June 11, 2012

Another Urban Diet Myth Dispelled

Water. I've been working hard at drinking my eight glasses a day for as long as I can remember. In fact, I have had a water bottle serve as a fifth appendage for at least 20 years of my life. Over the years, however, I have heard rumours that we don't need 8 glasses, but whatever...I was probably just imagining it (kinda like the time I imagined a full, heaping plate of fresh, white pasta drowning in a sea of Alfredo sauce was health food).

Today is yet another exciting day in health research as I print off yet another review of the latest research (this time on water consumption). Evidently that rumour I was shrugging off was true. Nutrition and kidney specialists are trying to dispel the myth that we need at least two litres of water a day (not unlike the fitness professionals who continue to try and dispel the myth that we need sit ups for a six pack or biologists who attempt to dispel the myth that farmed salmon is evil and unhealthy for us). We choose to hear what we want to hear. Let's take my man-friend for example. As a kinesiologist, I have mentioned over the years that sit ups have been pushed aside for twenty years now; taken over by core stability training......to this day, he still does sit ups (albeit in the corner of the living room where he can't be noticed).  We hear what we want to hear....nothing more; nothing less.

But that's another blog for another day.

If you struggle with getting enough liquid in ya, do I have great news for you. A well-balanced diet full of fruits and veggies are loaded with water. Not only that, tea and coffee contribute to your fluid balance also (they do not lead to dehydration as I had thought). 

Humans need to maintain fluid balance and need to drink water when required, but should also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices. There is further evidence that water and a well-balanced diet does far more than water alone.  (Source: Sperios Tsindos, department of dietetics and human nutrition at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia)
I guess the biggest learning experience that comes out of this for me, is the question of what do we know to be true and what is just an educated guess? I'm coming to believe, in the field of health at least, that a lot of what we have come to know as truth may be just a hunch (wouldn't that piss you off if chocolate cake was really good for you but no one told us until it was too late?). If this is the case, how can health promoters preach the gospel of health without a little cognitive dissonance (a.k.a. feeling really weird about it)? I know I can't do it anymore.

Oh ya she did!
This also solidifies my belief that good health is based upon luck, prayer, good friends, and few giggles at the pub (that's how my grandfather lived to be 99).  Last week we learned exercise can actually be harmful (in large doses) and this week we learned we don't need 8 glasses of water. I can't wait to learn more next week.

Maybe next week we will learn that gluttony and sloth (coupled with a bad attitude) actually prolongs our life? Would that just piss off all those positive quote people.

Have a wonderful week full of happy thoughts!

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