The benefits of eating slowly: History
The way of eating and understanding its effects through history
Benefits of chewing: An old common sense advice, but a new science
Scientific knowledge about eating behavior is a very young field of knowledge, and it has been booming in the last twenty years.
Why? Well, for the very simple reason that the problem only emerged very recently.
The big dates
Man is substantially made up of the same DNA as that of sapiens, and yet his eating habits have changed brutally since the industrial era. See the excellent article on the site “Hominids, the evolution of man” which explains how we knew what our ancestors ate (including the analysis of fossil teeth and tartar).
- For millions of years, he was a hunter-gatherer
- 400,000 years ago he mastered fire, which gave him access to cooking
- For 10 000 years he consumes livestock and sorted cultivated plants. The food was scarce and the risk of famine was high.
- For 100 years, food has been industrialized and transformed. The consumption of food is often inappropriate, and the risk of associated disease important.
Antiquity in the 19 th century
The recommendation to eat slowly is not documented by any scientific research, but it is beginning to be dispensed by doctors. It’s only common sense.
It is known, for example, that Corvisart Napoleon’s doctor recommended his patient to eat more slowly.
Early 20th century
Horace Fletcher, known as “the great masticator”, invented a method called “Fletcherism” at the beginning of the 20th century. The idea came to him because of his digestive problems after meals. He experimented himself with his chewing method and lost more than 20 pounds, healing his chronic indigestion. The concept is to chew 32 times each bite, liquid or solid, as many times as we have teeth.
This approach proved successful but was temporarily completely forgotten in the twentieth century after the death of its promoter.
1980s: yoga and nutrition
In the years « Peace and Love », with the rise of the ecological thought, the esoteric, Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, engages on many conferences and the writing of a book “Yoga of Nutrition”.
« “To eat is to learn to disintegrate the matter and distribute the energy thus extracted in all organs: lungs, heart, brain… Chewing slowly and long food is a first step in this disintegration. The second stage is the work of thought which, like an extremely penetrating ray, penetrates to the heart of matter from which it releases the most subtle energies in order to support the work of the soul and the spirit. “ »
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov – The Yoga of Nutrition
This book will find a nice audience. In many points, this book participates in introducing the “mindful” movement which is now documented by many scientific research.
1990s: the first medical publications
They are still confidential and often deal with specific risky occupations (army, firefighters), in order to work on notions of efficiency and safety at work.
Strong research activity. More than a hundred publications in less than twenty years. Each year brings its discovery, with a relatively balanced distribution between the continents (1/3 USA, 1/3 Asia, 1/3 Europe and Middle East)
- Japan is a country with statistical studies on populations of several thousand people who demonstrate a correlation of eating slowly / eating fast on health: type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome. Why Japan? Perhaps because it is the country that is the least affected by obesity, and because the art of eating slowly is an art of living, it even has a name and is called “Ikigai“
- Several European and Middle Eastern countries are studying particular aspects of the influences of eating fast / eating slowly on physiological parameters (glycated hemoglobin, GLP 1, hypertension…)
- In Holland a team is very dynamic to work on eating behavior and the importance of taste and palate to prepare the body for good digestion
- In the United States, the activity focuses on the analysis of weight gain, satiety, calories, comfort during the meal, mindfulness.
The Slow Control fork efficient for slowing down and chewing more
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