Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Are we supposed to eat much dried food?

Random question I know but I like to look at things from all angles. So what triggered the question?

There's always a debate about what we're supposed to eat naturally but we've got a new dog and getting her the right food is giving me new insights. It doesn't answer the question but it gives me new valid experience.

My mum has had dogs for years now. They've always been fed on dried food and they've really prospered. But now we've got a dog ourselves we've been advised to use wet food from naturediet I can't vouch for it yet myself but boy have we seen a change in our dog. She just plain loves the food and she's so much better behaved and her skin isn't flaky like it use to be.

Anyway what's the point of this little detour?
Well it's because for breakfast, sometimes I eat a kind of nut crunch that's very much a dry food with milk thrown in. It's full of nuts and oats and is probably great for me but the added bonus is that I love it. Then other times I have porridge with some raisins added. I let the porridge sit a little for the milk or water to soak into the oats. I have other breakfasts but recently that's what I've been doing.

Since it recently got quite hot in these parts as summer is coming along I just found how dehydrated I got. Now that's obviously cos I hadn't started drinking enough water to compensate for the heat etc. No biggie. But what did happen was my gut was painful and I'm pretty certain this was because I had nut crunch for breakfast which is basically dry stuff with milk thrown on. The point being the milk doesn't have time to soak into the nuts and grains to soften them and also it may not have time to make the grains easy for the body to absorb and thus their nutrients may not be available to me.

Now other days I have a bit of porridge. It's fair to say that the oats don't get much longer for the milk to be absorbed but they do get warmed up and then left for say 5 minutes to soften and it's certainly a different texture. I don't recall having pains in my stomach after eating porridge, at least pains that I can attribute to the food being particular hard and scraping their way through my bowels (sorry to pain such a picture but I don't know a better way to describe how it feels to me).

so what I'm wondering is whether dry food is as good for us as wet food both nutritionally and pure comfort. I don't know the answer to this. I just like to ask the question. I'm not worried about changing my diet because of it, mainly because I feel our bodies are used to this problem and have all sorts of ways to get round it. My expectation is that if the oats and nuts are harder to extract nutrients from then our bodies will start using processes that are either more forceful at extracting the nutrients or they'll start producing enzymes and other things that break down everything so that more of the nutrients are available.

It wouldn't surprise me if I met a nutritionist that explained that either of these approaches or even both were possible. What I do know is that studies on mice have shown that when mice are deficient in a certain mineral their bodies get better at extracting it from their diet. Therefore unless my diet really doesn't contain something essential I do feel it'll find a way to get what it needs. So I'm more interestted in making sure I'm there or thereabouts with my nutrition. I don't expect to be absolutely perfect all the time.

So nutritionally I doubt it's a big problem as long as our bodies are given time to get used to the challenges of getting what they need from dried food. that's an assumption but I expect it to hold true. I think I'm really getting at whether this is a comfortable way of living. Given that dried food will need a significant amount of water to be added to it before it passes properly through the body. So it'll either take that water from reserves in the body or we have to take it in. This opens a flood of other implications and questions and that's what I'm really getting at.

I'm not going to go into them here. Just wanted to make the point and see if anyone has any opinion, experience or knowledge.
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