A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that people who chew their food more are more likely to have lower body fat. The study, by Li et.al, determined that obese participants ate food at a faster rate and had a lower number of chews per 1g of food consumed, even though bite size was similar to leaner participants. Furthermore, regardless of weight status, 11.9% LESS food was consumed if the participant chewed 40 times than if they chewed 15 times. Thus, this resulted in lower energy intake, and also lower concentration of ghrelin, which is the hormone that makes us feel hungry.
Take home message- avoid wolfing your food down, take your time to chew it properly, and enjoy every bite… which takes us back to mindful eating, as discussed here.
If you’d like to read the full study, you can find it here: http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/2011/07/20/ajcn.111.015164.full.pdf
Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you'd like our help in managing diet-related health issues.