Chefmax’s Blog

Exploring the Culinary Lifestyle

Better eating habits

Posted by chefmax on January 28, 2009

Can eating slower and chewing gum help your health? This story from Atlanta Journal-Constitution follows some of the latest research.

How eating slowly, chewing gum can help you

For the Journal-Constitution

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here’s a look at some of the research published in 2008 and how it might apply to you in 2009.

> Dietitians and moms always tell people to slow down when they eat, but does it really work to cut calories and curb the waistline? A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that women who ate fast consumed more calories than slow eaters. The slow eaters also reported a greater feeling of satiety or fullness at the end of the meal and rated the eating experience as more pleasant than the speed eaters.

BOTTOM LINE: Listen to mom and dietitians —- take smaller bites, put your fork down between bites and chew each mouthful thoroughly to reduce calories and shed a few pounds.

> CAN CHEWING GUM REDUCE YOUR STRESS? Researchers in Melbourne, Australia, studied young adults as they multitasked by completing an activity designed to induce stress. The gum chewers had less anxiety, more alertness and had lower levels of a stress hormone measured in their saliva compared to the non-gum chewers.

BOTTOM LINE: Although this study was funded by Wrigley, it may be that gum chewing has benefits for stress reduction. Make sure to choose sugar-free gum, as it has proven cavity-fighting properties, too.

> HOW TO IMPROVE IMMUNE FUNCTION: Immune function tends to decline as we age, setting the stage for infections and even some cancers. Researchers in Illinois (published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association) wanted to find out what nutrients are most associated with improved immune function in 65- to 80-year-olds. Although zinc and vitamin C frequently are mentioned as immune boosters, participants in this study had adequate zinc and vitamin C levels in their diet. Researchers did find that dietary intake of omega-3-fatty acids (long-chain fats found in fatty fish and some plant sources like flaxseed) and selenium were low in elderly men and women.

BOTTOM LINE: Older adults are advised to consume more healthy fats from fish, flaxseed or walnuts and include selenium-rich foods such as salmon, tuna, beef, chicken, eggs and peanut butter to help boost immune function.

Chris Rosenbloom, Ph.D., R.D., is a professor of nutrition in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Georgia State University. She’ll answer nutrition questions of general interest. Send your questions to her c/o The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sixth Floor, 72 Marietta St. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30303. Or e-mail her at chrisrosenbloom@live.com.

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2 Responses to “Better eating habits”

  1. I chew gum all the time. A dentist once recommended it to me. I like that it’s not only good for my teeth.

    @Pepperfire.

  2. chefmax said

    I bet you feel more stress free already.

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