Chewdaism

posted Jun 21, 2012, 7:35 PM by Nikki Herrera-Bharwani
Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs
Chewdaism

In an interesting book called Drop Dead Healthy by New York Times bestselling author A. J. Jacobs, a growing movement believes that Americans (or us, in general) are under-chewers—people who swallow too quickly without masticating their meals well. Seems pretty harmless, except that it actually has real health implications. 

In
 the March 2010 issue of Food & Wine, Jacobs writes:
We are a nation of underchewers. And while that may seem like a pretty minor food sin—along the lines of drinking brandy from a wineglass instead of a snifter—it actually has real health implications. If we all started using our molars more, it would improve both our waistlines and our digestion. Chewing a lot would make us eat more slowly—which, some studies show, means we would eat less. And we would get more nutrition out of every bite: A recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that when people chewed almonds at least 25 times, they absorbed more unsaturated fat (the good kind of fat) than those who chewed only 10 times.
Though the movement of Chewdaism can go as extreme as chomping on one biteful as much as 100 times—even posting Youtube videos on how to chew (INSANE), Jacobs recommends chewing a bite 12 times before swallowing. Just a healthy dozen to reap the benefits of better nutrition and, yes, even a thinner waistline. Call it "Reform Chewdaism", he says.

American nutritionist Horace Fletcher (1849-1919) known as “The Great Masticator”, advocated chewing food deliberately and at great length, until it “swallowed itself.” According to Fletcher, “prolonged chewing precluded overeating, led to better systemic and dental health, helped to reduce food intake, and consequently, conserved money.” 

So remember, in every meal, take the time to chew every bite thoroughly, around 12 to 15 times. Look up from your plate and look at your surroundings every so often. Have a conversation in between bites. Savor that dish. Gulper-downers will only gain more weight, and quite honestly, quite a bit of gas.



Resources:

Drop Dead Healthy, by AJ Jacobs
Fritinancy: Names, brands, writing, and the language of commerce, by Nancy Friedman
Livestrong.com: The Great Health Experiment, by AJ Jacobs


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