A podcast captures Hazel Windsor-Aubrey's total attention, so much so that her NHD blog focuses on the research behind this interesting topic of eating too quickly...
I, like many people, am an avid podcast listener. As a dietitian, I know I am naturally drawn to those podcasts with a diet and nutrition focus. They can be brilliant for enhancing my knowledge and staying up to date with the latest nutrition news in what I feel is a low effort way.
You can be out walking the dog or cooking dinner and listening and learning at the same time. Win win! Podcasts have in fact become so much a part of my life that there was a period not too long ago (albeit during a relatively stressful time of my life!) that I was not able to fall asleep without a podcast on in the background. Safe to say, I have sorted out my stress and my sleep routine so that this is no longer the case. What it does mean (and this always gives my husband a good giggle) is that if I’m not standing/walking around, the mere sound of a podcast will put me to sleep, for example on a car journey.
A recent podcast I listened to this month and a particular favourite channel of mine, regardless of the subject, was a Zoe podcast titled The surprising health impact of eating too fast, which was released in May this year. There was no sleeping done this time around, I was instantly hooked. The topic looked at the impact of speed of meal consumption on blood glucose spikes postprandially.
I am very aware that blood sugar monitoring has become quite ‘in vogue’ recently, particularly for those not managing chronic conditions such as type 1 or 2 diabetes (for example, athletes), and keeping blood sugar levels as low and even as possible is not a magical elixir for health (it is normal for blood sugar levels to rise after a meal). As a dietitian who works regularly with clients who manage both type 2 diabetes and overweight and obesity, I was very taken with the simplicity of the action points discussed.
The presenter, who tried this experiment himself, ate the same meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner on two separate, consecutive days. The first day he ate quickly and the second day he ate as slowly as he could. His results showed that on the first day, his blood sugar levels rose very high very fast and he was easily able to finish the meals. On the second day, there was a significant reduction in his blood sugar levels and for some meals, he physically was not able to finish them. This point linking slower eating to smaller portion sizes could potentially be very helpful for those trying to manage their weight better. Results from the Zoe PREDICT 1 study found that faster eaters generally ate on average 120kcals more per day.1
HOW ABOUT THE RESEARCH?
Let’s have a quick look at more of the science, as there have been a couple of interesting Japanese studies:
- The first looked at over 5000 Japanese adults with HbA1C <6.5%. Over a four-year follow up, the study found that older males with a high BMI, who skipped breakfast more than three times per week and ate quickly were at increased risk of poor glycaemic control.2
- The second study investigated Japanese adults with type 2 diabetes. It found that the rate of eating was significantly associated with BMI, although no association was found between the rate of eating and HbA1C.3
EXPANDING OUR LEARNING
Podcasts have become an integral part of my life, offering a convenient and informative way to stay updated on diet and nutrition trends. Whilst they have occasionally served as my lullaby during restless nights, this Zoe podcast, The Surprising Health Impact of Eating Too Fast, captivated my attention from start to finish.
In an era where blood sugar monitoring has gained popularity, even amongst individuals without chronic conditions, understanding the nuances of blood sugar regulation is crucial. It's a reminder that managing blood sugar isn't a one-size-fits-all solution but rather a complex interplay influenced by various factors.
As a dietitian, I appreciate how podcasts like these continue to expand our understanding of nutrition and health, challenging conventional wisdom and providing valuable insights. They're a testament to the power of accessible, on-the-go learning, making it a win-win for both knowledge seekers like me and anyone looking to explore the multifaceted world of nutrition.
Hazel Windsor-Aubrey, RD
Hazel is a Band 5 Community Dietitian with Cambridge
and Peterborough NHD Foundation Trust. She enjoys the
variety of practice that her current role allow
- Bermingham KM, Mazidi M, Franks PW, Maher T, Valdes AM, Linenberg I, Wolf J, Hadjigeorgiou G, Spector TD, Menni C, Ordovas JM, Berry SE, Hall WL. Characterisation of Fasting and Postprandial NMR Metabolites: Insights from the ZOE PREDICT 1 Study. Nutrients. 2023 Jun 5;15(11):2638
- Iwasaki T, Hirose A, Azuma T, Ohashi T, Watanabe K, Obora A, Deguchi F, Kojima T, Isozaki A, Tomofuji T. Association between eating behavior and poor glycemic control in Japanese adults. Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 4;9(1):3418
- Saito A, Kawai K, Yanagisawa M, Yokoyama H, Kuribayashi N, Sugimoto H, Oishi M, Wada T, Iwasaki K, Kanatsuka A, Yagi N, Okuguchi F, Miyazawa K, Arai K, Saito K, Sone H. Self-reported rate of eating is significantly associated with body mass index in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. Japan Diabetes Clinical Data Management Study Group (JDDM26). Appetite. 2012 Oct;59(2):252-5.