Feb 11, 2014 04:39PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Turns out our parents (and grandparents) were right: we should chew our food carefully. Many of them suggested 32 chews per mouthful (one for each tooth, presumably). That may be a bit much for most of us (Dr. Oz recommends 20), but we need to try and hit a higher number because chewing not only aids digestion, it is digestion—or at least the first step as we break the food down into smaller and smaller bits, secrete saliva that coats the food with enzymes, and begin to digest fats and starches right in our mouths. Chewing also triggers the rest of the body (stomach, pancreas, small intestines) to start playing their parts. Enzymes and stomach acid can more easily coat food if it’s in tiny pieces. Chewing until your food is more or less liquid makes the digestive job that much easier.
And it could make us thinner. A study in China, for instance, revealed that those who chewed each bite 40 times consumed 12 percent fewer calories than those who chewed 15 times.
Bottom line: Perhaps the Chinese were too tired to eat after those 40 chews. Regardless, it is sound advice to savor the moment and savor the meal.
What’s Up? does not give medical advice. This material is simply a discussion of current information, trends, and topics. Please seek the advice of a physician before making any changes to your lifestyle or routine.