The deadly effects of eating on-the-go

You know that saying, “even a broken clock is right twice a day?”

Well today, that proverbial broken clock is the American Heart Association (AHA). I’d be hard-pressed to come up with even one of their “expert” nutritional guidelines that I agree with. But in a shocking turn of events, they’ve actually churned out some sage advice for a change…

Namely, that eating slower may be the easiest way to dodge a diabetes diagnosis down the road.

This conclusion comes courtesy of new research presented at the AHA’s 2017 Scientific Sessions — an evaluation of nearly 1100 subjects with an average age of 51. Researchers divided them into three different groups: slow eaters, normal eaters, and fast eaters. And while none of these subjects had metabolic syndrome in 2008 when the study started, five years later, some remarkable differences emerged.

Most notably, the fast eaters were significantly more likely to wind up with metabolic syndrome. And it’s no wonder, seeing as how fast eating was also linked with more weight gain, higher blood sugar, and a bigger waistline — three of the biggest red flags for metabolic dysfunction.

I can hardly think of a better example of the power of small changes. The pace at which you eat may seem inconsequential — but in reality, it can have a destructive domino effect on your metabolism.

When you eat too fast, your body can’t register fullness in time. You take in more food than you need. And you end up with bigger post-meal blood sugar spikes because of it. Do it often enough, and you can add insulin resistance to the party as well.

All of which paves the way to diabetes. And all of which could have been avoided simply by enjoying your meal at a more leisurely pace.

So when your next mealtime circles around, do your body a favor and stop. Sit down. And give yourself at least 30 minutes to eat mindfully. It’s a simple ritual worth honoring every day of the year — but particularly during this busy holiday season, when the tendency to eat on the run is the highest.