Other

10 Reasons to Eat Slower Slideshow


Istock/StudioX

Sitting at your favorite restaurant in anticipation of a delectable dish is torture when you're starving. When it arrives, all succulent and piping hot, it takes all of your Emily Post-manners to not dive in fork first and start flinging food into your mouth as quickly as possible. But taking a minute to enjoy your meal may actually prevent you from eating too much of it.

Harvard Health Publications explains that when you consume food and water, stretch receptors are triggered in your stomach to send a signal through the vagus nerve, which connects the gut and brainstem. As partially digested foods enter the small intestine, hormones like leptin (produced by fat cells) signal the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on that food amount. Researchers argue that eating too quickly, without allowing food to settle, messes with the brain's ability to receive the message that the body actually has enough food. Hence, prolonged eating and bloated evenings.

1. Prevent Overeating

Istock/StudioX

Sitting at your favorite restaurant in anticipation of a delectable dish is torture when you're starving. Hence, prolonged eating and bloated evenings.

2. Savor Flavors

What good is a tasty meal when it hardly has a chance to linger on your taste buds? But savoring flavors by eating slower means more than just a pleasurable sensory experience. Linda Bacon, Ph.D., a nutrition professor at the City College of San Francisco, stated that the first few bites of a meal are crucial in savoring flavor to satiate hunger. After the first few bites, your flavor receptors begin to loose their sensitivity to what makes those foods taste so good. Savoring those first few bites may help you recognize when you are full.

3. Eat Slower, Have Less Anxiety

Istock/NadyaPhoto

Taking the time to chew your food and savor your dishes can do wonders for your body, but drawing a meal out can do even more for your mentality. Studies show that eating quickly or on the go raises anxiety levels, which can lead to binge or stress eating. The malabsorption of essential nutrients raises nervous feelings in the body. When you take your time to eat, forcing yourself to slow down introduces calm into your busy schedule.

4. Better Digestion

Istock/Drrave

Scientifically speaking, it is a known fact that digestion begins in the mouth. Salivary glands secrete mucus into the mouth to lubricate food prior to swallowing. The slower your chew, the more digestion occurs. Thus, the digestion that happens slowly in the mouth helps stomach digestion occur more easily and reduces digestive problems.

5. Prevent Insulin Resistance

Istock/Ivelinradkov

When the body produces insulin but does not use it properly, people experience a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin essentially helps the body convert glucose into energy, and as glucose is the body's main source of energy, this is very important. Should this process be compromised, there is an increased chance that those who have insulin resistance will develop type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Japanese researchers found that when eating too quickly, both men and women developed insulin resistance, especially those who were middle-aged. Eating slower could help prevent this dangerous process from occurring.

6. Reduces Acid Reflux

Istock/r_mackay

Heartburn after a great meal completely negates any happy sensory experience you had while eating. When stomach acids enter the esophagus and are left untreated, they can lead to serious medical consequences — narrowing of the esophagus, bleeding, or increased risk of developing esophageal cancer can occur. This could all be avoided if you opt to eat a little more sluggishly. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., instructed 10 healthy volunteers to finish a meal in five minutes or 30 minutes on alternating days. They found that those who took 30 minutes to eat experienced fewer episodes of acid reflux than the speed-eaters.

7. Promotes Weight Loss

Istock/Nazdravie

While we already know that eating slower helps prevent overeating, research also indicated that those who did eat fast were more likely to be obese. There is also a lot of research that suggests that weight-loss success is based around a doable lifestyle choice. Cutting junk foods out entirely puts some dieters in a position where they are more likely to fail — completely succumbing to temptation. Eating slower allows one to savor junk food a bit, allowing consumers to feel fully satisfied by their little treat.

8. Promotes Social Interaction

Istock/MonkeyBusinessImages

Europeans are known for their long feasts and spending hours at the dinner table, whereas we Americans down a coffee and doughnut on our 15-minute car ride to work and call it breakfast. Planning meals with friends and savoring not only the food but the conversation allows you to interact with your buddies. Putting the fork down between chitchat and setting boundaries while eating takes the focus off of hunger and puts it back on the people you're dining with.

9. So You Can Drink More Water

Istock/Skynesher

The benefits of drinking water are endless — from better skin to healthy weight loss. However, drinking the recommended amount of water a day — eight 8-ounce glasses — is pretty hard to do when you're eating so fast you can hardly come up for air. Eating slower and taking pauses between bites helps you consume more water, and in turn reap all of the benefits of this wonder liquid.

10. Strengthens Teeth

Your pearly whites will thank you for not putting them through abrupt, harsh food grinding and they'll also thank you for helping them become strong. A key component in eating slower is throughly chewing your food. While we already know that saliva helps your food break down more easily for digestion, it also helps strengthen tooth enamel. Chewing slowly allows you to create more saliva in your mouth and since eating slowly helps prevent acid reflux, this is a win-win for your teeth, as acid reflux is one of the leading causes of enamel erosion.


  1. Too Many Carbohydrates - are carbs starting to sneak back into your diet? Be honest and start tracking everything using my simple Carb & Food Tracker.A little treat here and there adds up. Some are more carb sensitive (or insulin resistant) than others. I know that my carbs have to be around 50g/day to be feeling great and in control of my appetite. Lower than that and I will lose a little bit of weight, above that and I know my weight loss will stall. I generally go between 35-70g/day without too much tracking because I have done it for so long.
  2. Too Much Fruit - yes I use berries on my breakfast and desserts, but that is it. I allow my children to eat fruit (without gorging) as they are fit, healthy and in the normal weight range. For me, the sugar and fructose in fruit are too much. Sure, enjoy it as a treat and eat only low carb nutritent dense berries. See fruit as an occasional sweet treat. Packed with fibre, antioxidants, nutrients. "If you are overweight, fruit is not your friend"
  3. Too much Dairy - my biggest downfall is milk. I love my lattes and flat whites. Now milk is great, full of protein and calcium, but it also contains about 5% carbs. A latte can range from 9g to 15g carbs depending on the size you choose. Most dairy such as milk, cream and yoghurt contains approximately 4- 5% but you are more likely to drink a large glass of milk, eat a bowl of yoghurt or drink a large latte than eat 250g of full-fat cheese which has negligible carbs. Go back and track just how much cheese, cream, milk, yoghurt and other dairy products you are having. Dairy products also contain a lot of protein, which can (via gluconeogenesis) turn into glucose in the body.
  4. Nuts - this was my other mistake. Snacking on too many nuts, too often. Nuts are a great source of fibre, omega 3, selenium. Be careful which nut varieties you consume. Cashews are the worst for carbohydrates, about 20%. Also, make sure your nut mix doesn't contain any dried fruit. The trail mixes are the worst. Measure out a small dish of nuts and make them last for the day. Buy nuts in their shells so it takes longer to eat them.
  5. Not Enough Fat - yes, to lose weight you need to eat more fat. I got to the point where nothing was working for me to lose weight, so I thought "I've tried everything else, why not?". It was the best thing I ever did. Honestly, by eating more fat, I have lost my appetite. I have to admit that I snack on butter slices when cooking dinner, or have a spoon of coconut cream to take the edge off my hunger, best of all - a creamy coffee. Don't fear the fat.
  6. Too Many Artificial Sweeteners - I believe diet drinks have a place in weight loss, but certainly not long term. I see them at the start to get over my sugar cravings and to fill up when I was hungry but they should be of short term use. I use sweetenersin my baking and desserts, but I don't make desserts and sweet treats a huge part of my life anymore. The whole point is to get off the sugar and the sweet treats. Sweeteners can affect appetite and make you think that if a recipe contains them instead of regular sugar, then it's OK to eat more. If your weight loss has stopped, stop the diet drinks the sweet treats and reassess.
  7. Eating Too Often or Eating Too Little - some say you should snack little and often throughout the day. You need to learn what real hunger feels like and actually get used to the fact that being hungry is actually OK. The other extreme is to eat too little, you become so starving that you end up eating something you know you shouldn't and sting far too much of it. Eat when you really think you need a meal, and make it nutritious. If all you want is a sweet treat, but not real food, then its probably a craving and not hunger. Cravings are a sign of insulin resistance, learn to resist them, reset your metabolism, you will finally gain control of your appetite.
  8. Be Patient- this has to be the hardest lesson to learn. I was really strict with LCHF, and for the first couple of months, I lost hardly anything. This is hard when every time I went on weight watchers, the kilos drop off. But that weight loss was never sustainable. I am still losing weight now, probably half a kilo every month. This will probably stop soon as your body finds its own natural weight, and my carb intake needs to be realistic that I can continue. Keep reminding yourself that your way of eating now is so more nutritious than when you ate carbs and processed foods. The weight WILL go, you WILL gain control of your appetite, and you WILL succeed. There are so many benefits (in addition to weight loss) that LCHF brings. Just read this article on why sugar is so bad for usand this one regarding insulin resistance.
  9. Lack of Sleep - lack of sleep and increased stress are critical to weight loss and wellbeing.
  10. Caffeine - caffeine is a stimulant which increases your adrenaline (short term hormone that gets you out of danger - "fight or flight"). It stimulates the liver to release glucose from its glycogen stores. What happens next? This new high level of glucose causes insulin to be released again, fat gets stored and fat burning turns off. If weight loss has stopped, can't sleep, too stressed, stop the caffeine. You don't have to give up your coffee, but just has a decaffeinated coffee and see how you feel.

Yes, stop the fake food and your low carb bars, sugar-free chocolate snacks and low carb bread. Firstly they are not real food, they are not wholesome and provide no real nutrition.

Part of the ethos of living low carb and keto is to eat real food, whole food, clean food, and food that is not manufactured, processed, or manufactured.

Too many of these bars calculate the carb content in a dubious way and some of the sugar alcohols will still raise your blood sugars. A few low carb bread brands have had their 'Low-Carb' claims removed as they were a complete falsification.

So you've read my "top 10 reasons you're not losing weight" - I'd love you to leave a comment below what stalled your weight loss and what you did to remedy it. What do you do when you want to kick start again?


Sugar: The bitter truth

For a very interesting and lengthy discussion on fructose and its effect on our biochemistry, here is a very insightful and popular talk given by Dr. Robert Lustig:

Have a look at Paleo Restart, our interactive Paleo 30-day program. Learn more and get started here.

+ #PaleoIRL, our new cookbook all about making Paleo work for a busy life is now available! Get it now here.


20 Best Slow Cooker Soup Recipes

There's just something about spooning a steaming bowl of soup into your mouth on a cold winter day. Maybe it's the way the flavors come to life on your tongue or how the liquid somehow manages to warm your entire body as it trickles down the back of your throat. Maybe it's the comforting memories it brings back or just the minimal effort it requires to consume it.

Whatever it is, you never turn down a hearty bowl of soup and we can't blame you. When made with the right ingredients, soup can aid weight loss, promote digestion, boost immunity, keep you fuller for longer, and much more! And because life is hella hectic this time of year, we went on a hunt for healthy Crock-Pot recipes that were also soups. It doesn't get any simpler than this.

This diverse list contains recipes that are both delish and got our nutritional stamp of approval. And whatever you do, make sure you're steering clear of these 15 Worst Ingredients to Put in Your Slow Cooker.


10 Slow-Cooker Recipes for Kids That They'll Actually Eat

Getting your kids to eat their dinner can be hard enough, not to mention the time it takes to prepare the meal. Make it easier on yourself and try some of our favorite slow-cooker recipes for kids that are so good, you know they'll ask for again and again. Slow-cooker recipes are perfect for a busy weeknight. Simply add the ingredients in the morning to enjoy ready-made dishes at night. Read on for some of our best kid-friendly slow cooker recipes to try this week.

Whether you're rushing to get a meal started or want to have dinner ready when you get home, make sure to dive into our slow-cooker recipes for kids. Your kids will love them and so will you! Keep a steady roster of kid-friendly slow-cooker recipes like these so you can cycle through them when things get boring. Switch up sides and use leftovers creatively to mix it up.

Start your week off right with our Slow-Cooker Lasagna, layered with meat sauce, noodles and ricotta cheese. You can set it to turn on at lunchtime and come home to a fully-cooked lasagna. Make it even better by using a slow cooker liner* so clean-up is even easier!

Grab your slow-cooker for the ultimate Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Sandwiches. Start the pork shoulder, onion and BBQ sauce in the morning and come home to delicious BBQ pulled pork. Use this recipe for sandwiches or salads, and serve with mac and cheese or with potato salad. The opportunities are endless!

Serve this Slow-Cooker Beef Chili alongside some delicious Southwest Cornbread. Beef chili is a familiar dish your kids will love, and you can add more vegetables to it without altering the taste profile.

Bring another hearty dish to the table with Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff. It's incredibly easy to prepare simply add sour cream mix, beef stew meat, mushrooms and garlic to your slow cooker for 7 to 8 hours on high. You can make this for an easy overnight dish or let it cook throughout the workday!

Chili doesn't need to just be meat-focused! If your kids don't like meat or want something different, try the Slow-Cooker Chunky Chicken Chili. Plus, you can help your kids make a Healthy Living food choice with this recipe.

Don't hold out hope for any leftovers when you make Italian Beef Sandwiches. It’s a simple recipes with just roasted red peppers, KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing, beef chuck eye roast and parmesan cheese. Grab some baguettes and you have yourself a meal your kids will love. Add on some sliced fruit and veggies, and you're done!

If you didn't know you could make meatloaf in the slow-cooker, now you do! Try out our Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Meatloaf this week. Serve it alongside steamed carrots and mashed potatoes for a delicious dinner. Pro tip: make sure to use a slow-cooker liner to avoid that dreaded scrubbing.

If your kids love takeout but you want to keep it healthier, try our Slow-Cooker Asian-Style Beef. Simmered in a blend of toasted sesame dressing, garlic and teriyaki sauce, chunks of beef get meltingly tender. You can serve it over white or brown rice or try mixing it up with rice noodles.

If you need a guaranteed homerun for dinner, try out the Slow-Cooker Saucy Meatballs. You can even get in some vegetables with sautéed mushrooms and green peppers. If you're doing a million things at once and can't be bothered with messy hands, meatball scoopers are handy multi-taskers. Scoop meatballs right into the crockpot and enjoy mess-free hands.

Last but not least is one of the classics: Slow-Cooker Pot Roast. You can get a full dish with meat, carrots, onions and potatoes all combined in a tasty sauce. Enjoy it right when you get home or between sports practice for the kids. Don't forget to use leftovers for sandwiches or over noodles!

*As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.*


The 15 Most Common Counterfeit Foods—and How to Identify Them

We are generally trusting eaters. A server brings a dish: It must be what the menu says. But labels can lie, and when it comes down to it, can you really tell the difference between one whity flaky fish and the next? Whether you like it or not, food fraud is real, and it's probably happened to you.

The food fraud du jour is olive oil, thanks to an infographic in the New York Times last week that portrayed the problem as a clever, if vaguely sensationalist, cartoon. Food fraud can be a tough issue to garner sympathy for—along with wine and caviar, fancy olive oil is a luxury product if you're willing to shell out that much money for something you can't even identify, aren't you just asking for it? Decidedly not, is our opinion. But you do need to do your homework.

So if you don't have a chromatography set in your pocket, can you ever eat without paralyzing uncertainty again? There are a few red flags to watch out for across the board. Number one: Read the ingredients . Words like aroma or essence should make you turn and run. Added sugar and sneakily suffixed ingredients (vanillin for vanilla, for example) are frequent offenders. Above all, buy whole foods whenever possible —because it's easy to add paprika extract to orange juice, but what could they possibly do to this orange? Well, actually. but that's another slideshow.


Get notified when we have news, courses, or events of interest to you.

By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. View our privacy policy.

Thank you for your submission!

Meatballs Using Nonfat Dry Milk

Articles

Totally Veggies Resource Guide

Guides and Publications

DASH Recommendations for Heart Health

Videos

Totally Veggies

Online Courses

Nutrition 101: Healthy Eating Guidelines and Meal Planning

Online Courses

FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: How genetic tests impact your motivation, moralizing food linked to weight regain, and Whole Foods packaging linked to cancer

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week how genetic tests impact your motivation, moralizing food linked to weight regain, and Whole Foods packaging linked to cancer.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @ summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page . I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.


Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

This twist on the classic Alsatian choucroute garnie is perfect for the slow cooker. Sausage, sauerkraut, boneless spareribs, and spices gently cook together until the pork is meltingly tender. Serve this hearty meal with some peppery mustard on the side.

If you’re feeling up for the challenge, make your own batch of sauerkraut.

Special equipment: You will need cheesecloth and butcher’s twine. If you don’t have either, add the peppercorns, juniper berries, and bay leaves directly to the pot and pull them out when everything’s done cooking.

This dish was featured as part of our Slow Cooker Recipes slideshow.

What to buy

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker

This top-rated Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker is perfect for the cook with a busy lifestyle and offers customizable cooking times and temperatures.