It seems that the age-old advice to properly chew food is not always best for health, as a new study has revealed that chewing food less and taking big bites can help people avoid weight gain.
A team, led by the University of Canterbury, has found that taking bigger bites and chewing food less can make people feel full longer and thereby help regulate weight as the food gets broken down more slowly in the stomach.
This meant people can feel fuller for longer and the slow release of energy could be burned off over time, say the researchers.
"The way people chew the food depends more on the food`s properties, not the individual, so you can design food which people won`t chew much and (food they) will chew a lot," team leader Marco Morgenstern said.
In their study, the researchers found that their findings included the benefits of eating whole-oat muesli and wholegrain bread which made people feel satisfied for longer. Pasta was also found to have a slow-release energy.
The research team has also created an online diet programme called Aspire for Life which has been clinically tested at Otago University.