Eating your food more slowly will allow you to not only gain less weight, but you will also be less likely to get sick.
More than once someone in your environment will have recommended you to eat slowly, without any hurry. Well, you don’t know how healthy that advice was, because people who eat slowly are less likely both to become obese and to develop metabolic syndrome, a set of conditions that put us at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes and that has also been associated as a risk factor in the stroke.
This is according to a study released at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, which is the setting for one of the most important meetings of researchers and physicians worldwide to present the latest advances in cardiovascular science. This particular research has been carried out at the University of Hiroshima (Japan) and the cardiologist Takayuki Yamaji, lead author of the study, was in charge of communicating the conclusions.
To reach them, they counted on the participation of 1,083 people (642 men and 441 women), with an average age of 51.2 years and who in 2008 did not have metabolic syndrome. In the experiment, they proceeded to divide them into three different groups, according to the speed at which they considered they usually ate: slow, normal or fast.
speed: slow, normal or fast.
After five years of research, scientists came to the conclusion that those individuals who ate faster were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome (occurred in 11.6% of people in this group). than those who ate at a normal pace (of these, 6.5% ended up with the syndrome) or those who ate food more slowly (only 2.3% of these were diagnosed). They also associated eating faster with greater weight gain, higher blood glucose levels and also with an increase in waist circumference.
“A crucial lifestyle change”
“Eating more slowly can be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome,” explained Takayuki Yamaji, a cardiologist at Hiroshima University. “When people eat fast, they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat. Eating fast causes greater glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance,” he continues. The researcher believes that the research, although carried out with a Japanese population, can also be applied to the United States and, therefore, to the rest of the Western world.
At this point, you will ask yourself a very pertinent question: am I one of those who eat too fast? According to the experts, ideally, you should spend at least 30 minutes on it – since, according to the magazine Harvard Health, 20 minutes is about how long it takes the brain to recognize that we’re full, and if you eat fast, the signal that you’ve eaten enough will come late, when you’ve eaten too much food. You should also chew five to ten times more food than you normally do and, to ensure proper digestion, always eat sitting down.
The American Heart Association, in charge of organizing these Scientific Sessions, is a leading scientific reference in Cardiology both in the United States and in the rest of the world.