When not ravenously hungry or rushed, have you noticed there are times when every bite of food is savored? Sometimes it is a particular food, such as pizza if it has not been eaten for a while. Maybe we chew more times than is normal because when we have it again may be ages away. The fact is, chewing your food longer may assist in losing weight.
Scientists have suggested just that following a study when volunteers who chewed each mouthful 40 times consumed 12 per cent less food compared to those who chewed only 15 times. It is believed chewing for a longer period prevents over-indulgence. Apparently, this gives the brain additional time to receive signals from the tummy that it is satisfied. As well, ghrelin levels, the ‘hunger hormone’ that travels throughout the digestive system, is reduced.
Scientists in China at Harbin Medical University enrolled 30 men, 16 who were thin and 14 who were obese for two experiments.
In the first experiment, the obese men were observed to determine if they chewed their food differently from their slim rivals. Each test subject was supplied with a pork pie and secretly filmed to see how many times they chewed before swallowing.
According to the results, they ingested their food quicker even though they chewed at the same rate as slim men.
Both groups were supplied with an additional portion of pork pie in the second experiment and instructed to chew 15 times before swallowing, before doing the exercise again but instructed to chew 40 times. Volunteers who chewed longer ate 11.9 per cent fewer calories, despite being either slim or obese.
In their report, researchers said eating slower can be a straightforward and efficient method of dealing with weight problems.
The sandwich chain, Subway, in an appraisal of 1,000 people demonstrated the typical person in Britain chewed their food only a half-dozen times before swallowing it. The worst offenders were youthful, active professionals.
The same survey revealed fewer than 20 per cent of people habitually consumed a meal while strolling. Only 50 per cent customarily sat down to eat at a table.
Chief dietician Catherine Collins at St. George’s Hospital, London, said eating slower might have some influence on digestive system hormone levels but the positive benefits are probably more psychological.
There are additional reasons why thoroughly chewing food is beneficial. This includes:
⦁ Additional exposure to saliva includes more contact with digestive enzymes that breaks down food. This makes digestion easier on the stomach and small intestine
⦁ Breaking food down into small particles partially liquefies it. Digestion takes a lot of energy
⦁ Teeth, like bone, become stronger with a workout. In addition, the saliva supplied while chewing cleans away bacteria lessening the amount of plaque and tooth deterioration and removes food particles from the mouth
⦁ Avoid putrefaction in the intestines. When food is improperly chewed it remains undigested until bacteria begin to break it down. This can lead to diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain
⦁ Additional energy and nutrients can be obtained from small particles of food via the intestines as they go through. This also precludes insufficiently digested food that can have negative effects. Research presented in 2013 at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago illustrated that when test subjects chewed almonds for a longer period smaller food particles were more readily absorbed by the body.
For those who chewed less, large particles traveled through the body giving fuel to opportunistic bacteria and fungi
In addition to the suggestions outlined ensure swallowing and chewing is complete before having another bite of food do not drink fluids until swallowing is complete.