This Is What Eating Too Fast Does to Your Heart

You've probably been told at some point in your life to slow down while you eat. This is pretty sage advice, according to a new study.

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Sometimes eating quickly seems like the only option. Maybe you woke up late for work and have to scarf down some sort of nutrition on-the-go. (In that case, these quick breakfast ideas are your best option.) Maybe you’re a professional competitive eater. No matter the situation, this rapid consumption is unavoidable at times, but there’s good reason to make sure it never becomes a habit.

A study recently published in Circulation found strong associations between eating speed, weight gain, and risk for cardiovascular disease. The research took 1083 subject, 642 men, and 441 women, and divided them into three eating speed groups, slow, normal, and fast. Over the span of five years, the subjects entered into a health examination program which monitored their health throughout the study.

The specific medical condition which the study was keeping an eye out for was metabolic syndrome (Mets), a condition which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a cluster of conditions—increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels—that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.” (This sugar substitute has been proven to help ward off Mets.)

During the five-year follow-up check-in, 84 participants were found to have metabolic syndrome, with the fast group having the highest proportion with the condition. People in the slow group had a Mets incidence rate of 2.3 percent, the normal group had a rate of 6.5 percent, and the fast group had a rate of 11.6 percent. All subjects were Mets-free at the baseline testing at the start of the study.

But why does eating speed play such a large role in someone’s likelihood of developing Mets? According to study author Takayuki Yamaji, M.D., a lot of it comes down to blood sugar. Eating fast can cause fluctuations in blood sugar, which can then lead to insulin resistance, which can then cause your cells to have trouble absorbing glucose. The body will respond by overproducing insulin to compensate for the lack of absorption, and over time this overproduction can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So if you’re looking to stave off Mets and all of its surrounding symptoms, be sure to allow plenty of time for your next meal. And if you aren’t sure if you already have the condition, watch out for these 7 clear signs of metabolic syndrome.

[Source: Men’s Health]

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