and being healthy requires that you pay attention to your everyday behaviors and habits. What things in your life influence what you are choosing to eat? Do you have other choices available, healthier options? What could you do in order to make better diet choices?

Factors that may be influencing your food intake can include:

Thanks to leveling up, you should have a general understanding now of basic nutrition. But the other factors listed above can overwhelm this knowledge to make healthful eating more difficult. It's up to you to take a close look at the impact of your lifestyle on what you put in your mouth every day. And what you put in your brain from social media, YouTube videos, television, and other sources of unreliable "facts" and "news."

So let's make some changes. How? By identifying what needs to be hacked and how you can do that.

First, you'll need to take a look at your normal eating habits. Do this by keeping a food diary for a few days or a week, longer if you prefer. On your phone or computer, or in a handy little notebook, write down everything you eat and drink during the day, and approximately how much. Note your food intake as soon as you finish meals and snacks so you don't forget to record anything. At the end of the day, read over your diet diary. Are you selecting good foods or are you just grabbing and going? Are you eating too much of some foods and avoiding others? Are you skipping meals, then bingeing at day's end?

There's more to uncover. Next, add a section to your food diary to record where you are at each meal or snack and why you are making the food choices you do. Continue to record these observations and thoughts along with your food intake for a few days—or longer if you wish. Then read over your food diary again. Is your lifestyle or your environment an obstacle to eating well? Are you eating only what is available to you and this is limiting your options? Are you eating when you're not hungry? Are you eating or drinking due to boredom or obligation, stress or other emotions? Do you eat to please someone, or to be part of a group? Do you eat or drink alone at certain times, hiding what you are doing from others?

An accurate food diary can help you pinpoint why you eat and drink what you do. This kind of insight can help you to make changes and improve your diet.

Weight Control

Government data in 2020 indicated that almost 40% of the world's population was overweight or obese. In the US, more than 70% were overweight or obese. These figures are shocking.

Why is body weight so hard to control? Although there are genetic influences, and many people fail to exercise enough, the main culprit is diet. We are fatter than previous generations due to the kind of food we are eating. Our industrialized food system can be blamed for the fact that the vast majority of Americans are overweight and unhealthy. So many of the food choices we have do not meet our nutritional needs while providing too much unhealthy carbs and fats, excesses that add up. The results are obvious: added poundage, and the ills that accompany overweight and obesity. These include diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, gallbladder disease, respiratory illness, and other significant health problems. People struggling with these issues face increased risks from covid-19 too.

Back in our ancestors' days, most Americans were not overweight. We were an agrarian society, working the land and eating the food we grew or raised ourselves. But when the food system became industrialized in the 1950s and the car culture exploded, we quickly became a fast food nation. Now when we're hungry we drive to the local grocery store or fast food restaurant, grab and go. The food we have to choose from is mass produced in centralized locations with the purpose of filling us up and satisfying the natural human taste for fat, salt, and sugar—not for the purpose of providing us with our essential nutrients. And this food is cheap—as long as you don't figure in your future healthcare costs. (Or the long-term cost to the environment caused by industrialized food and agriculture, which we will discuss in Levels III and IV).

The reality is this: it's not impossible to control your weight, but it's gets more difficult once you are overweight. And it becomes even more challenging as you age because the body's metabolism, the rate at which the body performs all its functions, slows down once you reach adulthood. So keeping in shape when you are young is a priority. If you do that, you'll have a much better chance of avoiding overweight and obesity as you age.

And what if you are overweight now? Are you doomed?

Of course not. But correcting the problem will take real lifestyle changes. You'll need to commit to making permanent changes in the way you move through your days.

Staying active is of primary importance. Exercise builds muscles and uses up food energy. And it makes your body more efficient at using the energy from food. Even if you are not overweight, it's important to include some form of physical exercise in your daily schedule. Regular exercise can keep you healthy emotionally and physically, and will prevent weight gain in the future.

Choose from the following activities; include one or more moderate or strenuous activities daily. Depending on your age and physical condition, you may opt for moderate exercise rather than the more strenuous choices. Just as long as you are getting 30-60 minutes of exercise daily. Try to get some fresh air and a bit of sun exposure too when you can as both help to improve mood and overall health.

You may want to record your physical activities in your diet diary for future study. You will be able to determine if you are balancing your energy output with your food intake. Are you getting enough exercise or are you skipping days?


photo by Max Berger on Unsplash

Daily Activities

Light exercise: housework, garage work, golf (with cart), sailing, gardening
Moderate exercise: dancing, casual walking, golf (no cart), Pilates, yoga
Strenuous exercise: swimming, rowing, fast walking, running, cycling, climbing, hiking, skiing, skating, tennis, ball games, aerobics, zumba, gym workouts

*Note that the level of energy output is determined by intensity over time, so the more intense the workout, and the longer the exercise session, the more energy will be used.

Remember, if you stick to a diet of healthy protein foods, fresh produce, olive oil, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, you will be able to provide your body with the nutrients you need. If you eat these kinds of foods in reasonable quantities, you will eat well, feel full, and lose the excess weight one gains on an industrialized fast food diet. Don't eat huge portions of anything, but there's no need to weigh and measure. Aim for healthful and moderate, enough good food to feel satiated and energetic after meals.

You can keep using a food diary to track both your intake and output by recording each day's food and exercise. Where might you need to make changes? What's getting in your way?

If you are overweight and nothing seems to help, you can always opt to discuss your issues with a nutrition counselor. Your primary physician should be able to recommend local or telemedicine professionals for you to consult.

Coming up: ideas for meals and snacks that can help you level up your nutrition while cutting out the ultra-processed foods that make you unhealthy and unhappy—and overweight.

Body Sense

Before you take a look at meal and snack suggestions, you may want to review your food diary to see what is influencing what you eat and how (or if) you exercise. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I unwilling to eat foods that are not familiar?
  2. Do I feel deprived if I don't have meat at every meal?
  3. Do I feel deprived if I don't have dessert at least once a day?
  4. Do I frequent fast or fast casual restaurants?
  5. Do I eat on the go?
  6. Do I eat when I'm not hungry?
  7. Do I eat whatever I'm served?
  8. Do I try out every new diet or supplement I see on the internet?
  9. Do I read each new diet or health book that is popular, looking for a miracle plan?
  10. Am I unwilling to exercise even though I know how important it is for weight control and my overall health?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to ask yourself if this could be changed. Are you willing—and able—to adopt a new behavior in order to be healthier? Sometimes new food and exercise choices are not available. If it's not your fault but due to your situation, you might want to ask yourself if the situation could be changed. If so, how?

If you answered yes to several or even many of these questions, you may have forgotten how to listen to your body. This might be due to external factors like the cost of food, accessibility of fresh food, work and school demands, family demands, or emotional needs. Whatever the cause(s), you can still reconnect with your body. This is body sense.

Fortunately, achieving body sense is not difficult. It entails paying attention to your physical needs more than the emotional signals. Body sense means selecting food based on what you know about nutrition, rather than what happened today at work or how tired you are or what advertisement you just saw on your phone. Body sense means going out for that walk or run even if you're not in the mood, or it entails heading to the gym after work or school. It means making health a positive choice rather than a chore to avoid. It means being sensible about your body, prioritizing good sense over emotional cues or unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Change is always hard. Making changes in your lifelong habits may seem like a lot to ask of yourself. But you will be pleased to discover how good some simple changes in your life can make you feel. If you don't know how to change your habits or think you may need help, you can always opt to discuss your issues with a wellness counselor. Your primary physician can refer you to local or telemedicine wellness programs or professionals who can help you deal with behavioral change.

Note that there are other lifestyle habits that are health risks. One is smoking or vaping. Another is binge drinking. Once you are eating well and exercising regularly, the desire to indulge in bad habits may fade. Feeling good can be addictive!

Be aware that some people become obsessional about diet and exercise. You'll want to avoid the trap of feeling compulsive or guilty about every morsel of food you put in your mouth and every minute of rigorous exercise you do or don't do. Diet and exercise should be a normal part of your day, not a full-time occupation. If you find yourself becoming overly preoccupied with your body weight and shape, you may need to take a step back. The key to good health is moderation, including with those things that are good for us.

Note that there is no one weight loss diet that works for everyone as we are all different with different bodies, needs, and lifestyles. Yet, there's a trash pile of fad diets from the past which gets picked through and rebranded on a regular basis, with new books by non-experts coming out every week. Anyone can peddle a diet—and anyone does. Fad diets achieve popularity because almost any kind of weight loss program will work for a short while. But no single diet works for everyone, not in the long run.

What we are advocating here is based on long range studies of large populations. Such studies support a mostly plant-based diet of minimally processed, whole foods with an abundance of vegetables and fruits, vegetable oils as the primary fat source, and limited or no red meat or ultra-processed foods.

Other Food Factors

In addition to the effects on body weight, your diet plays an important role in most other aspects of your health. A healthy diet can mean a healthy life. But with some diseases and disorders, special diets may be prescribed. Some common examples of health issues that require special diets include diabetes, heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, fatty liver, kidney disease, food allergy or sensitivities. In these instances, consultation with a professional nutrition counselor may be prescribed by your physician.

For most people, a well-balanced diet can improve and maintain health. A healthy diet normally does not need to be supplemented with pills and powders. However, in certain instances nutrient supplementation is required. For example, supplements are important during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and with anemia and certain other disorders. In such cases, your physician or nutrition counselor will prescribe what is needed. Be very wary of self-prescribing supplements "just in case" or in order to "feel better." In excess, nutrition supplements act like medications and some can be toxic.

It is important to keep this in mind: the actions of nutrients in the body occur in tandem. That is, nutrients are complex molecules found in foods, and foods are made up of a mixture of chemicals, many of which are still unidentified by nutrition science. Some food factors have been studied and their healthful properties are known, but there are many more waiting to be researched. Plants contain vast stores of phytochemicals that contribute to good health, while countless other compounds have not yet been discovered and evaluated.

What does this mean for you? It means you are obtaining important substances for good health through your diet, substances that have yet to be identified or understood. If you consume a diet of fresh foods, you are obtaining lots of such substances. But these substances are largely processed out of foods by the food industry. Which is another reason to choose a variety of fresh, whole foods.

Nonessential nutrition-related substances that have been identified include certain amino acids, antioxidants and phytochemicals, and microflora. There are others, but we will focus on just these for now.

Some of the 22 known amino acids can be produced by the body. However, there is some concern that these "inessential" amino acids are not produced in adequate amounts in the body without good food sources. If this is the case, then more of the amino acids we require for proper nutrition should be obtained through proper diet. This makes choosing healthy protein foods even more important.

Antioxidants and phytochemicals are typically found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. There are hundreds of them. Some of these micro-substances have been studied as to how they improve cellular integrity, repairing damaged cells and DNA. An adequate intake is believed to reduce the cell-damaging processes that contribute to chronic diseases and aging. Too much, however, is not healthy and may contribute to disease.

Antioxidants and phytochemicals all work together and thus seem to work best in the body when consumed as food, not supplements. Studies with antioxidant or phytochemical supplementation have been disappointing. However, some studies have indicated that diets rich in carotenoids may prevent certain eye diseases like cataracts, and possibly help with memory. More research is needed and is ongoing.

The importance of inessential compounds in the diet underscores how wise it is for you to include a variety of fresh produce in your daily menus. The lists below illustrate the best food sources for some of them.

Carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene): tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, asparagus, beets, kale, turnip greens, spinach, winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potato; apricots, mango, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, watermelon, cantaloupe

Phytoestrogens—
isoflavones: soy, legumes
lignans: sesame and flax (seeds and oils), whole grains, fruits and vegetables

Phenols—
quercetin: apples, red wine, onions
catechins: tea, cocoa, berries
resveratrol: wine, grapes, peanuts, berries
coumaric acid: spices, berries
anthocyanins: blueberries, strawberries

Vitamins E and C exert antioxidant activity, as do the minerals selenium, zinc, and manganese. Foods rich in these nutrients are also high in antioxidants. See Level I for the best sources of these essential vitamins and minerals.

The other dietary factor important to your health is an intake of foods that contribute to a healthy balance of gut microflora. By microflora we mean the microbes normally found in our environment, notably in food, water, and inside the human intestine. The gut maintains a balance of the good microbes helpful in digestive processes with other microbes that are present in the body as well as those that arrive via contaminated food and water.

The hack for healthy gut microflora is keeping the good microbes dominant so they can keep the rest in check.

When your body is in balance, microbes (and these include bacteria, viruses, and fungi) coexist without causing health issues. However, if the body's balance is upended by infection, improper diet, or overuse of antibiotics or other medications, undesirable microbes can dominate, making you ill. And the imbalance can make you more susceptible to disease.

The good gut microflora stimulate your immune system and help to synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids. Vitamin B12, for example, is synthesized by gut microbes. In the gut, microbes help to break down complex carbohydrates using fermentation. They also keep you safe from contaminated food and water.

Your diet plays an important role in what kinds of microflora live in your gut. (Also influential are other lifestyle factors such as sleep habits, stress levels, and living environment.) Diet hacks include eating both prebiotic foods and probiotic foods.

Indigestible fibers work to feed the good gut microflora, maintaining a healthful population. The following list includes the best food sources of these prebiotics.

Prebiotic Food Sources

Probiotic foods actually contain live bacteria that can survive digestion to improve the balance of microflora in your gut. The following list provides the best food sources of probiotics. Note that these are fermented foods, as it is the fermentation process that allows the healthy bacteria to flourish.

Probiotic Food Sources

Supplements of prebiotics and/or probiotics may prove helpful after the use of antibiotics or other microflora-destroying medications. And with certain illnesses and diseases, supplementation may be prescribed by a physician or nutrition counselor. But in general, food sources are best as they offer nutrients in addition to the inessential substances in healthful quantities.


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Level Up Your Meals

Here's some useful advice: avoid following any diet plan that tells you what to eat and when to eat it. This is not the best approach to healthy eating, and adherence to such plans never lasts long. Most fad diets prescribe exact foods in exact amounts to be eaten by everyone at the same times of day. This never works, not for the long-term. Why? Because people are individuals with different likes and dislikes, needs and behaviors. Our lifestyles vary, as do our personalities and tastes. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa.

However, if you want to adopt and adhere to a healthy meal plan for life, you can design one yourself. To create a plan that works for you, make lists of the fresh, whole foods you plan to include regularly. Then create your menus from those.

To help you in this regard, and to encourage you to make sure your food choices are good and varied, here are lists of whole fresh foods to consider including in your menu plans. Health-conscious cookbooks are provided at the end of the Level Up Your Nutrition program to assist you in creating nutritious meals and snacks.

Fresh Fruits

Buy your fruits from organic farms, small local farms, farmers markets, or other sources of whole fresh foods. Fresh, in season fruits are best, but frozen fruits and dried fruits are also rich in nutrients.

In addition to your usual choices like apples, bananas, oranges, and grapefruit, try out some of the following fruits. If you like them, you can include them regularly.

acai berries, elderberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, bilberries, huckleberries, loganberries, cranberries, mulberries, gooseberries, goji berries, black cherries, red cherries, choke cherimoya, apricots, dates, raisins, figs, damson plums, beach plums, dragon fruit, durians, blood oranges, tangerines, lemons, nectarines, tangelo, guanabana, guava, jackfruit, juniper berries, kiwi, kumquats, loquats, lychees, mandarins, mangosteen, tamarinds, may apples, alligator apples, rose apples, star apples, grapes, muscadines, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums, pomegranate, star fruit, musk melons, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon

Fresh Vegetables

Buy vegetables fresh from organic farms, small local farms, farmers markets, or other sources of whole fresh foods. Freshly picked, in season veggies are best, but frozen and home-canned are also rich in nutrients.

In addition to your usual iceberg lettuce, corn on the cob, cucumbers, and tomatoes, try out some of the following vegetables. You may find new favorites to add to your menus.

artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (Savoy, kohlrabi, red, white), cauliflower, celery, eggplant, fennel, fiddleheads, greens (bok choy, chard, collards, kale, mustard greens), lettuce (arugula, Bibb, romaine, little gem, m√Ęche), endive, radicchio, mushrooms, okra, onions (chives, leeks, garlic, shallots, scallions), bell peppers, chili peppers, rhubarb, carrots, beets, water chestnuts, ginger, parsnip, rutabaga, radishes, daikon, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, salsify, squash (acorn, butternut, Hubbard, spaghetti, zucchini, summer), spinach, watercress


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Whole Grains

Buy whole grain cereals and freshly baked whole grain products at local bakeries and farmers markets or food co-ops. Read labels carefully and avoid the ultra-processed, industrial, fast food items like boxed cereals, frozen pizzas, microwavable sandwiches, commercial white breads, buns, and rolls. Select instead from the list below of nutritious whole grains.

Note that some of these grains may be unfamiliar to you. Each can offer a unique taste and all are worth searching out to experiment with in your diet.

amaranth, barley, brown rice, wild rice, bulgur, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain cornmeal, kamut, millet, quinoa, rye, oats, sorghum, spelt, taff, triticale

Healthy Protein Foods

In Level I, you were able to compare the fat content for a variety of protein foods. The two lists that follow include the foods which can serve as the best choices for meeting your protein needs.

Animal Protein Foods: fish, chicken, turkey, clams, oysters, shrimp, lobster, crab, eggs, skim milk, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheeses, goat's milk cheeses, low-fat cottage cheese, kefir

*Legumes (best if purchased fresh or dried): azuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, chickpeas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, peanuts, pinto beans, split peas, soybeans, edamame, green beans, runner beans, green peas, mung beans, bean sprouts

*Note: Be sure to combine legumes with grains or animal foods for proper amino acid balance.

These days, you can find a variety of plant-based and lab-designed meat substitutes in restaurants and on grocery shelves. These products are heavily processed so they do have certain negative aspects. But the overall positive effect on farm animals, human health, and the environment makes these new foods worth investigating. This topic will be explored in Level III.

Healthy Fats

Do remember to add good fats to your daily menus. The essential fat components you need for good health are found in foods high in unsaturated fat and the rich sources of omega fatty acids.

The best food sources of monounsaturated fat are: olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, most nuts.

The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are: fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flax seeds, walnuts.

The best food sources of omega-6 fatty acids are: safflower oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, corn oil.

Note that the fats in your diet should be unhydrogenated. The industrial process of hydrogenation saturates the fats into trans fats, which as you know are very unhealthy to consume. Hydrogenated/trans fats are found in a variety of ultra-processed foods.

Level Up Your Snacks

Many of the healthy food choices listed above can also make great snacks. Mini-meals consisting of healthy protein foods, whole grain crackers or bread, and healthy oils can easily replace a full meal. Fresh fruit or raw veggies between meals can stave off hunger while supplying nutrients and energy.

Also excellent for snacking are nuts and seeds. Here's a list of these healthy protein, healthy fat options that can be added to recipes or eaten by the handful. Purchase them raw or roasted without additives. Salt them if you like, but go easy. Most people get plenty of salt and do not need to add more.

Nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, black walnuts, English walnuts, Japanese walnuts, candlenuts, boru nuts, jack nuts, bread nuts, ginkgo nuts, paradise nuts, monkey-puzzle nuts, acorns, beechnuts, mongongo, pili, shea nuts

Seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, jackfruit seeds, lotus seeds, mustard seeds, pomegranate seeds

Sometimes you need a quick snack and the vending machine calls to you. Or you skip breakfast, then drive past the donut shop and smell that sweet, greasy aroma. That's why it's important to plan ahead. Here is a list of fresh, healthful snack suggestions. Make you own list, then have the ingredients on hand for when you need something fast—but healthy.

Note: Sprinkle salt very lightly. And if you are on a low sodium/restricted salt diet, you will want to avoid adding salt to these snacks.

Level II Summary

The takeaways from Level II are simple but important. Although the information provided has not been as complex as that given in Level I, leveling up your nutrition in Level II requires you to work hard. It asks that you take an honest look at yourself and your current lifestyle. Are you doing what you can to be healthy? Are there changes you can make to improve your physical shape and overall well-being?

The first takeaway is this: be aware of what you eat and why. Also, ask yourself if you are avoiding exercise and why that might be. A diary in which you record your daily food intake and exercise along with any associated thoughts and feelings can be helpful in this regard. If you need to lose weight, a food and exercise diary can guide you in the desired direction. Working with your doctor or a professional nutrition counselor can also prove helpful—and may be essential if you have a diet- or weight-associated illness or disease.

The other takeaway from Level II is how important it is to eat a varied diet. Reaching for the same old foods day after day is not only dull, it's unhealthy. There are many important nutrients and other food factors in fresh, whole foods that can contribute to good health. And that may improve mood with the addition of tasty, fun meals. So be sure to try some unfamiliar fruits, veggies, and whole grains. You could choose to test out healthy snack recipes, or even decide to explore vegan food or new-to-you ethnic cuisines. Why not be smart, eat smart, and spice up your life at the same time?

Do note that the food industry spends billions of dollars advertising their ultra-processed foods. You have to make smart food choices in the face of this onslaught of alluring and tempting offers. A challenge, for sure.

Next up: your Level II test. Before you take the test, you might want to read over Level II again and study the information carefully.

Sign up to begin test

All of the following questions are multiple choice. Select the best answer for each question by clicking on it.

1. Which is the best diet plan for everyone to follow:
a) vegan diet
b) high-protein diet
c) plant foods only diet
d) no-fat diet
e) no one diet plan fits everyone's needs

2. What might you need to take into consideration to create a successful diet and exercise program:
a) your body weight
b) your personal likes and dislikes
c) your work life
d) your home life
e) your age
f) your exercise habits
g) all of the above

3. Which lifestyle factor significantly influences food choices:
a) height
b) economic status
c) access to fresh food
d) social media
e) religious holidays
f) time for meal preparation
g) all of the above
h) all of the above except a

4. Maintaining a food diary can help you to:
a) track every calorie consumed
b) guilt trip yourself into avoiding snacks
c) analyze your eating habits
d) reduce your need for activity
e) all of the above

5. What percentage (approximately) of the world population was overweight or obese in 2020:
a) 10
b) 25
c) 40
d) 70
e) 90

6. What percent (approximately) of the US population was overweight or obese in 2020:
a) 10
b) 25
c) 40
d) 70
e) 90

7. What has had the greatest impact on population weight gain:
a) the industrialized food system
b) genetics
c) geography
d) race
e) all of the above

8. Which disease is caused and/or exacerbated by improper diet:
a) heart disease
b) diabetes
c) gallstones
d) respiratory diseases
e) all of the above

9. Exercise helps to control body weight by:
a) increasing metabolism
b) using food energy
c) increasing thirst
d) increasing energy efficiency
e) all of the above
f) all of the above except c

10. A good choice for getting strenuous exercise is:
a) tending a flower garden
b) floating in a swimming pool
c) playing golf using a golf cart
d) swimming laps in an Olympic size pool
e) all of the above

11. A good choice for getting moderate exercise is:
a) cooking
b) watching television
c) walking several miles
d) swimming several miles
e) all of the above

12. Body sense includes the following:
a) knowing when you are hungry
b) knowing when you are full
c) making food choices based on nutrition knowledge
d) sticking to an exercise program
e) all of the above

13. How many different antioxidants are found in fresh foods:
a) less than 10
b) less than 100
c) 100
d) hundreds
e) unknown

14. Foods high in phytochemicals include:
a) stir-fry vegetables
b) fried chicken with gravy
c) low-fat milk and yogurt
d) poached eggs
e) none of the above
f) all of the above

15. A good way to increase your antioxidant intake would be:
a) drink red wine
b) eat fresh fruits
c) eat fresh vegetables
d) drink green tea
e) choose foods high in vitamin C
f) all of the above

16. What can cause an imbalance in gut microflora?
a) improper diet
b) food poisoning
c) prolonged use of antibiotics
d) too much ultra-processed food
e) all of the above

17. A good source of prebiotics is:
a) yogurt
b) hummus
c) nori
d) b and c
e) all of the above

18. A good source of probiotics:
a) yogurt
b) sauerkraut
c) kefir
d) all of the above
e) none of the above

19. Which of the following is the best choice for a nutritious snack:
a) homemade olive tapenade on whole-grain crackers
b) saltine crackers and cheese
c) microwavable sandwich
d) movie theater popcorn
e) beer and peanuts

20. Which of the following offers the best choice of dietary fat:
a) chicken fat
b) extra virgin olive oil
c) hamburger
d) palm oil
e) red wine

Submit Test


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