What Snacking has to do with cleaning?

Found this highlighted text from the excellent book Gut by Giulia-Enders

Everyone has heard their little housekeeper at work. It is the rumbling belly, which, contrary to popular belief, does not come mainly from the stomach, but from the small intestine.

Our bellies don’t rumble when we’re hungry, but when there is a long enough break between meals to finally get some cleaning done!

When the stomach and the small intestine are both empty, the coast is clear for the housekeeper to do its work. If the stomach is involved in the lengthy process of grinding down a steak, the housekeeper just has to be patient.

Only after six hours of churning in the stomach and around five hours of digesting in the small intestine is the steak safely gone and the housekeeper can start clearing up.

We don’t necessarily always hear the housekeeper at work. It depends on how much air has found its way into the stomach and the small intestine.

If we eat something before the cleanup is finished, the housekeeper immediately stops working and returns to waiting mode. Food needs to be digested in peace and not swept ahead too soon in a cleaning frenzy.

Constant snacking means there is no time for cleaning. This is part of the reason some nutritional scientists recommend we leave five hours between meals. There is no scientific evidence proving that the interval must be precisely five hours.

Those who chew their food thoroughly create less work for their housekeeper and can listen to their belly when it tells them it’s time to eat again.

Two things I have started doing after reading this are.

  1. Eat slowly. I was usually a moderate speed eater but now I have slowed it down to match my daughters eating speed who is naturally a slow eater in the family.
  2. Increased gap between meals which essentially means reduced snacking, be it tea or other small treat breaks.

One thought on “What Snacking has to do with cleaning?

  1. Pingback: Books Read in 2021 – Part 1 | SukhbinderSingh.com

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