Healthy

What To Look For When You Chew Your Food Wrong

Growing up, you probably rolled your eyes when your parents told you to “slow down” when eating dinner. However, they may not have known why your parents knew something.

Chewing slowly and thoroughly is crucial for eating and swallowing food and is also essential for preventing digestive woes and health issues.

The experts share why chewing enough is important, what “enough” means, what happens when you don’t chew enough, and how to fix your chewing habits.

Proper Digestion Requires Chewing

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It is the mouth that begins digestion, not the stomach. As registered dietitian nutritionist Johanna Salazar explains, chewing reduces the size of food and activates the salivary glands to produce saliva. In saliva, enzymes such as amylase and lipase break down carbohydrates and fats.

It Is Easy For You To Get Heartburn

The stomach produces hydrochloric acid when chewing. Salazar says that without chewing through your food, your stomach won’t have enough acid to aid digestion. Low stomach acid and unchewed food cause gas bubbles to rise and cause heartburn.

Problems With Digestion

Gut health is negatively affected by insufficient chewing. The pancreas secretes enzymes as food moves into the small intestine, and the gallbladder releases bile. These components also break food down but can only do so much. Salazar said, “This can cause bloating, gas, indigestion, and constipation.”

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You Absorb Fewer Nutrients

Salazar says chewing breaks carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into molecules called monosaccharides, amino acids, and fatty acids. Insufficient chewing can prevent carbs, proteins, and fats from being fully broken down and absorbed by the small intestine.

Overeating Results In Weight Gain

You are likely eating too fast without chewing your food thoroughly. Therefore, you may overeat, leaving you feeling sick and lethargic and putting you at risk for metabolic syndrome. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer can all be risk factors for metabolic syndrome.