Eating slowly, savoring every mouthful of food and without distractions is, increasingly, a luxury for many people. But it is critical to health, according to a study presented at the conference of the US Association of Cardiology.
Devouring food quickly does not give the brain enough time to register that we are satisfied. And it increases by five times the risk of a metabolic syndrome, characterized by a set of risk factors related to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The survey , conducted by Hiroshima University in Japan, has been followed for 642 men and 441 healthy women for five years and was presented at the annual conference of the American Association of Cardiology.
These participants were 51 years old when the study began in 2008. They were divided into three groups, according to the speed with which they ate the food.
The results showed that 11.6% of those who ate faster developed metabolic syndrome , significantly higher than the rates observed in the other two groups – among those with medium speed, the percentage was 6.5%, and among the slower, 2 , 3%.
“Eating slower would be a crucial habit change to prevent metabolic syndrome,” the cardiologist, Takayuki Yamaji , who led the study, said in the BBC .
“When people eat too fast, they do it exaggerated because they do not feel satiated. This also causes variations in glucose levels , which can lead to insulin resistance , “adds Yamaji.
The metabolic syndrome is based on the resistance to the action of insulin, responsible for the regulation of blood sugar, which forces the pancreas to produce more of this hormone.
Turn off the television to lose weight
A previous study had already concluded that eating slowly is an effective strategy to lose weight.
The research, conducted by the University of North Carolina, found that obese people who practiced ” mindfulness ” techniques lost two pounds in two weeks, while those who continued to eat fast lost 300 grams.
“Our study suggests there is an association between mindfulness and weight loss,” said Carolyn Dunn , lead author of the study, quoted by the BBC.
In this way, these scientists advise not to eat in front of the television , nor at the work table. These recommendations are in line with millennial Buddhist practices and other traditions that hold that eating with full consciousness is a form of meditation.
In the book “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life” , Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh and medical doctor Lilian Cheung teach how we can feed ourselves without distractions.
Among the techniques presented in the book is “tangerine meditation” which recommends eating the fruit slowly, reflecting on the process of nature to produce it and the work necessary to arrive at our table, feeling gratefully sweet and citrus.
So the next time you have a plate of food ahead of you, try turning the television off, leaving the phone aside, and go away from the desk. Caring gestures to yourself to enjoy every mouthful of food .