Chewing food more helps digestion
Here’s why. If large pieces of food are divided into many smaller pieces, the sum of the surfaces of these pieces increases and the thickness of each piece decreases. Thus, enzymes in the mouth come into contact with a greater surface area.
It’s similar in the stomach and intestines where proteins are break down and food bits are split chemically into individual components.
As a result of chewing more and cutting food into smaller pieces digestion process consumes less energy.
Chew your food at least 20 times
It is believed that food should be chewed at least 20 times before swallowing it. In reality, food should be chewed even more. At least 30 or 40 times.
This number might seem a bit high, but, as we’ve said earlier, the more you chew your food, the easier you will digest it and the feeling of not being hungry will last longer.
If you feel good (and not like you just ate a balloon) after a meal then you chewed your food enough. By chewing your food more you will get leaner (not over night of course) because you will be less hungry.
Always eat with feeling – don’t just “throw” your food down your throat. Eat slowly, from bite to bite. This way you will feel satisfied longer. You’ll also lose body weight as a result of lower calorie intake.
If you want to know how much calories you need per day we suggest you read this article: How many calories should I eat to lose weight?
Also useful is our BMR calculator that will calculate your daily calorie consumption.
A study that proved that chewing more is better
Chinese researchers published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The results were surprising. The researchers have found out that people who repeatedly chew each bite usually eat smaller portions.
The study included 16 slim and 14 obese young men. After 12 hours without food, volunteers were served a typical Chinese breakfast – the pie with pork meat and chocolate flakes.
While men ate, the scientists recorded how many times each man chewed a bite. All men were served with the same amount of food. If they desired, they were given more food.
Researchers assumed that obese males will chew each bite less and they were right. Although bite size of slim and obese men was the same, slimmer men chewed their food more intense. Because of this fact, slimmer men ate less food and hence consumed less calories.
Researchers conducted another experiment. Men were once again brought to the lab and they were offered the same breakfast again. Pie with pork meat and chocolate flakes. The experiment lasted for 2 days.
This time researchers didn’t dose the portions, but let men eat as much as they wanted. The first day men were allowed to chew each bite 15 times, on the second day they were instructed to chew their food 40 times.
Slim and obese men consumed about 12 percent fewer calories when they chewed food bites 40 times, in addition, they have a higher number of bites hunger hormone to release in small quantities.
You can read about this research on The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition website on this link.
The researchers concluded that if food is not chewed enough, you are at risk of obesity. The reason for this might be in the fact that chewing allows and encourages the release of nutrients from food, which are then easier to absorb.
It is therefore advised that food should be chewed as much as possible before swallowing.