Q1. Which is healthier?

1.1 Food with a low Glycaemic Index (GI), like porridge, pulses and pasta

1.2 Food with a high Glycaemic Index (GI), like mashed potatoes, sticky rice and white bread 

A: Food with a low GI. They keep you fuller for longer, so mean you are less likely to overeat and put on weight. They help prevent type 2 Diabetes. And they reduce the levels of fat in the blood, which reduces the risk of heart disease. So remember the 3Ps – porridge, pulses and pasta (preferably wholemeal). Other foods with a low GI include vegetables, multigrain bread and apples. 

Q2. Breakfast can help you lose weight: 

True or false? 

A: True. If you don’t have breakfast your brain tries to compensate by encouraging you to eat high calorie foods to compensate. Also, breakfast gives you energy for the day, instead of your body trying to run on ‘empty.’ 

Q3. Which of the following are good sources of Vitamin A:? 

3.1 Carrots

3.2 Peppers

3.3 Green leafy vegetables

3.4 Eggs

3.5 Liver

A: All are good sources of Vitamin A – which has a range of health benefits. It helps the growth and repair of body organs (like bones, gums and teeth), is essential for vision, acts as a protective antioxidant and is critical in maintaining energy metabolism. 

Q4. Brazil nuts are the richest source of the anti-oxidant selenium: 

True or false? 

A: True. Selenium is important for the normal functioning of the body’s immune system and the thyroid gland. Other sources of selenium are fish, shellfish and poultry. 

Q5. Which of the following are good sources of Vitamin B12:? 

5.1 Dairy products

5.2 Offal (liver, heart, kidneys)

5.3 Eggs

5.4 Seafood

5.5 Meat (eg beef) 

A: All are good sources of Vitamin B12, which is essential for all cell function especially bone marrow, the nervous system, digestion and the absorption of food. As Vitamin B12 occurs naturally only in food of animal origin this is a potential issue for vegetarians (and especially vegans) – who need to find other sources of this vitamin, through supplements or fortified foods. A number of changes in the digestive systems of older people mean they may find it more difficult to absorb or make use of Vitamin B12, so they need to be alert to possible deficiency symptoms (tingling in the hands and feet due to nerve damage; and inflammation of the tongue and mouth). If these occur, they should seek medical advice, as long term deficiency can cause irreversible nerve damage.  

Published 08/06/2012, Review date August 2014