Nutrition-wise blog

Rate your plate

By Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. March 23, 2016

On the road to wellness, consider a pause to evaluate your progress. This can be a good exercise in maintaining your motivation and awareness of healthy choices, or a chance to hit the reset button and strive to eat better.

Answer the following questions to see how you're doing with your nutrition. Then tally your score. A summary and suggestions for improving are provided below.

Do you read food labels or think about the nutritional quality of the foods you choose to eat?

  1. Seldom or never.
  2. Sometimes.
  3. Most of the time or always.

How many cups of fruits and vegetables do you eat a day on most days of the week? (One small apple, about the size of a tennis ball, equals 1 cup.)

  1. Zero to 1 cup.
  2. Two to 4 cups.
  3. Four or more cups.

How many servings of whole grains do you eat a day on most days of the week? (A half cup of prepared grain equals 1 serving.)

  1. Zero.
  2. One to two servings.
  3. Three or more servings.

How often do you eat red meat (beef, pork or lamb) or processed meats (deli meats, ham, bacon or sausage)?

  1. Every day.
  2. Three to six times a week.
  3. Zero to two times a week.

Do eat fish (fresh, frozen or canned)?

  1. Seldom or never.
  2. One to two times a month.
  3. One to two times a week.

How often do you eat a meatless meal that includes beans, lentils, or soy products?

  1. Seldom or never.
  2. One to two times a month.
  3. One or more times a week.

How often do you eat fried foods (fries, chips or fried chicken)?

  1. More than 2 times a week.
  2. One to two times a month.
  3. Seldom or never.

If you snack, what do you choose most often?

  1. Chips, cookies, candy, soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages.
  2. Crackers, cheese, baked chips, pretzels, diet soda or other sugar-free beverages.
  3. Fruits, vegetables, water or low-fat milk.

What beverages do you drink most often?

  1. Sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, sweet tea, juice drinks, sports and energy drinks or sweetened coffee).
  2. Juice, low-calorie or other diet drinks (soda, sports and energy drinks, fruit-flavored drinks).
  3. Water, low-fat milk, calorie-free sparkling water or unsweetened tea or coffee.

How often do you eat at restaurants, or get fast food or take-out food?

  1. Three or more times a week.
  2. Two times a week.
  3. Zero to one time a week.

How often do you eat a small portion (such as a small handful) of nuts and or seeds?

  1. Seldom or never.
  2. One to three times a month.
  3. Two or more days a week.

Do you use oils in cooking or to flavor foods more often than you use butter, margarine or lard?

  1. I more often use butter, margarine or lard than oil.
  2. I use butter, margarine or lard about as often as I use oil.
  3. I more often use oil.

Scoring

36-30 points: Congratulations! You are eating well. Continue choosing nutritious foods while limiting added sugars, salt and solid fats.

29-18 points: Good for you! You are making good choices. A few changes in the types of foods and beverages you choose can boost the quality of your diet.

17-12 points: You're making some good choices. Take a look at your food and beverages choices, and pick one or two healthy changes to improve the quality of your diet. For example, add more vegetables to your diet or work on limiting added sugars, salt or solid fats.

It's not necessary to have perfect score to be healthy. Strive to make good choices with your food and beverages at most meals on most days and you'll shifts the points in your favor.

4 Comments Posted

March 23, 2016