With obesity such a looming threat hovering over so many parents today, here is news related to cutting calories. It has the two most important qualities related to almost any successful child intervention:
* Fun to do
* Easy to carry out
Here is the best part… There is nothing to buy and no additional time commitment!
According to the November 19th article in The Wall Street Journal called Burning Question: What is the optimal way to chew your food?, the method is to chew more before swallowing. The body wants to make the best use of every calorie and does it by having the food as digested as possible before it enters the esophagus. If lumps are sent down to the stomach area, those calories are lost, only to get rancid; and the body is left seeking more food.
The original researcher “in the late 19th century was a diet-guru and cereal pioneer John Harvey Kellogg, and he argued that 35 chews per bite were ideal. His contemporary, Horace Fletcher, came to a similar conclusion with 32 times, one per tooth.” Today Sr. Bielefeldt says “the optimal chew-per-typical-bite” is around “10 chews.”
According to Dr. Bielefeldt “chewing more slows down the eating process, giving our brain time to register that it is full. That is why the big gulper is at risk for obesity. Satiety kicks in long before the brain knows, so he keeps eating.”
Here are some of Dr. Bielefeld’s suggestions:
- Put down the fork between bites.
- Take a smaller plateful of food.
- Avoid going back for seconds until the last person is done.
- Take breaks between courses.
After taking all of the above information into consideration, here is what you can do at home that is what I promised above–fun and easy. Figure out your own answer to the number of chews needed to completely break down different kinds of food that you serve. Your children are likely to love the challenge, and you will be teaching the optimal way to chew food. Once you go through this process a few times at a few different kinds of meals, you will be raising awareness about chewing properly both for optimal calorie utilization and to eat more slowly. Your children will eat less and enjoy it more.
November! The Month of Giving Thanks
At almost every table across the country this Thanksgiving, families will be giving thanks for delicious and festive foods.
Here’s an interesting addition. The better you chew the more delicious the food will taste.
From the same article above…
“Chewing slower and longer gives diners the most pleasure because it allows a person to properly taste the sweetness in the starch as it breaks down in the mouth and to smell the delicious fragrances of each bite. If you are a big gulper, much of the flavor is lost. If you just put food into your mouth then into the esophagus, you get no joy”
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