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Eating too fast may be ruining your health

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Faith Kariuki Biongo | January 27th 2019

There are three reasons to take a lunch break and savour your food as opposed to a rushed meal at your desk.

 Eating your food too fast means:

1. There is a great rise and fall of blood sugar and insulin hormone which causes insulin resistance that can eventually cause type II diabetes.

2. You do not chew it properly which interferes with mechanical digestion.

3. It limits the exposure of food to digestive enzymes in the saliva that lubricates the food and kick starts chemical digestion.  

This can result to digestive health issues like bloating, acid reflux and indigestion.

4. You are more likely not to feel full which often leads to overeating. Excess eating results to excess weight gain, a risk factor to almost all non communicable diseases including heart diseases, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

How your system works

A stuffed stomach is not the only thing that makes you feel satisfied after meals. Your brain must also receive a chain of signals which are stimulated by digestive hormones as partially digested food enters the small intestines. In return, the brain sends out more signals that suppress your appetite and tell your body when it is time to stop eating. It takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating for the brain to send out these signals to the stomach. This process is the one that gives us the feeling of fullness and produces a pleasure sensation after eating.

A 2017 study by the American Heart Association, points out that people who eat quickly until they are full are three times more likely to become obese, develop heart conditions, metabolic syndrome and Type II Diabetes than those who take time to eat their food. Those who eat too fast are also more likely to develop gastric reflux.

Slow eating is therefore a vital habit in maintaining good health. It will not only help you eat just enough but it will also help you manage your weight, improve your digestion and reduce the risk of many non-communicable diseases.

So, time yourself today and see how much time you spend on your meals and make necessary adjustments. Try and make each meal last at least 20 minutes.

Sit down and savor your food. Pay attention to the textures and taste. Appreciate each mindful bite for your health might as well depend on it.

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