Eat Mindfully, Not Mindless For Your Heart Health

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By Dolly M George

20 Jan, 2018

#Dietitian

Most of you would be aware that, what you eat can influence your heart health. But when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, it’s not just about what you eat, it’s also about when you eat and the way you eat.

 

What is mindful eating?

It’s as simple as it sounds.  Mindful eating is being aware of what, why and how much you should be eating. With mindful eating you're aware of your hunger and fullness signals--- you obviously control portions, choose healthy options and avoid emotional eating.

 

Just think the opposite …… and it is mindless eating. It’s common these days to be constantly munching on food, hurrying through a meal or eating in front of your computers or TVs, – and often when you’re not hungry. Anyways, ignoring your body's signals and need for food is bad for both your heart and waistline!

 

Hunger and satiety (feeling of fulness) is controlled by a complex series of chemical signals between the brain and your gut. The feeling of fulness after a meal is a result of your brain’s reaction to the chemicals released. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to register these chemicals and get the feeling of fullness.

 

If you are prone to eating too quickly, satiety may occur after overeating instead of putting a stop to it---- you may end up eating more than what your body needs. Fast eaters are also almost twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome -the cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. This in turn increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes in contrast to people who ate at a normal speed.

 

The same can hold true for emotional eating (eating to soothe or supress negative emotions) and distracted eating (eating while watching television or working). 

 

Break free of mindless eating habits by practicing mindful eating!

Tune in to consider how hungry you are and choose just enough food to satisfy that hunger.

 

Prioritize your meal timing! Commit at least 20 to 30 minutes to know what you are eating, relishing each bite of it and knowing well what its impact on your body would be.

 

Inspire thoughtful eating by driving off distractions such as TV, computer or phone.

 

When you eat slowly and mindfully, you are less likely to pile on the pounds or develop metabolic syndrome - the cluster of dangerous health problems which can damage your heart.

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