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Taking time to eat slowly, savoring each bite, without distractions, may seem like a luxury for many people facing pressures at work or at home.
But eating calmly is essential for health , according to a new study presented in California at the annual meeting of the United States Cardiology Association.
Swallowing food and devouring it quickly increases the risk of the so-called metabolic syndrome five times , a generic term that describes diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
And that’s because when we eat fast we do not give our brain enough time to register that we are satisfied.
The study was presented by the cardiologist Takayuki Yamaji , from Hiroshima University in Japan, who followed over five years to more than a thousand people (642 men and 441 women) considered healthy.
The subjects were 51 years old at the beginning of the investigation in 2008.
Yamaji divided the individuals into three groups according to the speed with which they ate their food.
During the period of five years, 11 , 6% of those who ate quickly developed metabolic syndrome .
The percentage was considerably higher than that recorded in the other two groups. Among those who ate food at medium speed the risk was 6.5% and in the case of those who ate more slowly the risk was only 2.3%.
“They do not feel satisfied”
Everything indicates that “eating more slowly would be a change in lifestyle that is crucial to preventing metabolic syndrome,” Yamaji said in California.
“When people eat very fast they tend to eat in an exaggerated way because they do not feel full,” the Japanese scientist added.
“Eating fast also causes fluctuations in glucose levels that can lead to insulin resistance.”
Insulin resistance is an alteration of the response of tissues to the action of insulin that leads to an increase in blood glucose levels.
Yamaji added that the metabolic syndrome is one of the causes of cardiovascular diseases .
Turn off the television to lose weight …
A previous study had already indicated this year that eating slowly, perceiving each flavor, is an effective strategy when it comes to losing weight .
The research, from North Carolina State University, found that obese people who received training in mindfulness or “mindfulness” practices lost two kilos in 15 weeks. Those who continued to eat quickly lost 300 grams in the same period.
“Our study suggests that there is an association between eating with mindfulness and weight loss,” said lead researcher Carolyn Dunn, the study’s lead author.
Scientists in North Carolina advise against eating in front of the television or on the desk during work.
The recommendation is in accordance with millennial Buddhist practices and other traditions that suggest eating with full awareness as a form of meditation.
In his book, ” Taste : Eat and Live with Mindfulness, ” one of the best-known Buddhist authors, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, and Dr. Lilian Cheung explain the practice of eating food without distraction.
Nhat Hanh teaches even a “Tangerine meditation” (or tangerine), in which he recommends eating the fruit slowly, connecting it with all the previous process in nature to produce it and the work of those who worked to make it come to the table, feeling With gratitude on the palate every explosion of citrus sweetness.
So the next time you sit down in front of a plate of food, why not try to turn off the television, do not look at the cell phone, or sit at the desk.
You will treat your body with affection if you enjoy every bite.