Tak­ing your time over meals cuts dan­ger of heart dis­ease

Daily Mail - - Life - By Ben Spencer Med­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

EAT­ING slowly can cut your risk of obe­sity, di­a­betes and heart dis­ease, re­search sug­gests.

Those who eat very quickly do not give their bod­ies time to re­alise it is full – mean­ing they tend to eat more.

But savour­ing ev­ery mouthful and tak­ing time over a meal is bet­ter for over­all health.

A study of more than 1,000 mid­dle-aged vol­un­teers found those who ate quickly were five-and-a-half times more likely than slow eaters to go on to de­velop meta­bolic syn­drome – a clus­ter of con­di­tions in­clud­ing obe­sity and high blood pres­sure, blood sugar and choles­terol.

Dr Takayuki Ya­maji, a car­di­ol­o­gist at Hiroshima Univer­sity in Ja­pan, said: ‘Eat­ing more slowly may help be pre­vent a cru­cial meta­bolic life­style syn­drome.’ change to Over the five-year study pe­riod his re­searchers found 11.6 per cent of the quick eaters de­vel­oped the syn­drome. This com­pared to 6.5 per cent of those who ate at a nor­mal speed – and a mere 2.3 per cent of those who ate slowly.

Faster eat­ing speed was linked to more weight gain, higher blood glu­cose and an ex­pand­ing waist­line. Dr Ya­maji told a meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion in Cal­i­for­nia fast eat­ing could fuel over-eat­ing.

Meta­bolic syn­drome oc­curs when some­one has any of three risk fac­tors linked to di­a­betes and heart dis­ease. These in­clude ab­dom­i­nal obe­sity, high fast­ing blood sugar, high blood pres­sure, high triglyc­erides and low ‘good’ HDL choles­terol.

Dr Ya­maji and col­leagues eval­u­ated 642 men and 441 women whose av­er­age age was 51 at the start of the study in 2008.

The par­tic­i­pants, who were all healthy at that point, were asked to de­scribe their usual eat­ing speed as slow, nor­mal or fast and di­vided into these three groups. They were re-ex­am­ined in 2013.

Dr Ya­maji said: ‘When peo­ple eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat.’

Sev­eral stud­ies have linked eat­ing speed to weight gain. Ear­lier this year re­searchers at North Carolina State Univer­sity found ‘mind­ful eat­ing’ – con­cen­trat­ing on flavour and ‘eat­ing with pur­pose’ – helped peo­ple lose six times as much weight as other slim­mers.

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