Healthy diets could be less a matter of what you eat, and more a matter of how fast you chew, new research has suggested.
A study has found that eating too fast could lead to a number of health problems.
Researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan have discovered that slower eaters are less likely to develop obesity and or metabolic syndrome.
The latter are a set of disorders, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.
Together they could lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
“Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome,” said Takayuki Yamaji, a study author from Hiroshima University.
“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.”
Researchers looked at 642 men and 441 women with an average age of 51.2 years.
Participants were asked whether their usual eating speed was slow, normal or fast.
They found that 11.6 per cent of fast eaters had metabolic syndrome.
This was compared to just 6.5 per cent of normal eaters and 2.3 per cent of slower eaters.
The new findings align with previous research which has concluded that rushing down food is linked with a higher obesity risk.
It is thought that the stomach doesn’t have time to tell the body that we’re full, so we end up over-consuming food.
While obesity can cause heart problems, the new study has shown that heart health can be independently affected by the rate at which we eat too.
In addition to chewing speed, other ways to reduce risk of chewing speed include, according to the American Heart Association, eating a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruit.