QUIZ: How Does Your Diet Measure Up? 

QUIZ: How Does Your Diet Measure Up? 

Video | Added Sugar | Flour | Fats | Processed Foods | Cooking | Your Score

There are many different diet approaches. But when we look under the surface, we see that successful diets share five things in common. Does your diet score well in these five areas? Take my quiz and find out. 

Characteristics of Successful Diets At-A-Glance


  • Minimize Added Sugar
  • Minimize Refined Flour
  • Minimize Unhealthy Fats
  • Minimize Processed Foods
  • Maximize Home Cooking 

QUIZ: How Does Your Diet Measure Up? [Video]

In this video, you’ll learn…

  • Five things that create successful diets.
  • Lists of foods to avoid.
  • How your diet measures up

5 Aspects Shared by Successful Diets

There are hundreds of dieting strategies out there, and while it is nice to have choices, having too many leads to confusion. How do you pick the one that’s right for you or even begin to evaluate the pros and cons? 

Looking back over the research I did for my first book on Intermittent Fasting, I noticed a trend that is nicely discussed in a 12-month study comparing low-carb and low-fat diets. 

The study’s authors stated that most diet trials report modest results when looking at the diet groups as a whole, but individual weight loss results vary widely. In other words, regardless of the diet approach, there will be individuals who underperform and those who achieve great success. 

Successful individuals have things in common: They minimize their intake of added sugars, refined flour, and unhealthy fats and focus on whole foods that are minimally processed and prepared at home whenever possible.

5 Aspects Shared By Successful Dieters

How well does your daily diet perform in these five areas? I put together a quiz so you could find out. 

Has this quiz been scientifically validated? No. 

Healthy eating is a topic that needs to be taken seriously, but we don’t always have to take ourselves so seriously. I hope the quiz is entertaining and enlightening. Here we go. 

Quiz Question #1: Minimize Added Sugar

Consuming sugar throughout the day promotes high blood glucose and insulin levels that are inflammatory and encourage fat storage.

In a moment, I will have you rate your added sugar intake. But first, let me clearly define the term. 

For the quiz, consuming added sugar means consciously consuming a food or drink with sugar listed as one of the top three ingredients.  

Sugar sneaks its way into many foods, from salad dressings to peanut butter. Give yourself a pass as long as you consciously try to avoid it.

And remember that sugar goes by many names, so you want to consider any sugar alias as added sugar. Here are some common alternate names.

Quiz Question #1: Minimize Added Sugar

If trying to recall those names gives you a headache, a shortcut is to read labels. If there is added sugar, it will be shown in the nutrition facts. 

Natural sugar, like that found in fruit, and non-caloric sweeteners do not count as added sugar. (Just FYI, there will be a deduction for non-caloric sweetened treats later in the quiz.)

With those criteria in mind, select the score that is the most true for you. 

Hannah, There will be five sets of quiz questions in the post. I would like them to stand out somehow. Try making them into a quote or separating them with a divider line before and after. You can choose whichever option looks best to you. 

Minimize Added Sugar

3 Points: I consciously avoid added sugar, consuming it 1 time per month or less.

2 Points: I consume added sugar 1 time per week.

1 Point: I consume added sugar multiple times per week.

Quiz Question #2: Minimize Refined Flour

Let’s move on to flour. Flour is made by grinding down different plants. The white flour that we are most familiar with is made by grinding grains. But flour can also be made from other plant foods like almonds and coconut, giving us almond flour and coconut flour.

You can argue that these more natural flour varieties have a nutritional edge over white flour and may not be as refined. However, regardless of its origin, once the plant has been processed, the result is a powder that can now be turned into bread, pasta, crackers, muffins, and more. Those foods are tasty but digest quickly, spiking blood sugar and insulin and promoting fat storage and inflammation.

Like sugar, the amount added matters. So, for the quiz, consuming refined flour means consuming a food with any type of flour listed as one of the top three ingredients. 

Here is a list of common high-flour-containing foods.

Quiz Question #2: Minimize Refined Flour

Minimize Foods High in Refined Flour

3 Points: I avoid high-flour foods, consuming them 1 time per month or less.

2 Points: I consume high-flour foods 1 time per week.

1 Point: I consume high-flour foods multiple times per week.

Quiz Question #3: Minimize Unhealthy Fats

When we peel back the layers and look for the root cause of poor health, inflammation is right there. Seed oils, also known as vegetable oils, are top offenders when it comes to creating inflammation. 

These oils are easily oxidized, degrading into harmful compounds, and commercial seed oils may contain trans fats that form when the oils are hydrogenated. 

Unfortunately, these oils are cheap, so they are the oils restaurants and packaged food companies typically use and the least expensive option at the grocery store. Here are the eight most common seed oils used in foods.

Quiz Question #3: Minimize Unhealthy Fats

Like sugar and flour, the amount is taken into consideration. Also, like sugar, it can be hard to know for sure if a food contains seed oils. So, for the quiz, consuming unhealthy fat means consciously consuming a food with a type of seed oil listed as one of the top three ingredients. 

Minimize Unhealthy Fats

3 Points: I consciously avoid seed oils, consuming them 1 time per month or less.

2 Points: I consume seed oils 1 time per week.

1 Point: I consume seed oils multiple times per week.

There are different viewpoints on unhealthy fats. See my blog post “Which Fats are Good and Bad?”

Quiz Question #4: Minimize Processed Foods (aka Eat Whole Foods) 

Whole foods are those that, when you look at them, still resemble how they looked in nature. For example, a blueberry still looks like a blueberry that you pick from a bush. Processed foods are the opposite of whole foods. 

Processed foods often contain sugar, flour, and seed oils. So, if you did not score well on the three quiz questions before this one, you will not score well here. However, you may have avoided deductions so far because we have many sneaky foods nowadays. For instance, you can find highly processed foods without seed oil or flour that contain non-caloric sweeteners. Think keto-friendly and sugar-free snacks. 

Also, it is not uncommon for ingredient lists to contain multiple sugars. For instance, the bag of granola pictured below contains cane syrup, maple syrup, molasses, and brown rice syrup. All four count as sugar. However, because there is less of each type, they can be listed lower on the ingredient list. 

Quiz Question #4: Minimize Processed Foods (aka Eat Whole Foods) 

These processed snack foods do not get a pass because they still stimulate hunger and may raise your insulin level. 

If you are having trouble deciding if a food is too processed to be healthy, count the number of ingredients. If there are more than five, it’s crossed the line from whole food to processed foods. 

For the quiz, consuming processed foods means consuming foods that have been changed from their original state and altered by the addition of many ingredients. 

And keep in mind that while processed grains fill the center of our grocery stores, meats can also be highly processed. 

Here is a short list of highly processed foods. 

Minimize Processed Foods (aka Eat Whole Foods) 

Minimize Processed Foods

3 Points: I avoid highly processed foods, consuming them 1 time per month or less.

2 Points: I consume highly processed foods 1 time per week.

1 Point: I consume highly processed foods multiple times per week.

Quiz Question #5: Maximize Home Cooking 

To score well in the final section, you want to maximize home cooking. Let me define what that means and doesn’t mean. Home cooking involves preparing and cooking real food at home. 

Pulling a frozen pizza out of the box and sticking it in your oven is not home cooking. It is cooking a packaged and processed food at home. 

When you prepare and cook your meals, you know what’s in your food. A restaurant may have the same meal that you prepare at home, but you don’t have control over what they put in the food to make it restaurant-worthy. That doesn’t mean that all restaurant food is bad, and your frequency of eating out must be factored in. 

With those thoughts in mind, select the score that is the most true for you.

Maximize Home Cooking

3 Points: I eat restaurant or packaged meals 0 to 2 times a week. 

2 Points: I eat restaurant or packaged meals 3 to 5 times a week.

1 Point: I eat restaurant or packaged meals more than 5 times a week.

How Does Your Diet Measure Up? 

All the criteria discussed in this blog post work together for better health and weight control because they reduce inflammation, stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, and minimize the addictive “need to keep eating” nature of quick-digesting carbs. 

There are a total of 15 points available. The higher you score, the better. 

Did you score 13 to 15 points? If so, you’re doing great! You have created an easy-to-follow, enjoyable, and effective way of eating that maximizes healthy ingredients. Keep doing what you’re doing! 

Did you score 10 to 12 points? If so, you’ve got some good eating habits going for you, and this quiz revealed a few things you could improve.

Did you score 7 to 9 points? If so, you’re doing OK, but your score reflects just how much attention it takes to eat a healthy diet. If you’d like to improve, I suggest working on how many meals you cook at home. Doing so makes avoiding added sugar, flour, seed oils, and processed foods much easier. So, changing that one habit will give you the biggest payoff for the least effort. 

Did you score 5 or 6 points? If so, you now have your baseline; there is nowhere to go but up. Make changes based on what you learned, and then retake the test.

About the Author

Becky Gillaspy, DC, is the author of The Intermittent Fasting Guide and Cookbook and Zero Sugar / One Month. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.

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