Original Publish Date: 4/17/21
This week on social media, I talked about water. I’ve talked in the past about how the body is 60-70% water.
There are toxins everywhere. But if we can limit overall exposure, our bodies will have a better chance to support our detox pathways. And since our body is at least 60% water, you ideally want that nutrient to be sourced from the best quality.
Now I rarely use absolutes but with tap water, I will use an absolute. In the US, but likely everywhere, we should resist drinking tap water, unless filtered. Cooking with tap water should also be reduced. Well water is better but oftentimes they may also need a filter. If you own a well, make sure to get it tested occasionally. There is just so much stuff in our soils nowadays that nothing is guaranteed to be safe.
Common Toxins In Water
Here are some of the toxins that are found in our waters:
Tap water has often been found to contain chloroform, fluoride, chlorine, aluminum, arsenic, pharmaceutical drugs, radioactive elements, and toxic organic compounds.
I trust Dr. Kevin Stock, and he says fluoride can have some benefits for tooth decay. Fine, maybe. But I’d personally rather have my family eat less sugary foods that change the overall pH of the mouth and affect the balance of mineral levels like magnesium and calcium.
I talk about fluoride in Carnivore Cure but it has been linked to suppressing thyroid function, cancer, osteoporosis, organ disease, birth defects, and calcification of arteries and joints. I would never recommend fluoride add-ons during dental cleanings. I wouldn’t really use fluoride toothpaste either.
Remember, Weston A. Price went around the world and the communities that did not consume white sugar, flour, and processed foods had the best jawline and teeth. They didn’t brush their teeth.
Chlorine is added to water to kill organisms but byproducts of chlorinated water like trihalomethanes accumulate in the body and adversely impact the detox pathways.
Arsenic comes from industrial and mining wastes and farms using pesticides and fertilizers. It leaches into groundwater and then dissolves into the water.
Arsenic is commonly found in rice but you can also find it in tap water.
Arsenic is one reason people should filter their well water.
By now many of us know it’s not ideal to cook or clean plastics in hot water. Plastic chemicals can leech into waters like BPA and all the sister varieties mentioned in Carnivore Cure. These varieties like BPS have sometimes been shown to be worse than BPA.
While you’re at it, stop dishwashing plastics. Reduce microwaving plastics, especially kid plates and cups. Never heat styrofoam. Switch to bamboo or stainless steel. Bamboo isn’t always eco-friendly so stainless steel may be the best option.
Bottled waters often get plastic toxins leached into the water. It’s impossible to remove all plastic but discard bottled water that’s been baking in the car on a very hot day. If your car bottle of water tastes warm, ditch it.
One of the main risks is that these plastics adversely impact hormone health. They are endocrine disruptors (our hormone system) and estrogen-mimicking chemicals.
Bathing in filtered water is also ideal. You can change your showerhead to a filtered one for pretty cheap. Berkey is great for filtered showerheads. Not so pretty but it does the job. If you take hot showers and your water isn’t filtered, you are inhaling a lot of those chemicals, like chlorine.
Take cold or mildly warm showers in non-filtered water.
The Devil We Know
Watch The Devil We Know. They talk about the darkness of Teflon but they show proof with tap water. This movie alone will never make you drink tap water again.
There are many good filtration systems but I don’t recommend ones that remove all the minerals. Dead water can be just as bad as filtered water. I have a table in Carnivore Cure that talks about dead filtered water.
Reverse osmosis and distilled water should at least have minerals added back to the water.
If you need minerals and some quality water on the go, try out some of these mineral waters.
All mineral counts are represented in mg/dL. Unlike other water, mineral water is bottled at its source and contains natural minerals and other trace elements.
The FDA does not allow minerals to be added to water during bottling. That means these mineral waters are in their natural form. Mineral waters can be treated to remove toxins like arsenic but they are much more natural than club sodas and seltzers (sparkling waters) that add carbon dioxide during canning or bottling.
Sparkling waters are fine but natural flavors are something I always question. Figure out what works best for you
Mineral water can be ideal as it has naturally occurring essential minerals, that our soils are becoming more and more depleted of. Some of the minerals are magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate, sodium, sulfate, chloride, and fluoride. Yes, the fluoride I mentioned earlier.
You can get some calcium and magnesium from mineral waters.
As our soils become deficient in nutrients, we have fewer minerals in our foods (plants, included) but these minerals are essential for life. We define these minerals as essential because our body does not make them and needs them from external sources.
As I review more hair mineral tests, I’m finding that many people are deficient in magnesium (or burning through magnesium) and potassium. As minerals are the sparkplugs of life, we need to make sure we are considering minerals in our daily lives.
When we are stressed, we burn through minerals (hello, cortisol) and we obtain less from our water and foods. And if you think vegetables and fruits are the answer, they aren’t. Sure plant-based foods make us retain more water so we may think we have more minerals in the body but these plants are often limited in minerals.
Next time you want sparkling water, try reaching for some mineral water, as these waters contain minerals in their natural form.
Uranium and PFAs
After I posted about mineral water, there was quite a stir in the community about uranium and poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs).
Uranium in excess can cause kidney toxicity and possibly be carcinogenic.
I’m not sure how we got fixated on mineral water being the main source of uranium toxicity and PFAs but uranium is in our soil and waters. All of it.
Uranium is found in the air, soil, rocks, and water. Yes, you can breathe it in daily. It’s even in our phosphorous fertilizers (that we use to grow plant-based foods). It also has been found to be in more drinking water at times than mineral water. The best and safest thing to do is get your hair mineral tested to see if you have high levels of uranium or check your water samples and check governmental data on water in your area (though it’s just a snapshot).
Yes, some studies show uranium is in mineral water.
But it’s a bit myopic to say that we should stop all mineral waters because of the uranium. If you’re worried, sure, remember that our uranium isn’t only from mineral water. But sure- if you are afraid, then stop drinking mineral water.
Some of my clients have off-the-chart levels of uranium and drink zero well water or mineral water. I also have some clients that have low uranium and drink mineral and well water.
The body is affected by so many things and if you’re afraid of uranium and you’re sure it’s mineral water, just limit it. The same goes for the PFAS. I’d frankly stop tap water usage before worrying about some mineral water. (Please read the sources I’m citing!)
I’d also be watchful of eating at any restaurants as they use all tap water or any plant-based foods that use tap water and live in the soils and close to all the contaminants (fertilizers, toxins, PFAS, heavy metals like uranium).
See the holistic issue?
Figure out what makes sense for your body. These mineral waters have minerals and may have benefits over purified or filtered or reverse osmosis (RO) water. There are flaws to every single one of these types of water.
In my practice, I have not seen a direct correlation with uranium being high in people who drink mineral water but have seen more correlations with high uranium in the body based on geographic locations. For some reason, the West Coast of the U.S. seems to have higher amounts of uranium. I’ve checked hair from California, Washington, and Oregon. Not everyone has high uranium but the correlation is present.
You have to decide your own holistic health balance and find what makes sense for you. Yes, I share about food truths and misinformation, not to scare you but to know truths and then in hope that you find your own balance. You can try to eat the cleanest foods and live a toxic-free life and then get by a bus tomorrow.
We live in fear now more than ever before. We don’t trust our food and we don’t even trust our neighbor.
This needs to stop.
We cannot get rid of every single toxin in the world. We should heal our bodies with good foods but also focus on limiting stress. When we are scared of everything we eat and touch, that is not living.
Fear is the opposite of living.
Recently, I interviewed Dr. Hussey who wrote a book on Understanding the Heart. He shares a very powerful story in the book and confirms that diet is not everything to health. Stress is a big factor that will determine longevity and optimal health.
I always try to share ideals but also marry them with practical living. We should do our best to limit toxins. Eating a carnivore diet removes a lot of the toxins that we may get from other foods.
But do I still use plastic bottles on occasion? Yes.
Do I drink tap water at restaurants? I probably (unknowingly) do.
Is every shower in my house filtered? No.
Consider the 80/20 rule. Eat at least 80% of the days well and don’t overly worry. Obsessing over health or food is a stress on the body.
We try to eat healthy to reduce stress within the body. That’s a good thing.
But we must also work on reducing the stress that we produce from our minds. Remember, stress does a body bad.
Laura and I talk about stress and how we personally deal with it in our upcoming episode of Cutting Against the Grain. Make sure to tune in.
Laura pushes me to share sides of me that I don’t often share and so I hope you enjoy our honest discussions. Our goal with Cutting Against the Grain is to be a support for our meat-based community. Sometimes we want more than just the science and people’s testimonies. We want to know how we should handle meat prices going up and legislative changes. We also may be worried about the new big topic that is anti-carnivore. We promise to bring you honest conversations that will hopefully bring some sanity and community to this crazy thing we called life.
Go get some mineral water or filtered water with some sole water added. If you like mineral water, go enjoy it.
But most of all, enjoy the weekend and stop stressing. Your health depends on it.