Many dieters swear by chewing, because during chewing they do not eat and feel that they are losing weight. However, chewing gum has been shown to lead to cancer countless times and lead to the production of stomach acid (which can lead to ulcers), so it can’t be said to be healthy at all. But what about the act itself, chewing, can such “hard” physical labor contribute to weight loss?
Amanda Henry, the new study According to one of the co-authors, a researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands, chewing involves little consumption of calories, just like typing on a computer. But let’s take a look at the human experience!
To calculate energy expenditure, 21 people were asked to lie still for 45 minutes, measure how much energy their bodies burn at rest, and then were given two types of tasteless gum. It was tasteless so the stomach wouldn’t anticipate the food, and one was harder than the other so had to be chewed differently. The researchers placed a sensor on each participant’s jaw to measure the strength of muscle contractions.
Chewing gum isn’t as perfect as chewing actual food because it doesn’t break down in the mouth like food and requires different jaw movements, but it’s good for a first approximation.
says Peter Lucas, one of the study’s authors.
Experiment revealed that chewing increases the body’s energy consumption by 10-15%, and although this is not equal to zero, it does not make you sweat, and we will not lose extra pounds while chewing.
Humans chew less than an hour a day, which is quite a few compared to other mammals: Orangutans spend 6.6 hours grinding, but cows chew for eight hours, and pandas chew bamboo for 12 hours a day. Well, we haven’t seen a chubby orangutan yet, but there are a few picnic-shaped pandas out there – but the role of movement can’t be neglected either.
Callum Ross, a nutrition researcher at the University of Chicago, blames cooking for a lack of chewing. By curing and steaming, we were able to save chewing time, which we could use for other things, but our jaws were changed too. According to the study, Neanderthal fossils prove that our teeth changed as our diet changed, but that’s not surprising: The ancients chewed breakfast, which consisted primarily of raw foods, for much longer than we do.
Future studies will focus on how much energy is needed to chew real food instead of gum. According to Ross, to better understand the evolution of our jaws, similar experiments can be done with primates. Well, we’d like to see a baboon sitting still for 45 minutes.
(Cover Image: Dave G. Kelly/Getty Images)
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