In Today's Dr Lee Newsletter Issue: "What's wrong with eating too full?"
"The more you eat, the sooner you die. The lesser you eat, the longer you live." This is what Dr Lee always says in his health talk. He also mentions, "Eating too full causes all sort of health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, etc."
Why eating too full is so harmful to your health? What can you do about it?
To see how eating habit affects life span, a professor from University of Texas did an experiment on mice.
For the first group of 100 mice, he let them eat without any restriction, just like a buffet meal. The second group was fed only 60% full. And the third group was given food without restriction too. But this time, he reduced protein content to half. After 2.5 years, guess how many mice were still alive out of 100?
* First group (eat without restriction) - only 13 mice was alive. Opsss...
* Second group (eat 60% full) - 97 mice was still alive. Only 3 mice died.
* Third group (eat without restriction with protein cut half) - 50 mice still alive.
What can we learn from these results?
Firstly, eating too full is really harmful to your body. Secondly, eat 60% full if you want to live longer and healthier. Thirdly, taking too much protein is harmful to your body too. We don't need so much protein after all.
Imagine having a small family car. Instead of using it for short travel between home and office, you use it for long distance travel between
different cities every day. Instead of using it 1 hour a day, you use it for 10 hours a day. Instead of driving at 70 km/h, you always speed up to 170 km/h, hitting engine's red line.
Can you estimate your car life span? Do you expect having various problems with your car after a short time?
Driving your car at high speed for a long time is like always eating too full. You force your body to always work at its red line.
Do you know digestion is the most demanding work for your body? Think about the organs involved such as your mouth, stomach, liver, pancreas, duodenum and intestine. Think about the length of digestive tract from your mouth to intestine.
Eating too full zaps up much of your body energy for digestion. Otherwise, this energy may be used for other purpose such as enhancing your immune system.
Do you realize you become very tired easily after a big meal? That is the sign of your body working hard to digest all the food you take in.
If you eat an extra bowl of noodle, your pancreas has to produce extra insulin hormone to process the extra carbohydrates you take.
Your liver, stomach and intestine also have to produce extra enzymes to digest and process specific nutrients from that bowl of noodle.
Therefore the more you eat, the harder your body has to work to process it. Of course, we must eat to survive. But we don't have to eat that much!
If you drive your car slowly and handle it gently, you can use it for a long time. But if you always floor the accelerator and drive like a rally driver, you know the consequence on your car life span.
Side effect of eating
Your car engine burns fuel to move your car and bring you to anywhere you like to go. As a result, the engine produces exhaust smoke which is toxic. It must be dispersed out from your car. Similarly, your body cell burns nutrient for energy to survive. In the process, it produces free radicals. Since free radical is toxic to your body, it has to be neutralized and expelled. "Just metabolizing food especially fatty and carbohydrate-rich fare causes the body to produce free radicals, which attack cells and can promote the development of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer," says Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D.
Of course, your body can control free radicals in small quantity. But the more you eat, the more free radicals your body produces. Without adequate control, these free radicals easily attack your body cells and eventually cause all sort of diseases.
Good eating habit
After knowing the harmful effect of eating too full, what's your choice? Do you want to live longer, just like the second group mice in the
experiment? Or do you want to risk ending your life earlier, just like the first group mice? If you wish to live longer, here are some tips you
1. Always eat until 70% full. Do not exceed 80% full. You may want to stop eating when you feel slightly full.
2. Avoid having buffet style meal which makes it harder to control how much you eat. Instead, prepare the food you want to eat in a plate. After finishing it, don't add anymore food.
3. Leaving the dining table earlier may prevent you from picking some extra food to eat.
4. It is always a good idea to prepare lesser food in the first place. Some people are afraid of having not enough food for everyone. Actually, lesser food is beneficial for everyone..In a restaurant, order in small amount first. You can always add in some extra order if necessary. But if you can get by with the original smaller order, that's great.
Remember this: You have higher chance of overeating if you serve more food on the table. You have better chance of not overeating if you serve less food
5. Avoid stuffing your fridge with ice cream, chocolate or other dessert. You cannot eat what you do not have.
6. When someone prepares a big plate of food for you, look at it first. Ask yourself, "Do I want to stuff it all into my stomach?"
If your answer is no, just put aside some food to another empty plate first. After finishing your food, look back at the extra food on that new
plate. Say to yourself, "Phew! Luckily I didn't stuff that portion into my stomach."
7. When you get too hungry before your meal time, just take some fruit instead of heavy meal. The tendency to overeat is very high for modern people. Do you know most monks only eat twice a day?
They wake up at 4am, meditate and say their prayer. Later they have their simple breakfast at 7am. Before 12pm, they have their lunch. That's all for them. They eat no more after that. No tea break. No dinner. No supper. They still look strong and energetic.
Of course, we don't have to eat like them. But it reminds us we can eat less and stay healthy. So remember to eat only 70% full if you want to stay healthy.
shared thru "pohli lau"