Chopsticks and Weight Loss II

Super Slow-Motion Eating
Histamines, Hypothalamus, HbA1C and Beta Amyloids

“Diabetics are at much higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.” — David Perlmutter, M.D. [1]

Using chopsticks to lose weight

Chopsticks – a Tool for Weight Management

We’ve reported on the recent focus in Japan on super slow-motion eating with chopsticks and chopstick rests and other approaches to prevent diabetes and Alzheimer’s.  This stems from research in that focuses on risk factors and preventive measures.

There is science behind how this super slow-motion eating works: Increased saliva production and slower eating help digest the food taken.  When the process of chewing is prolonged, more histamine is produced in the blood.

Histamines, HbA1C and Beta Amyloids: The increased histamine level in turn helps signal through the hypothalamus — the region of the brain that controls the appetite — that you have eaten enough.  And also fat levels drop in the body’s internal organs.

Sequence is Important: Another useful trick Japanese researchers have found is that the order of the way you eat food is also very important. It can help a lot in weight control. without any other change in actual food intake.

If there is a salad or vegetables, these should be eaten before eating rice and meat.  This has a big effect on the blood chemistry.

HbA1C: The process of digesting food with higher levels of fiber — such as salad and vegetables — helps slow down the digestive process and changes the level of the blood chemical HbA1C.  This chemical is a marker for diabetes.[2]

In tests done in Japan, subjects ate a standard meal consisting of Japanese-style curry and rice, as well as a salad. [3]

One group ate the salad first, the other ate the curry and rice first, and then the salad.

There was a big difference in HbA1C levels. The salad-first group had levels of 7.8 when tested after the meal.  The curry-rice-first group had levels of 9.0.

The difference is significant and can be important in managing conditions like adult-onset diabetes.  Keeping HbA1C low is important in preventing and controlling diabetes.

Japanese Women Don’t Get Fat or Old: Japan has one of the highest levels of longevity in the world, and low levels of cardiovascular disease.  It is commonly observed that Japanese women tend to keep their youthful figures at an advanced age.  So persons interested in weight control and healthy aging might want to consider the Japanese approach to diet and eating lifestyle.

Slow Eating and Alzheimer’s: There is some indication that the slow motion eating technique may help avoid dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Why is this?

Neurological research in Japan has shown that the slow eating technique, combined with eating foods with high fiber levels first before eating starches or protein, assist the insulin-metabolizing enzymes in the blood.

This can help prevent the onset of diabetes in adults.  And diabetes is felt to be a contributing factor in developing Alzheimer’s.

The reason? The insulin-metabolizing enzymes work to destroy beta amyloids in the brain.  And while not the sole factor, accumulation of beta amyloids is considered to be a significant factor in development of Alzheimer’s.

“Beta amyloid plaques increase free radical production and inflammation, resulting in loss of memory.” — David Perlmutter, M.D. [1]

Once deposited, the beta amyloids apparently cannot be easily removed by current technology, so the best approach is slowing down beta amyloid deposits in the first plac.  Since it takes decades for the condition to become apparent, people in their 40s should consider these preventive approaches.

Slow motion eating affects digestion, blood sugar and brain chemistry, and in turn affects longer-term aspects like beta amyloid accumulation.

Suri Cruise Knows Better: So some simple lifestyle changes, involving reprogramming eating habits, could provide big health benefits long-term.  Although the benefits of this change in lifestyle are apparent, some people may feel that it is just too difficult to eat with chopsticks in this way.

But Suri Cruise has already shown that chopsticks are easy — even a young child can learn to use them. [4]

For Further Information:

[1] David Perlmutter, The Better Brain Book —
[2] HbA1C – diabetes monitor —
[3] NHK Gatten Science program, report on nutrition and Alzheimer research Japan, October 21, 2012 —
[4] Suri Cruise and chopsticks: “Suri Cruise only eats with chopsticks” —






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  1. Pingback: Usingf Chopsticks to manage weight and prevent dementia | Pacific Rim Gourmet

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