You should chew your food until it becomes small enough to swallow easily, so your stomach should not work too hard. Digestion starts in the mouth.
Saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that helps chemical degradation of food. There is also mechanical digestion, the physical action of destroying food. If the food does not stay long enough in the mouth, it is not exposed to amylase to break down carbohydrates – there is little carbohydrate digestion in the stomach and if the food gets there without being properly digested, the stomach has to work harder. There are also some things the stomach can not absorb. If food pieces enter the upper part of the small intestine, they can lead to swelling and discomfort.
Instead of advising an absolute number of times to chew your food, I recommend people put their food or utensils between the bites – when you finish chewing and swallowing, take your utensils and take the next bite. There is something that calls for urgency when the fork is full of food in front of your face, waiting to get into your mouth, which makes you think you need to finish your food faster. Delivering your utensils between bites can give you a feel when the food is chewed enough.
Joe Travers, Nutritionist at the London Dietitian and Author of the Low-Fat Diet, he spoke to Tolani Idris