We all need water. Water helps hydrate our tissues and flushes our kidneys. We are 85% water and we need to replace water lost through urine, stools, sweat and breathing. Water even carries qi, via hydronium ions, so you want to drink enough if you are feeling lethargic.
But there are many myths about water consumption:
There is no evidence that we need eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. This myth started when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which would amount to roughly two to two-and-a-half quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces). Although in its next sentence, the Board stated “most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods,” that last sentence is virtually never quoted. Continue reading Health Myths about Hydration→
David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner under GW Bush and Clinton, explores why we are so driven by reward-driven eating that our control mechanisms have disappeared. In his book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, Kessler discusses how we biologically lay down neurological pathways that induce us to eat. In recent decades the food industry, in collusion with the advertising industry, and our own lifestyle changes have short-circuited the body’s self-regulating mechanisms, leaving many at the mercy of reward-driven eating.
There was a time when people ate at home, at the table during prescribed mealtimes and were unlikely to eat on the street. Now we pass outlets that stimulate our senses with neurologically exciting foods made of fat, sugar and salt, attractive presentation, pleasant odors (have you passed a Cinnabon lately?) and all of the emotional triggers associated with the food by advertising, and we biologically set ourselves up for triggering eating these foods. Even if you do not succumb on day one of your diet, the neurological pathways are being laid down to entice you later.
Nora Ephron wrote an amusing article in the NY Times recently complaining that salt is no longer on the tables or that lump salt, which she referred to as kosher or sea salt, is out and only sits in lumps on her food.
Sea salt is not the same as kosher salt. Kosher salt is salt in lumps, and is usually refined. Sea salt is unrefined and has more minerals, especially trace minerals in it. It can come in big lumps, as Ephron described, or in small crystals or powder. I am sure that expensive restaurants will use sea salt in large lumps because it seems trendier. Our taste for salt is really a taste for minerals, so just taking in sodium chloride misses the need for a broader spectrum of minerals. In fact if we just use plain sodium chloride, we may overconsume it because we are not getting the other minerals that a salt taste is a proxy for. Continue reading Salt!→