For some reason the “don’t chew your food” diet never really took off…

By Seriously Science | September 1, 2014 6:00 am
Image: flickr/Helga Weber

Image: flickr/Helga Weber

There have been loads of strange diet fads over the years, some with more scientific support than others. But in terms of crazy, the “diet” suggested by this study from 1986 takes the cake! Basically, the researchers had volunteers eat the same meal twice, once with chewing and once without. They then tested their blood sugar. Turns out that the blood sugar levels were more stable when the subjects swallowed the food without chewing, effectively turning high glycemic foods into lower glycemic foods. Like magic. Disgusting magic. With choking hazards.

Swallowing food without chewing; a simple way to reduce postprandial glycaemia.

“The degree to which disruption by mastication affects the glycaemic response to four different carbohydrate foods was investigated in healthy human volunteers; each food was eaten by six subjects. Subjects ate meals of sweetcorn, white rice, diced apple or potato on two occasions; on one occasion they chewed the food thoroughly, on the other occasion they swallowed each mouthful without chewing it. When the foods were chewed the postprandial blood glucose levels rose to levels which varied according to the food ingested. Swallowing without chewing reduced the glycaemic response to each food, achieving a similar effect as administration of viscous polysaccharides or ‘slow-release’ carbohydrates.”

Related content:
Depressed? Try chewing some gum!
NCBI ROFL: Prolonged chewing at lunch decreases later snack intake.
NCBI ROFL: Presenting the Meatball-French fries-Meatball-French fries-Meatball-French fries-Cream-Brownie-Cream-Brownie-Cream-Brownie diet!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: analysis taken too far, eat me
  • hnarf

    Choking hazard aside, I wouldn’t be surprise if this turned out to be wholly counterproductive simply because it would also cause people to eat more. Less time spent chewing means more time to spend actually swallowing food before the nervous system catches up with how much you’ve eaten and tells you you’re full (I could be wrong, but I think I’ve heard a fairly effective way of losing modest amounts of weight is simply to eat slower, for this reason).
    Although perhaps swallowing your food in huge chunks is unpleasant enough to instead cause people to eat less.


Seriously, Science?

Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
Follow us on Twitter: @srslyscience.
Send us paper suggestions: srslyscience[at]

See More


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar