Most Americans will admit, they eat fast. The US ranks near the bottom in time spent eating and drinking at around 60 minutes per day. The French spend more than double that amount of time eating and drinking each day.
Eating slower has a number of benefits including:
- Fewer intestinal complaints (eg, bloating, reflux).
- Better absorption of nutrients.
- More time for brain signals to catch up with eating resulting in less food intake.
- Becoming more mindful while eating.
- Increasing satisfaction with taste of food.
How long should a meal or snack last? Try to aim for taking at least 25 minutes to eat meal.
What are some strategies?
- Sit down while eating.
- Take small bites.
- Place your fork down between bites.
- Chew more.
- Choose high fiber plant foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other unprocessed food), these take longer to chew and you get more nutrients too!
- Minimize distractions (eg, screens, reading) while eating.
- Take a drink of water periodically.
- Leave extra food in the kitchen, so you need to leave the table to consider getting a second serving of food.
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
Holidays can be a tough time to focus on eating nutrient dense foods. If you need some strategies, contact me [email protected]