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Natural Awakenings

Chew Well to Lose Weight: Reasons to Chomp a Little Longer

Mother was right. Thoroughly chewing our food is good for us. Thirty years ago Mom intuitively knew that chewing improves digestion of nutrients. Now the first scientific study on “satiety” at the University of Rhode Island shows that chewing each bite 25 times also causes women to eat up to 210 fewer calories a day, and they wind up weighing less. Hip hip hooray.

Satiety is the condition of feeling full, gratified, satisfied, beyond the point of wanting to eat another bite. But “satiety signals need time to develop,” explains Kathleen Melanson, assistant professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Rhode Island.

Mike Adams, author of the Food Timing Diet, expounds. “When we consume food more slowly, it gives our appetite control systems time to recognize and adjust to the amount of food we’ve consumed. By eating food too quickly, we consume calories ahead of our body’s ability to track our total food intake and we don’t stop after we’ve had enough food.” Remember Mom’s rule of waiting 20 minutes to digest lunch before swimming? It’s still the magic number.

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