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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Test your nutrition IQ

Long gone is the era of four food groups and three square meals. It seems that every day brings a new revelation about which foods belong in a healthy diet. Eat this. Avoid that. If you feel a little overwhelmed, you're not alone.


Food fads come and go, but nutrition common sense can last a long, long lifetime.

How savvy are you about healthy eating? Take Cooking Light's quiz to test your food smarts, and learn the basics of good nutrition along the way.

Fat facts

1. Match the following food groups to the type of fat they contain the most of:

• Butter, cheese, ground beef

• Avocados, nuts, olive oil

• Fish, flaxseed, soybean oil

• Margarine, shortening, commercial baked goods

• Monounsaturated fat

• Polyunsaturated fat

• Saturated fat

• Trans fat


Butter, cheese, ground beef = saturated. Saturated fat mostly comes from animal products, although some plant foods like coconut, cacao (cocoa), and palm oil contain it, too. It elevates levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which increases heart disease risk.

• Avocados, nuts, olive oil = monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fat helps lower LDL and raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol.

• Fish, flaxseed, soybean oil = polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated fat also lowers LDL.

• Margarine, shortening, commercial baked goods = trans. There are two types of trans fat. One type of natural trans fat, found in animal products, has been shown to have beneficial effects on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and immune response. Artificially manufactured trans fat used to keep margarine solid and extend the shelf life of many commercial baked goods -- elevates heart-disease risk by raising LDL and lowering HDL. The skinny on fats

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