Drinking water encourages healthier food choices

Sunday, June 03, 2012 by: Raw Michelle
Tags: water, health, behavior

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(NaturalNews) While the majority of concern about diet busies itself with the chemical makeup of nutritious foods, a large portion of health problems are held in place not only by what foods are eaten, but by the consumption behaviours that reinforce poor choices. Just as connoisseurs of fine dining would recommend red wine with red meat and white wine with fish, the combinations in which foods and drinks are consumed can demand each other's company. The study of gastronomy springs from the natural urge to pair complimentary flavours.

Two research studies investigating the impact that beverage choice has on accompanying eating behaviours were recently conducted at the University of Oregon and Michigan State University. The studies, while largely similar in their subject matter, differed in the ages of participants. One targeted the eating behaviours of 60 people aged 19-23, while the other studied 75 children between the ages of three and five. Both studies were investigating the impact that different drinks, such as soda or water, had on the consumption of vegetables.

Wisdom comes with practice, not age

When given the option, more of the older participants, when given sweet drinks, preferred high calorie and salty foods over the available vegetables. The study of the preschoolers played out a little bit differently, with the amount of vegetables eaten being the variable, instead of the option to choose junk food. A similar pattern still arose. When given soda instead of water, the younger children consumed fewer raw vegetables.

This could be either be due to a taste preference, or the simple fact that the caloric intake is already elevated, removing the motivation to seek out other sources. The leading researcher notes that food preferences are established by eating a particular food repeatedly. The preferences become habitualized. Dr. Cornwell believes that this unlocks an important key to curbing negative eating behaviours before they start. Childhood exposure to high calorie foods may condition future eating behaviours to seek out foods that are poor health choices.

Filling up before a meal

Drinking water with meals could make a big dent in the health problems and rising obesity rates, simply by forcing people to get more of their caloric intake from their foods. Consuming sugary drinks works against the probability that both children and adults are going to consume their vegetables. In many Asian countries, the first course of a meal is often a soup, which is both low calorie and takes the edge off of the hunger, making individuals far less likely to overeat.

Sources for this article include

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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