You may be aware that chewing slowly is often recommended for maintaining a healthy weight. Experts suggest that this mindful eating practice helps individuals become more attuned to their body's fullness cues, preventing overeating. However, recent research indicates that slow chewing can also aid in weight management by increasing energy expenditure during the process of digestion.
A study published in Scientific Reports has established a correlation between chewing and diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT). DIT refers to the energy expended through heat production after consuming food, and augmenting this process is believed to contribute to weight loss.
The researchers discovered that both slow eating and thorough chewing not only elevated DIT but also improved blood circulation in the abdominal region.
Co-author Naoyuki Hayashi explains that although the difference in energy expenditure is modest, it accumulates over multiple meals throughout the day, potentially serving as an additional tool for combating obesity and preventing metabolic syndrome.
Hayashi further elaborates, "We observed an increase in DIT or energy production after a meal, and this increase was proportional to the duration of taste stimulation and chewing. Regardless of the food bolus, oral stimuli, which correspond to the time spent tasting food in the mouth and chewing, resulted in heightened DIT."
While previous studies have presented conflicting evidence regarding the association between DIT deficit and obesity susceptibility, it is evident that slow chewing can play a role in weight management and overall well-being.
Article sources and references
- 1. Yuka Hamada, Naoyuki Hayashi. Chewing increases postprandial diet-induced thermogenesis. Scientific Reports, 2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-03109-x
- Science Daily, 12 January 2022. Chewing to stay slim: How to savor your food better and dodge weight gain. Accessed January 2022
- Ho, K. K. Y. (2018). Diet-induced thermogenesis: fake friend or foe?, Journal of Endocrinology, 238(3), R185-R191. Retrieved Jan 20, 2022
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