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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
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Food Myth #10: Snacking between meals is fine if the food is healthy. Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Many people "graze," they eat small portions many times throughout the day. When these same people learn a bit about nutrition, they try to continue grazing using only healthy foods. Digestion of food is a major project for your stomach and small intestine. The first step in digestion is the addition of ptyalin by the salivary glands of the mouth. This begins the digestion of starch. The next step is acidification of food in the stomach. This breaks down protein and readies it for further digestion in the small intestine. Food spends about two hours in the stomach undergoing acidic breakdown. After this, it is moved into the small intestine. The stomach is ready for more food, at the earliest, two hours after the last meal. If you eat before two hours have passed, the new meal mixes with the old, and either the old meal stays in the stomach too long, or the new meal is dumped into the small intestine too early. Either way you lose. In the first case, the food is over acidified and loses a lot of its nutritional value. In the second case, the second meal is incompletely digested, because it misses part of the acidification step. Let at least three hours pass between meals!

Proceed to: Food Myth #11



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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