Monday, August 15, 2011

Chew, chew, and chew some more! (40x)

Bakers & Chefs Dinner Forks - 36 pcs.My brother is the slowest eater I know. People think I'm slow, but when you get our family together, Cub (his name for this blog post to conceal his identity) will take at least twice as long as anyone else at the table. I am always amazed when we eat with friends, some can consume a whole bowl of cereal within 2 minutes, while it takes us Strogen kids (not so much kids anymore...) over 15 minutes to eat. I often wonder if people actually chew, because I feel like I need to chew several dozen times so that I don't choke.

Well... it may be good for our waistlines that we take so long to eat and chew so much. Yes, you have always heard you should never rush eating, and the rationale behind it was always because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to register that you're full. When the stomach sends signals to the brain that it is full, the "hunger hormone" ghrelin is reduced in the GI tract. Also, if you only have 30 min for lunch, and it takes you 29 minutes to eat a sandwich, you don't have time for those french fries or to think of anything else to consume...

In one study in China, lean and obese men fasted for over 12 hours and then were given a traditional Chinese breakfast (pork pie). The researchers found that obese men took similar bite sizes as the lean men, but chewed less per bite, and therefore, ended up consuming more calories by the end of the meal. The researchers then decided to try another study where they gave men pork pie one day and told them to chew 15 times per bite. The next study day they had them eat the same meal, but asked them to chew 40 times per bite. The findings were that, on average, when men (obese or lean) chewed 40 times, they consumed 12% fewer calories compared to when they chewed only 15 times/bite. Blood tests after the eating study revealed that ghrelin was lower after chewing 40x/bite compared to 15x.

Another study in 2008 published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that when women were forced to slow down their eating (putting a spoon down in between bites) and told to chew more (20-30x/bite) consumed, on average, 70 fewer calories compared to the day that they ate normally.

These types of studies suggest that slowing down your pace of eating will give your body time to signal to the brain that you are no longer hungry. Additionally, having more time to savor the aroma, texture, and tasting the flavors may have something to do with it.

Another added benefit to consider when chewing more is that you will burn more calories. Sure, it is few, but think of taking 40 extra steps compared to just 15 for a task you do several times a day... that will add up!

My recommendations: SIT DOWN to a meal, chew each bite thoroughly, and DO NOT RUSH!

1) Jie Li, Na Zhang, Lizhen Hu, Ze Li, Rui Li, Cong Li, and Shuran Wang.
Improvement in chewing activity reduces energy intake in one meal and modulates plasma gut hormone concentrations in obese and lean young Chinese men.Am J Clin Nutr, Aug 2011: First published online 20 July 2011, doi: 10.3945/​ ajcn.111.015164
2) Andrade A, Greene GW, Melanson KJ. Eating slowly led to decreases in energy intake within meals in healthy women. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2008; 108 (7): 1186-1191.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Your brother seems like a pretty smart guy.