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How Bad Can Eating too Quickly Be? You’ll be Surprised…

Do you like to sit down and take your time with food or do you prefer to wolf it down in less than 5 minutes and be on your way ASAP? It turns out that your eating speed can directly reflect on your outer and inner health. With our busy lifestyles, it’s understandable that we can’t give our meals the time or attention we should.

It’s quite common to rush through breakfast in the morning – or skip it altogether – and grab a quick lunch on the go later in the day, which is increasing our risk of obesity and other cardiovascular diseases according to a research by American Heart Association.

People who eat fast increase their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 11.6%

Eating too Quickly Increases Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

The research was conducted in Hiroshima university, where the eating behaviors of 441 women and 642 men were monitored over a period of 5 years. Depending on how long the participants took to finish their food, they were put into groups of fast, normal or slow eaters.

At the end of the study, the health and weight of participants in three different groups was observed and the researchers concluded that those in the fast eating group had increased their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 11.6%. The risk of metabolic syndrome is found by calculating the risk factor for high blood pressure, obesity or blood sugar after being in a fasted state for a prolonged period of time.

Why It Is Important to Take Your Time With Food?

If you usually finish your meal within 5 minutes, you’re likely to be still hungry and eat more until your brain receives the signals from your stomach

Multiple researches over the past have already pointed out a link between eating quickly and increased risk of obesity because the time our brain takes to send the signal of satiation to our body which gives us a feeling of fullness. As a result of the chemical released by the brain, the walls of the stomach expand to make room for the food as it makes it way to the small intestine to be digested.

The stretching of the stomach is also one of the signals which tells us when we should stop eating. The entire communication process between the brain and stomach can take between 15 to 20 minutes which means that if you finish your meal within 5 minutes, you’re likely to be still hungry and eat more until your brain receives the hormone from the stomach to signal the small intestine that partial digestion of the food has begun.

One of the biggest finding of the Japanese study was that people who fell in the group of fast-eaters were likely to consume three times as much food as their slow-eating counterparts which increased their chances of gaining weight. As a result of eating too much, the participants who ate quickly also suffered from acid refluxes which turned into much serious complications over time.

Slow Eaters Tend to Consume Less Calories

An experiment involving 10 healthy participants was conducted to see how eating speed can be linked to acid reflux. Participants were given a 700-calorie meal each and had to finish it between 5 to 30 minutes.

Those who finished it first complained of getting acid reflux whereas the slow eaters were able to digest the food more easily. Another important finding of the study was that people who chewed their food more thoroughly admitted to getting full faster and consumed 10% less calories than those who ate quickly. Once the participants who only chewed their food 15 times were told to increase it to 20 times, the total number of calorie intake fell from 700 calories to 600 calories.

Tips for Eating Slowly

Try to have your meal with someone else so you can talk in between each mouthful and make the meal last for  a longer period of time

Chewing is one of the most crucial processes of breaking down the food and the digestion process starts from our mouth as a key enzyme in our saliva digests the food and helps your taste buds experience the flavors of the meal.

It is important to properly chew each bite of your food at least 20 times before swallowing it to ensure quick and easy digestion. One way to ensure that you eat more slowly is by having your meal with someone else and talking in between each mouthful. You may also sip on water occasionally to give yourself small breaks from eating.


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