Chewing your food for longer can reduce your snack cravings: study

(Katarzyna Malecka/shutterstock.com)

(Katarzyna Malecka/shutterstock.com)

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, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

Want a trimmer waistline? A new UK study suggests chewing each bite of your lunch for 30 seconds before swallowing, which the researchers claim dulls your appetite for tempting treats for the rest of the day.

University of Birmingham researchers say that all the excess chewing curbs your desire for snacks such as sweets or salty foods that can pack on the pounds.

In the study, published online in the journal Appetite, subjects who chewed their lunches like this ate half as many snacks in the afternoon as those who ate normally.

Previous research has shown that chewing each bite for longer reduces how much you eat during the meal. But this study takes it further, suggesting that the extra chewing can reduce your cravings for snacks later.

In the experiment, 43 subjects, mostly female, were asked to refrain from eating two hours before the test, according to the UK's Daily Mail. They then were presented with a plate of smoked ham and cheese sandwiches, with the research group asked to chew each bite for 30 seconds before swallowing. Two hours later, the students were passed a bowl of Skittles, fruit-flavored candy, and a bowl of Minstrels, candy-coated chocolates, with the slower chewers eating half as much as the normal eaters.

But the downside is that the slow chewers reported less enjoyment in their lunchtime meal thanks to all the chewing, which they say altered the texture and taste of the food and the pleasure of eating -- the researchers say this could have played a part in the dampened desire to eat more later.

Access the study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666312004710


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