Chinese researchers, from Harbin Medical University, have found that if you are trying to lose weight, then chewing food 40 times rather than the more normal 15 times will help fight off obesity. In other words, it is better to eat more slowly rather than rushing, which is a common habit in the West.
The scientists believe eating slowly helps to effectively fool the digestive tract into thinking you have a full stomach.
The research followed the behaviour of 30 male participants, divided into almost 2 equal halves of normal weight men and obese men. Two tests were administered, the first being to monitor hormone levels and chew rate. It was found that although both groups chewed at the same rate, the obese group swallowed more quickly.
The second test looked at the effects of chewing slowly. They asked participants (who were all given the same meal to eat) to chew their food 40 times before swallowing. Results found included reduced calorie intake by a massive 12%. which is the equivalent of a weight loss of 25 pounds.
The researchers believe chewing much more slowly than normal sends a signal to the brain, which in turn causes less hunger hormone to be released. This resides in the digestive tract. Blood tests showed much lower levels of the hormone ghrelin.
This latest piece of research backs up previous research carried in the USA in 2008.