Approx. how long does it take for
you to digest food?? Nutritionist say that ou should wait 20 mins until
you have a
second helping of food, is this true?? thank you very much
This is a very general question. It depends on the
food...some are quickly digested...like simple carbohydrates (cooked rice)
and some are much slower like complex carbs (beans). It also depends on what
part of the food that you are asking about. Foods contain starch, fat,
oils, protein, nucleotides etc. which each have different mechanisms and
rates of digestion. If you eat a Snickers bar you will digest the sugar
quite quickly...matter of minutes whereas the nuts take hours. As far as
how often you should eat is even more controversial. I believe we as hunter
gatherers evolved to eat small meals of nuts, fruits, and vegetables often
and, on rare occasions gorge on a big meal of meat or fish. I of course
being Italian think that the main reason for living is to eat (edeo ergo
sum...I eat therefore I am) ..so I might not be the best person to ask.
It takes several days for food to make its way all the way through your
It's not that the first helping is digested in 20 minutes, it's that it
takes about 20 minutes for your hunger to turn off after you eat. So the 20
minute rule is to keep you from overeating.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
Click here to return to the Zoology Archives
Update: June 2012