In the age where pretty much everything is deliverable to our deskside (looking at you, Uber Eats) taking time to savour a meal is practically a luxury. But according to new research, it could be the key to keeping our waistlines and heart health in check.
Scientists from Hiroshima University in Japan have found that mindful eaters are less likely to be overweight or develop metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of disorders that increase a person’s risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
The team analysed more than 1,000 middle-aged men and women over a period of five years, monitoring the speed that they gobbled down their food and their overall health.
At the conclusion of the study, they found that just 2.3 percent of the slow eaters had developed metabolic syndrome, in comparison to 6.5 percent of medium-paced grazers and 11.6 percent of those who prefer to chow down quickly. The latter group were also three times more likely to have gained weight.
It’s believed that hoovering your food prevents the brain from noticing when it has taken in too many calories and receiving the message that you’re already full.
“Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome,” said the study’s lead author and cardiologist Dr Takayuki Yamaji.
“When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat. Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance.”