If I was to receive a Rand for each time I’ve heard people telling me that they don’t eat muesli because they need to chew and they don’t have the time, I’d have bought my own island by now!

Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth when food is mixed with saliva. Most people would much rather gulp down a bowl of artificial banana-flavoured processed GMO maize cereal or shove a Big Mac down their gullet.

Junk food manufacturers have carefully analysed people’s eating behaviour. They make their white buns with enough rubber (azodicarbonamide) to make the dough rise faster and to ensure that the bread is soft and spongy in order to appeal to all our immediate gratification requirements. Ronald knows that if they used ciabatta or rye bread, it would severely limit their sales of hamburgers.

By wolfing your food down you are actually creating a major problem for your gut! Complex carbohydrates are long-chain molecules that requiring some mashing, grinding and re-mashing—plus mixing with amylase—in order to release their sugars. This action can only take place in your mouth. Although your small intestine does secrete a small amount of amylase, there aren’t any teeth to help grind.

What happens when the starches, dextrin, and glycogens that were not converted to maltose in the mouth and what happens to the maltose when these carbohydrates reach the stomach depends upon several factors

What other types of foods are eaten with the starch
How much food is being eaten and how fast
The emotional condition of the eater and the condition of the eater’s digestive system.

If a relatively uncomplicated starch such as potatoes are eaten alone or with non-starchy vegetables, and no proteins (i.e. meats, cheese or milk, or even nuts or seeds) or acidic foods such as tomatoes, lemon or lemon juice or vinegar—as in salads or salad dressings, are consumed with the starchy food, salivary amylase (ptyalin) can and will continue the digestion of starches and dextrins in the stomach for a long period.

For thorough digestion and consequent good health, this continuation of starch digestion by ptyalin in the stomach is a necessity.

Therefore, for good health, it is important to consume starchy foods at separate meals from protein foods and acids.

Briefly stated, ingestion of protein foods causes a secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, and hydrochloric acid destroys ptyalin; that is, it destroys the amylase activity and is substituted by acid hydrolysis.

The acids in tomatoes, berries, citrus fruits, pineapples, green apples and the acid in the vinegar will, like hydrochloric acid, destroy our only starch-splitting enzyme, ptyalin. Therefore, these foods also inhibit starch digestion. For good digestion and consequent good health, acids should not be eaten at the same meal with starches.

Another factor that can impair salivary starch digestion is the drinking of water or other liquids with or too soon before or after meals. Water or other liquids do not aid in the digestion of foods. On the contrary, they interfere with digestion by diluting the digestive juices and cause them and their enzymes to be passed through the digestive tract too quickly for digestion to occur.

To summarize this aspect of starch digestion, consuming proteins, acids, water or other liquids with starches interferes seriously with their digestion by the salivary amylase, ptyalin.
This first stage of starch digestion is of great importance because there is a great likelihood that the food will be acted upon by bacteria and ferment before it reaches the intestine where further starch digestion can take place.

Digestion, rather than fermentation and its resulting toxic by-products, is much more likely to occur soon after the food is put into the mouth than further along in the digestive tract.

From the above, you can see why thorough chewing of food is so important when starches are eaten.

No one who seeks health should eat starches in a hurry, nor should they have them with a fizzy drink or with proteins or acids, for good digestion of foods is imperative for good health.

So in this instance, you are permitted to masticate in public!