How to slow down while eat­ing

DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT A LONG LUNCH – IT COULD BE THE HEALTH­I­EST WAY TO EAT

Good Health Choices - - Be Content -

Eat slowly, get thin – it sounds so sim­ple but chew­ing food prop­erly is some­thing we tend to ne­glect. A num­ber of stud­ies have now been done on the topic and the mes­sage is clear, we need to take our time.

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Re­searchers at Ja­pan’s Kyushu Uni­ver­sity found slow eaters were 42 per cent less likely to be over­weight than fast eaters and nor­mal speed eaters had a 29 per cent lower risk of be­ing over­weight.

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Uni­ver­sity of Rhode Is­land re­searchers found slow eaters con­sumed 57g of food per minute, medium speed eaters con­sumed 71g, and fast eaters con­sumed 88g. Fast eaters also took larger bites and chewed less be­fore swal­low­ing.

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A 2011 study sug­gested pis­ta­chio eaters who ate un­shelled nuts con­sumed 41 per cent less than those who ate shelled ones, but felt just as full.

In short, those who savour their food are less likely to be over­weight than fast eaters.

So how do we break the habit and mind­fully re­gard what’s on our fork? It’s all to do with sig­nals to the brain – stud­ies show it takes up to 20 min­utes for us to reg­is­ter we’re full, so peo­ple who overeat tend to eat too quickly. By chew­ing we also in­crease blood flow to the brain and there­fore stim­u­late it.

Your den­tist will thank you for it, too – chew­ing pro­duces saliva, which washes away food and bac­te­ria left in our mouths. Food par­ti­cles that aren’t bro­ken down prop­erly can cause bac­te­rial over­growth in the colon – which leads to bloat­ing, in­di­ges­tion and con­sti­pa­tion.

So rather than guz­zling our food as fast as we can, it’s sug­gested hard foods such as meats and veg­eta­bles should be chewed 20 to 30 times while soft fruits can be chewed around five to 10 times.

Try our ‘go slow’ tricks in the toolkit be­low.

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