This Thanksgiving Dinner: Chew Your Food. Eat Slowly – Physician’s Notebooks


By eating slowly you will satisfy your appetite at one sitting with less food.

Chewing food well will help your digestion. That’s why slow-eaters have fewer digestive problems than fast-eaters who swallow much and chew little. The digestive process most efficiently starts with contemplating the food visually, which stimulates digestive juices; continues with cutting food into small pieces, and proceeds by chewing each piece well. If you practice, you’ll end up being the slowest-eater at a table, enjoying food the most.


Next time you dine with a group, note how the fast-eater operates. He immediately attacks his food, cuts up large chunks, stuffs his mouth, makes few biting movements, swallows, and stuffs in more.

When you eat with groups, pace yourself against the others: be the last to start each course and keep your pace slow enough so that you finish slightly after the slowest. In restaurants, a bonus after slow-eating is not finding yourself sitting, twiddling your thumbs, making small talk, and constantly looking for the waiter coming with the next course. If you’re an ideal slow-eater, each course will be served just as you finish the previous one.


We should eat slowly with a minimum of extraneous sensory stimuli. Digestion proceeds best without diversion. True sensualists who eat slowly, purely for food enjoyment, find that eating slowly in a quiet, low-lit setting, with minimal babble, brings out the best in food enjoyment. The big bites, the fast swallowing, the flash of TV, and table partner gossip; these, a true gourmet banishes from his eating room.

Another big benefit of slow-eating is avoidance of poisoning.

Here is an example: just after World War 2, when food was scarce, people went hungry and quickly ate anything offered.
One day a man walked into a bank and, after discussion with employees about a loan, passed around some Marzipan cherry chocolates. The employes uncritically did a fast eating of the Marzipans. Within minutes the employees were dead from cyanide. The alleged murderer died after life imprisonment, claiming innocence. Whether guilty or not, the lesson here is practice slow-eating. Don’t pop anything into mouth just because it is free and seems to taste good, and never start to eat, or swallow, fast.
(Cf. 18 July 2013 Patna India free school lunch fatal mass poisonings)
Before starting food or drink, inspect appearance and odor and taste before swallowing.

And even while chewing, be alert to a sharp object. Never feel shy about spitting food out at last moment if its taste seems strange. And inspect, cook or heat all eats out of a can. (Cf. recent cases of needles in airline gourmet sandwiches)

Slow eating is a good notion for healthy longevity. This Thanksgiving, be a slow eater.

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