Why Eating Slowly is a Good Idea

  • 2 Minutes Read
  • Apr 18, 2017

There are a lot of reasons why eating slowly is a good idea. Learn about the physical and psychological issues related to the eating process. You may find that when you eat more slowly, you will get more pleasure from the foods you eat.

Why Eating Slowly is a Good Idea

Digestion starts in the mouth.

When hearing the word digestion, most people think of the stomach and intestines. Well, digestion actually starts in the mouth, the first hollow organ that serves as the start of the digestive tract. Digestion starts with the act of chewing and ends in the small intestine. Saliva is the first digestive juice used by the body to break food into smaller particles before it is moved on to the stomach. Chewing well provides a mechanical breakdown of the foods you eat and makes it easier on the stomach to carry on the digestive process. In addition, if you suffer from heartburn, it is helpful to chew well and eat slowly because the stomach won't have to produce as much stomach acid to break down the food.

Give your taste buds a chance.

Taste buds, the sensory organs found on the tongue, allow us to experience sweet, salty, sour, and bitter flavors. The average person has 5,000-10,000 taste buds on their tongue. Chewing food longer gives them a better chance to do their thing. The nose also plays a part in enjoying foods. While chewing, the food releases chemicals that travel up into your nose. The receptors inside the nose send signals to the brain about the flavor of a food. Can you see how chewing slowly can increase the pleasure of eating that slice of pizza or chocolate cake? Even healthier foods taste better when you take the time to appreciate the subtle flavors you might otherwise miss.

Don't miss the joy of eating.

Have you ever inhaled your food so fast that you couldn't even remember eating it? Yea, me too. Last month, I attended an amazing mindful eating conference and yoga retreat offered by Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Program. During this conference, one of the exercises was to have a silent lunch. Imagine 40 adults eating together in silence. Not being distracted by conversation allowed each of us to practice fully savoring the food. Yes, it was awkward and unusual, but I cannot tell you how valuable this experience was to me. Being fully present mentally while eating allowed me to completely enjoy the food and made me want to slow down to savor it.

Ideas for slowing down and fully enjoying food taken from the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Program include:

My curious husband asked me what topic I was writing about this month. I told him it was about the advantages of eating slowly. He said, "Right, so you don't choke." Well, this is yet another practical reason to slow down while eating.

Meal Planning & Diets->Healthy Eating
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

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