Strong Reasons To Eat Slowly
I like chocolate candies a lot. Most of the time I have to eat 3 candies to be totally pleased. But recently I noticed that if after two candies I take a 10-15 min pause, I have significantly less or even no desire at all to eat the third one. I started wondering why this happens and began my research, which turned into learning the effects of slow eating.
The most prominent benefit of eating slowly is reduced intake of food and, therefore, weight loss, which has its own numerous beneficial effects. Other positive moments of slow eating include:
1 First of all - It can't hurt you!
Slow eating rate doesn't have any negative effects on your health, but
can bring you a number of benefits without extra cost.
2 Appetite reduction
Eating slowly gradually reduces the appetite from the time you begin to
eat. It takes the brain about 15-20 minutes to start signaling feelings
of fullness. And if you have no appetite, you end up eating less.
3 Portion control
Guide to Behavior Change National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
4 Weight control
Points #2 and #3 turn into staving off extra pounds. Portion size and eating speed seem to be the part of the reason of famous "French paradox" -- the relatively low incidence of heart disease and overweight in France as compared to the United States, despite the generally high intake of calorie-rich and fatty foods. It is well documented that the French take longer to eat than Americans despite French eat smaller portions. Recently Japanese researches found strong positive correlation between rate of eating and body mass index (BMI) and obesity[2-3].
It is well known that digestion begins in the mouth, where the saliva is mixed with the food and starts to break it down into smaller chemicals that can be absorbed and nourish the body. Chewing thoroughly promotes smooth, complete digestion. Basically the slower you eat the faster and more efficiently you metabolize the food. When food is swallowed whole it makes it more difficult for the body to absorb all the important vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
6 Taste and enjoy your food!
When you eat slowly, you end up tasting your food more. Eating slowly lets you experience more of the flavors, textures and smells of what you eat. Your food will become more interesting. And again, French experience. They focus more on the impression and less on the health effects of eating.
7 Quality versus Quantity
Slow eating may become a small step to a more healthy diet. If you won't like what you eat when you eat it slowly, probably the next time you will choose something of a better quality and enjoy the pleasures of good food. Fast eaters are more prone to consume "junk" and "fast" foods.
8 Insulin resistance
Japanese researches found that eating fast is associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a silent condition that increases the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease. Also, fast eating seems to be a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome (combination of the symptoms such as high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance).
9 Heartburn & Gastroesophageal reflux
Rapid eating may cause acid reflux. It may be especially true for people suffering from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
Sources & References
Last updated: May, 2011