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Quiz: Are You a Healthy or a Joyful Cook?

By: Leigh Sexton - Updated: 29 May 2010 | comments*Discuss
Healthy Cook Happy Nutritional Joyful

We’ve all been bombarded with health and nutrition messages in the last decade and for many people, that’s turned cooking from a pleasure to a chore.

This simple quiz explores the balancing act between health and pleasure in cooking.

Take a look through and mark the statements that apply to you. When you've finished, tot up your scores and check out your coking style.

A. When preparing a meal for the family...

how important is it to ensure that it contains five fruit and vegetables and other key nutritional items?
  1. Absolutely essential. If a meal doesn’t balance all the nutritional requirements for a healthy diet, such as vitamins and fibre, you’ve let yourself down
  2. Who cares? People need to look forward to their meals and if you served up rabbit food and muesli all the time, they will get fed up
  3. Somewhat important. As long as a diet is balanced over a day or a week, you can afford to let a few meals be pure indulgence.

B. When cooking a recipe...

Knowing the fat, sugar and calories is essential
  1. Vital, because this allows you to make sure you don’t exceed calorie levels for the day
  2. You never look, because the taste and appearance of the dish is all that matters
  3. It can be useful but usually it’s possible to estimate these factors and a balanced diet has to contain some fat and sugar, just not to excess.

C. Puddings and cakes are an essential part of a meal...

and you should always have something on the table or in the cake tin to please a sweet tooth
  1. Yes, a nice pudding or a lovely slice of cake puts everybody in a good mood and helps them feel they’ve been well fed.
  2. Desserts, unless they are fresh fruit, as a treat that should be reserved for special occasions because they are unhealthy
  3. It’s easy to make a healthy sweet, such as fresh fruit and thick yoghurt, or a crumble with oats and nuts, which are satisfying and nutritionally sound.

D. To cook properly you have to understand nutrition...

and read the labels on all food packets to make sure food is good for you
  1. Yes, everybody needs to check labels to make sure they don’t eat unhealthy food without realising it, and cooking at home is just the same, you need to regulate what you put into your body
  2. No, people cooked for hundreds of years without worrying about all the fiddly details of what goes into a meal or a food packet
  3. Yes and no, knowing what is in processed food is important to eating well, and understanding the nature of the ingredients you use at home is also a good way of making sure your diet is both tasty and healthy.

E. Most people cook badly...

and should be given lessons in nutrition
  1. Totally agree – the British diet is generally very bad and people could benefit from learning more about nutrition and exploring different cuisines that are healthier such as the Mediterranean diet
  2. Totally disagree - British cooking has a bad press but the current crop of celebrity chefs show that we can cook with the best of the rest of the world – we don’t need lessons in anything!
  3. People cook well or badly depending on their knowledge, but everybody could cook better if they had the confidence to experiment. Understanding ingredients is a great skill but not everybody gets on with formal training. People should just try out new dishes, starting with simple things like salads which are healthy and easy too.

How Did you Score?

Mostly 1 – You are a healthy cook – you understands nutrition but may not be enjoying cooking as much as you could. As long as most meals are nutritional and healthy, you can relax and let yourself splurge on something reckless from time to time.

Mostly 2 – You are a joyful cook – you obviously love to cook, and to eat, but you may not be considering the relationship between healthy food and happy life. It wouldn’t do any harm to look at where you can eat a little more healthily, such as using low fat products and substituting high sugar recipes for low sugar ones.

Mostly 3 – You are a healthy, joyful cook – you’ve found the perfect balance between healthy ingredients and methods and pleasure in cooking and eating good food.

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