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Drinking more water may have numerous dietary benefits

Wednesday, Mar 2, 2016,16:45 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Drinking more water may help you control your weight and reduce intake of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, a new US study has claimed.

The study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 US adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water by 1 per cent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol. People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 grammes, researchers said.

Participants were asked to recall everything they ate or drank over the course of two days that were three to 10 days apart. Researchers from the University of Illinois in US calculated the amount of plain water each person consumed as a percentage of their daily dietary water intake from food and beverages combined.

On average, participants consumed about 4.2 cups of plain water on a daily basis, accounting for slightly more than 30 per cent of their total dietary water intake. A small but statistically significant 1 per cent increase in participants’ daily consumption of plain water – tap water or from a cooler, drinking fountain or bottle was associated with an 8.6-calorie decrease in daily energy intake.

There was also slight reductions in participants’ intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and discretionary foods along with their consumption of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol. The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and income levels and body weight status, said Ruopeng An from University of Illinois.

This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customisation, said An.