The Art Conscious & Joyful Eating: How one eats also affects the Digestion Process and Wellbeing. The French Mediterranean Way

Eating is a sacred process that requires due diligence. In this article-blog, I will review the evidence that confirms the deleterious effects of eating under stressful conditions (Section A). Thereafter, I will invoke a few mechanisms that account for this relationship between fast eating and diseases (Section B) and conclude with the French example of “slow” happy eating. (Section C).

Section A

New Evidence Shows that Fast Eating Promotes serious Diseases and nefarious Gastrointestinal Conditions

A new study shows that the habit of “shoveling in” one bite after another may promotes “big three” cardiometabolic conditions: heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and what’s known as a “cluster” of five risk factors. Medical News Today lists them. These are as follows: High blood pressure, high triglycerides (the fats found in the blood), high fasting blood sugar, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and a large waistline. (1)

The results of a new study,  recently presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, held in Anaheim, CA, suggest that gobbling down your food may seriously harm one’s cardiometabolic health. The study authors conclude:

“Eating speed was associated with obesity and future prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Eating slowly may therefore […] be a crucial lifestyle factor for preventing metabolic syndrome among the Japanese.” (Source)

Dr. Yamaji comments on the findings, saying, “Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome […] When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat.” In effect, eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance.

Obesity plays straight into the hands of metabolic syndrome, and more people than ever are developing the above risk factors. In fact, 34 percent of adults in the U.S. have three of the five cluster risks. (Source)  (2)

Cardiologist Takayuki Yamaji from Hiroshima University in Japan was the lead author of the study, which involved nearly 1,100 generally healthy male and female participants over five years, the average being around 51 years of age. Study subjects were divided into three groups, each categorizing themselves as slow, normal or fast eaters.

The results showed a two-times higher likelihood fast eaters would develop metabolic symptoms compared to their slower-eating cohorts, with a spread of a 2.3 percent likelihood for slow eaters and an 11.6 percent chance for the fastest ones.

The study concluded by saying, “Eating speed was associated with obesity and future prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Eating slowly may therefore … be a crucial lifestyle factor for preventing metabolic syndrome among the Japanese.” (3)

The Economic Times November 16, 2017, quoting Yamaji, reported that:

“Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome … When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat.  Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance. We also believe our research would apply to a U.S. population.” (4)

Section B

Mechanisms that explain why Fast Eating is Bad

Chewing slowly helps with the mastication-digestion process, that which starts in your mouth where the saliva’s enzymes are, including, but not limited to lingual lipase that helps break down fats. The longer one chews, the more time those enzymes have to start breaking down food. The process makes digestion easier on your stomach and small intestine. In this perspective, a study demonstrated that when the cohort participants ate almonds quickly and chewed less (10 times, as opposed to 25 times or 40 times per bite), their bodies failed to take in all the considerable nutrients almonds have to offer; the bits simply passed through and were eliminated. For those who chewed the most, the particles, hence the nutrition, were absorbed faster.

“Particle size has bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed,” said Dr. Richard Mattes (CQ), professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. “ he more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body.” (5)

Counting how many bites of food you take when eating has also been shown to make a digestive and weight managment difference. In yet another study, reduced the number of bites they took in their meals by 20 percent to 30 percent. According to The New York Times, (6) altogether, the study subjects lost an average of 3.5 pounds. (7)

Chew More Eat Less

The data also corroborates what many have intuitively known, that chewing more at a slower pace quenches appetite better and promotes better assimilation (Source). When the researchers compared the difference in food consumption between the quickly eaten lunch and the slowly eaten lunch, here is what they found: When eating quickly the women consumed 646 calories in 9 minutes. When eating slowly the women consumed 579 calories in 29 minutes. (8) (Source)

The claim that it takes your brain 20 to 30 minutes to realize your stomach is already full is also true, it turns out. As Harvard Health explains, scientists will tell you that a feeling of fullness is only part of the reason why you feel satisfied after a meal. Your brain is engaged in the process, too, as it needs to get the message sent by your digestive hormones secreted by your gastrointestinal tract.

In this realm, stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine.

One example is cholecystokinin (CCK), released by the intestines in response to food consumed during a meal. Another hormone, leptin, produced by fat cells, is an adiposity signal that communicates with the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on the body’s energy stores. Research suggests that leptin amplifies the CCK signals, to enhance the feeling of fullness.Other research suggests that leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating. The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work.” (9)

There are even studies confirming that increasing the number of times you chew each bite may reduce how much you end up eating by almost 15 percent.

Section C

The Art of Mindful and Joyful Eating: the French Mediterranean Example

In my Gascon and Mediterranean culture,  most of us are nurtured to eat with happiness. That’s one reason eating alone is usually discouraged. Being with friends and family will upregulate those happiness neuropeptides, which helps to body to shift from the sympathetic overdrive, when the gastric juices dont secrete much, to the parasympathic relaxed state when the body’s intelligences maximizes the gastric juice secretions upon encountering glorious food.

However eating with whomever in a state of heated discussion or tensions is not healthy. In Mindful and Joyful eating, talk is kept to a minimum, usually used just to express one’s happiness with the food and the people around the table. Mindful appreciation of all of what goes down the “gosier” (esophagus) is recommended, in the midst of a calm and beautiful area, with lots of smelling and chewing of one’s tasty and fresh food.

In France, a predominantly Catholic country, there is the tradition to turn off the television set and other sources of noise like the cell phone and say a prayer of gratitute for the food that is to be downed.  And then, we say “Bon appétit” those magic words that whisper to thy’s gastric juice that’s it’s time for another delicious culinary symphony of gastric juice secretion.


Rushing through to get food down the esophagus isn’t conducive to proper digestion nor health. If one has difficulty slowing down when eating, food experts recommend chewing 32 times as one counts each chew. Creating a calm environment with minimal distractions and putting down one’s utensils between bites are ways one can mindfully approach eating more slowly.

To conclude, I can’t help but to remind the Viewer that in terms of comparative anatomy, with this above mentioned study, more evidence is piling showing that  we humans are essentially plant-based mammals. Carnivores don’t chew their food. And they eat fast.

Christian Joubert (HMI director and CSO)

Reference and Precision Notes

Medical News Today November 14, 2017
(2). Globally, the problem may impact as many as 84 percent of the adult population. (Ibid, 1). Metabolic syndrome may even jump ahead of smoking as the biggest risk factor for heart disease. (Source). The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a major and escalating public-health and clinical challenge worldwide in the wake of urbanization, surplus energy intake, increasing obesity, and sedentary life habits. MetS confers a 5-fold increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and 2-fold the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) over the next 5 to 10 years (See ft 1) Further, patients with the MetS are at 2- to 4-fold increased risk of stroke, a 3- to 4-fold increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI), and 2-fold the risk of dying from such an event compared with those without the syndrome (Source),regardless of a previous history of cardiovascular events. (Source)
(3).  Circulation. 2017;136:A20249
(4).  The Economic Times November 16, 2016
(5).  Science Daily July 15, 2013
(6). The New York Times November 25, 2015
(7).  MedCrave August 15, 2015
(9).  Harvard Health October 19, 2010

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The Happiness Medicine Institute's central mission is centered on shouldering the masses (ie majority of People including, but not limited to the low and modest income categories) to meet their fundamental human birth-right of living a fulfilling, healthy and an evolutionarily designed Lifespan of 120 years and beyond. The only son of a Polish Jew mother and a Catholic Frenchmen father from Bordeaux, Christian and has come to the US, like Lafayette, to share the best of French and European experiences with Americans in order to beat the "enemy". In the 18th century, Lafayette, Rochambeau and France were the decisive forces that toppled those nasty British imperialists in Yorktown, thanks to which American sovereignty was made possible. In the 21st century, the "enemy" is chronic stress and an American food, medical and public health system that is un-necessarily maiming and killing Americans by the millions each year. Once (and if) the official standards of care become consistent with the People's basic needs and with the best Science, then Christian's mission will have been accomplished. In terms of bio, Christian was trained in French conventional medicine, Chinese acupuncture, European naturopathy, law, wine and a few other disciplines. He has partaken in thousands of seminars and conferences to corroborate what the safest, most efficient and cost friendly health restoration and lifespan techniques are. To this end, Christian established a research and education center called happiness medicine institute. A former law professor (Paris and Gonzaga School of Law), organic agriculture farmer (certified by Ecocert), professor of holistic oncology, naturopath and director of other health centers, Christian has been specializing for over twenty years in geroscience and biogerontology as both these "optimal longevity" fields of the Health Sciences are much more "holistic" and useful than conventional medicine insofar as slowing down and reversing age-related pathologies is concerned, including the aging process itself. As a result, by better tweaking the aging process and its concomitant longevity determinants, we can modulate and resolve most chronic diseases, including cancer, auto-immunity, diabetes, mental disorders, cardiovascular events and much more. The only rampant malady holistic medicine is powerless to act upon is arrogance (ie, hubris). Thus, not everyone can benefit from Joubert's expertise. If motivated people comply to a holistic lifestyle with specific longevity and happiness techniques, they can die after having peacefully reached 120 without any chronic diseases. Over 95 percent of chronic diseases are completely avoidable. This claim is not constitutive of what is called a "false promise". The evidence is overwhelmingly established, but most pharmaceutical firms and their medical and political allies ignore these claims and-or are not interested, if only because Joubert's proposed holistic techniques do not generate enough cash-flow for corporate appetite to be satieted. This extension of time to 120 years and beyond will give People more opportunities to better enjoy Life (Joie de vivre) and build the conditions that will lead to a new, lasting, healthier and happier civilization based on the exact opposite values and mechanisms of most of today's outdated and irrational standards and systems. Christian investigates Science, medicine and any other phenomena with medically and legally trained eyes. And digs deep, through multiple layers of knowledge and via multiple fields of science, thank to which he is able to identify the inter-connectiveness of relevant issues and determine the key root cause (or causes) upon which the consultee can act. Thus, over 95 percent of published material and common clinical practice is weeded out in order to get to the “crème”, the quintessence, the clinical pearl or what jurists call the “therapeutic relevance” for the benefit of whatever the health challenge may be….. So don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with Christian before he goes away. By doing so, the consultee will learn innovative, safe, efficient and cost-friendly techniques to achieve a healthy lifespan of over 120 years, as the French Mediterranean lady, Jeanne Calment has, (ie, the book of Guinness confirms she is the longest living human ever and most people don't even know why), as the most successful "bleu zone" does (i.e., the French-cultured Principality of Monaco in the Mediterranean South has the most centenarians, most bleu zoners don't know this) and as the French culture and lifestyle have abundantly shown over the last 1600 years, including, but not limited to its Mediterranean diet, Lourdes, its wine, its thermal medicine as well as to its many other health promoting techniques including France's health-vacation spas and other "joie de vivre" institutions that substantially slow down the rate at which telomeres shorten while significantly upregulating (activating) the other eleven hallmarks of Optimal Longevity. Thus, it's not for nothing that the World Health Organization ranked France as having the best health-care system in the world. To read more on France's health-vacation spas and dozens of validated longevity techniques as well as on Christian’s mission and background, click “about” and examine the website's other links. To benefit in vivo from Christian Joubert’s medical, legal, inter-disciplinary and trans-cultural training and experience, CLICK the Consult LINK in the top menu bar. Thank you.

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