If hearing the words “Canada’s Food Guide” takes you back to Grade 8 home ec, it’s worth noting that the nutrition guide has changed its ways.
The original four food groups have been tweaked and reduced to three. Fruits and vegetables are still there, but grain products have been replaced with “whole grains,” and “proteins” now include both dairy products and meat, along with plant-based proteins such as tofu and chickpeas.
Less is more for once! In a nutshell, the new guide encourages Canadians to eat a diet of roughly half fruits and vegetables, and half grains and proteins.
Beer may not have become its own food group — sorry guys everywhere — but another refreshing beverage does play a key role in the new Food Guide. The message is crystal clear: Make WATER your go-to beverage!
Drinking plenty of H2O, after all, is a simple, easy and no-cost way to achieve so many awesome health benefits.
Drinking water fills up your stomach, which makes you feel less hungry. Studies have also shown that drinking water reduces our intake of sugary soda pop, fatty coffees and gut-busting beer. At the same time, your body actually burns calories as it processes the zero-calorie water you drink. First less is more, and now you’re getting something for nothing!
As well as contributing to weight gain, beer, pop and fancy coffees cost money. How many calories does water have? Zero. How much does tap water cost? Bingo!
Your brain and body need water to work properly, and drinking lots of it will help make you sharper and more energetic. This, in turn, will give you the boost you need to take the stairs instead of the elevator or to walk to work after parking in the cheaper lot.
Water helps your body process alcohol, so drinking plenty of water will result in a milder, or even non-existent, hangover. When you order a drink, ask for a glass of water with it, and then finish off that water after each and every alcoholic beverage.
A lack of water in your system isn’t considered to be the main cause of hangovers, but it does contribute to symptoms such as thirst, headache, fatigue and dry mouth. If that sounds a lot like a hangover, you get the point: Drink water to stay properly hydrated.
So go ahead and have that beer! It may not be a food group, but if you chase it with water you’ll be doing the right thing for your health.
Do you have any easy tricks for drinking more water throughout the day? Help your brothers (from different mothers) by sharing them in the comments below!
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.