People who eat quickly increase their risk of having high levels of blood triglycerides, according to a a group of researchers from the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovira i Virgili University, together with scientists from the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute and the Biomedical Research Center in Network for Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN).
In their study they assessed the relationship between the speed of intake in the main meals and the risk of suffering from hypertriglyceridemia, and observed that the faster the mealtime, the greater the risk of presenting this alteration, considered a cardiovascular risk factor .
In the work, developed in the under the PREDIMED study (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet), 792 volunteers were recruited through the Primary Care Centers of the Catalan Health Institute of the Tarragona regions.
Participants completed a questionnaire on eating behavior in which they had to answer questions that made reference to the perception they had regarding the speed with which they ate during the main meals (lunch and dinner).
From the data collected, the individuals were classified into different categories of ingestion: slow, medium and fast. The average time estimated by the participants to define when they ate quickly was 18 minutes .
Of all the participants in the study, 22.9% (181) were classified in the category of slow ingestion; 31.6% (251), in the category of average ingestion; and 45.5% (360), in the category of rapid ingestion.
Considering these data and the results of a statistical test, the researchers compared the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia in the participants of the fast and middle categories with respect to those who in the of slow ingestion category, and observed that those who belonged to the group of fast ingestion had a 59% higher risk of presenting high levels of triglycerides in the blood, which is considered a cardiovascular risk factor.
The consequences of eating fast
According to the researchers, eating more quickly delays the feeling of fullness; thus, people continue to eat despite having met their energy and nutritional needs.
In addition, the intake of a large amount of energy during a short period would favor more sustained peaks in plasma glucose and insulin, which in turn can induce a state that would stimulate the production of fats in the liver and, therefore, an increase of plasma triglyceride levels.
Based on these results, researchers have concluded that intervention strategies aimed at reducing the speed of eating can be useful to combat cardiometabolic diseases.