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Tastes slow good

Sep 6

Written by:
9/6/2012 8:40 AM  RssIcon

SLOW DOWN, YOU MOVE TOO FAST. You’ve got to make the morning last. OK, perhaps Simon & Garfunkel weren’t singing about breakfast—or lunch or dinner for that matter—but maybe they could have been. Why? Because there are numerous benefits to taking time to prepare and enjoy your meals. Here are just a few.

No Surprise Ingredients

Research shows that most Americans don’t know how to effectively read a nutrition label. But when you prepare a meal with fresh ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, you know exactly what ingredients are used and how much is included.

Portion Control

Ever notice how easy it is to go from famished to stuffed in just one meal? That’s because it takes 20 minutes for the full-stomach signal to reach the brain, says Alicia Westfall, R.D., L.D., CTMC food and nutrition services manager.

“It’s amazing how many unnecessary calories a person can shovel in if they aren’t paying attention to what their body is telling them. Eating too quickly leads to weight gain or acts as a barrier to losing weight.”

Nutritional Absorption

When you’re wolfing down your food, you don’t chew each bite as thoroughly as you should. “This causes your food’s vitamins and minerals to pass right through the intestines,” says Westfall.

“Slowing down and thoroughly chewing your food allows those vitamins and minerals to absorb into your bloodstream, where your body can use them.”

Meaningful Conversation

There’s a reason schools and many offices have cafeterias or kitchens designated for mealtime—it’s to provide an environment conducive to socializing and eliminating distractions. So when you’re at home, act the same way.

“The social gathering of a family meal is as nourishing as the food,” says Westfall. “The conversations also assist the group in eating at a slower pace.”

 If you’re dining alone, she suggests finding a place without distractions. “Don’t eat at your desk or in front of your television.”

Did you find this article helpful? Gain access to information on more helath topics by subscribing to our magazine, Hill Country Health.


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