This time it’s got nothing to do with ‘what’ you’re eating - but rather, how.
Pro tip: slow and steady wins the race when it comes to eating.
New preliminary research suggests people who don’t scoff their food down in a hurry are less likely to become obese or develop metabolic syndrome – aka heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
The results, which were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, are likely due to the fact that eating quickly may cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and can lead to insulin resistance.
Researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan monitored the eating speed and health of 1000 middle-aged men and women for five years, none of whom had metabolic syndrome.
The results found that a mere 2.3 percent of those who ate slowly developed metabolic syndrome, compared to 11.6 percent of the fast eaters, where their speedy eating style was associated with greater weight gain, higher blood sugar, and a larger waistline.
“When people eat fact they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat,” the study’s author and cardiologist at Hiroshima University, Dr. Takayuki Yamaji, said.
“Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance.”
So how do you know when to slow down?
It all comes down to mindful eating.
For the average person, it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to alert your brain that you’re full, so if you’re speed-eating during that time, you’ll consume much more than someone who is eating slowly.
And if you really can’t seem to stop yourself from devouring your food so quickly, try some of these tips:
To limit how much food you can scoop up, opt for toddler-sized cutlery, salad fork, or even chopsticks if you’re super talented
Put down your fork between bites
Try using your non-dominant hand to hold the fork
Turn the TV off when you eat
Channel your inner Masterchef judge by closing your eyes and noticing the tastes and textures of every mouthful
Follow these tips, especially during the silly season, and you’ll not only decrease your chance of putting on the kilos, but you might impress your family with your refined dining table etiquette. What can we say, it’s a win-win situation.
Brian P. McDonough, MD, FAAFPPeer
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