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(dailyRx News) When midday hunger hits and it's time to eat, you might not be thinking about how much you chew your food. But by doing so, you could end up eating less.
A recent study found a significant decrease in the amount of food eaten when people chewed their food more.
The authors of this study noted that chewing more may be one way to reduce food intake and potentially help with weight management.
This study was led by James H. Hollis, PhD, of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University. The research team examined whether increasing the number of chews before swallowing food affected meal size in normal weight, overweight and obese people.
Dr. Hollis and colleagues analyzed data from 45 people between the ages of 18 and 45 in Ames, Iowa.
People were excluded from this study if they had previously used or were currently using tobacco products, were underweight, had a history of gastrointestinal disease, were on medication that altered appetite, were dieting or restricting calories, were allergic to the test foods or were pregnant or lactating.
At the beginning of the study, participants were given five servings of Tostino’s pizza rolls and asked to report how many times they chewed their food before swallowing. A researcher sat with each participant to confirm this number.
After this assessment, participants attended three test sessions during their usual lunch time. Each test session was seven days apart.
On each test day, participants were asked to eat their usual breakfast and to avoid alcohol or strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the test session. They were also told not to eat or drink any food after breakfast, with the exception of water, until the test session began.
During the test session, each participant was given 60 Tostino’s pizza rolls. They were told how many times they had to chew before swallowing. Some participants were told to chew their food the same number of times that they chewed at the beginning of the study, some were told to increase their number of chews by 50 percent and some were told to double their number of chews.
Food intake, meal duration, average eating rate and appetite ratings were recorded at the end of every meal for all test sessions.
The researchers found that participants who increased their number of chews by 50 percent ate 9.5 percent less than participants who were told to chew their food the same number of times.
Participants who doubled their number of chews decreased their food intake by about 15 percent compared to those who were told to chew their food the same number of times.
The researchers also found that increasing the number of chews increased meal duration and reduced eating rate.
The researchers did not find a significant difference, however, in appetite ratings between the groups.
The authors of this study noted that normal weight participants had a slower eating rate than overweight and obese participants, which supports previous research. They concluded that more studies are needed to determine the long-term effects of increased chewing on body weight.
This study was published on November 9 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The study authors reported no competing interests.
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U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.
"The agency has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, a major source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not generally recognized as safe for use in food," Hamburg said during a morning news conference. "This is an important step for removing harmful trans fats from processed foods."
Many food companies and restaurants have eliminated trans fats over the past decade, in part because of FDA nutrition label changes enacted in 2006. And some local governments, including New York City, already prohibit their use.
These restrictions have helped reduce trans fat intake among Americans from 4.6 grams daily in 2003 to about 1 gram a day in 2012, the FDA said.
Even so, Hamburg said trans fats "remain an area of significant public health concern." Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The Institute of Medicine concluded that trans fats provide no known health benefits and there is no safe level of consumption of trans fats, Hamburg added.
The medical community welcomed the news about trans fats.
"This represents a very important move by the FDA to help further reduce trans fat dietary intake and improve cardiovascular health in the United States," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, spokesman for the American Heart Association and a cardiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Many cookies and other baked goods, some microwave pizzas, ready-to-eat frostings and a host of other everyday foods contain trans fats, which are often labeled partially hydrogenated oils.
Trans fats raise total blood cholesterol levels even more than saturated fats, which can lead to heart disease, Fonarow said. They also raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol when used instead of natural oils, he said.
Clinical trials of diets containing trans fats have shown an increased risk of heart attack and premature cardiovascular death, Fonarow added.
Currently, trans fats fall in a category of additives "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA. Under the new proposal, they would be removed from that list and food manufacturers would need to petition the agency before using them. But FDA approval of such petitions is considered unlikely.
Widely used to improve the shelf life, flavor or texture of foods, trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil to solidify it.
Many restaurant chains no longer use trans fats, but smaller restaurants may still get trans fats-containing foods from suppliers or use the fats for frying.
The FDA said it would take public comments for two months before setting a timeline to complete the phase-out. "We need to know how much time would be needed for industry to remove partially hydrogenated oils from processed food products should this preliminary determination be finalized," Hamburg said.
Dr. Kenneth Ong, the interim chief of cardiology at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, said there are "only a couple of reasons manufacturers use trans fats -- maybe the taste and perhaps the cost. But I am not familiar with any health benefits. In fact, there is much more data to show the opposite."
Samantha Heller, senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said the only real way to know if a food contains trans fats is to look at the ingredient list for "partially hydrogenated" oils. "This means there are trans fats in that food. Put it back on the shelf and find another option," she said.
Added Rebecca Solomon, a clinical nutrition coordinator at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City: "Nothing good can come from people consuming trans fats. At the end of the day our food technology is sophisticated enough that there are healthier alternatives."
By Steven Reinberg and Margaret Farley Steele
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about trans fats.
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Healthy eating is all about balance – eating the right amount to match how active you are, and enjoying a variety of foods, so you get all the nutrients you need.
To function properly, the human body requires over 50 nutrients. No one single food or drink can provide us with all these nutrients at once, which is why eating a variety of foods in the right amounts each day is important to good health.
Use the portion plate to help you choose the right foods
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Make the chips in advance, cool completely, and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Questions/Comment? Email email@example.com
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Did you know that strawberries are packed with essential vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium, and disease-fighting phytochemicals? One serving- about eight strawberries or one cup- has only 45 calories and more vitamin C than an orange. Step Ahead's Nutrition Director, Sari Greaves R.D.N., says "strawberries are one of the most versatile fruits that pair well with both sweet and savory dishes. Try this easy to assemble sandwich for a refreshing summer meal!
Bon Appetit! Questions/Comments email firstname.lastname@example.org
Makes 4 servings, 200 calories per sandwich half.
2 whole wheat pitas, cut in half (such as Sahara 150 calorie pita loafs)
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
4 medium strawberries, sliced
1 bunch watercress, arugula or any leafy green
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons (about 1/4 cup) plain hummus (such as Sabra)
1. Combine chicken, strawberries and crumbled feta in bowl. To make the sandwiches, spread 1 tablespoon hummus inside each pita half. Fill with chicken mixture. Top with onion, cucumber, and leafy greens.
HUNGRY FOR MORE? CALL STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER TODAY: 908.470.2235 TO LEARN ABOUT OUR SUMMER WEIGHT LOSS PROMOTIONS!
Recipe adapted from www.californiastrawberries.com
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