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How Long Different Foods Take to Digest and Why It’s Important to Know

The impact of digestion on weight loss is very significant. As we were told many times, we are what we eat. Of course, the exact digestion time depends on an individual’s physical health, metabolism, age, and even gender, but, generally speaking, some foods will go through you in no time, while others will wander in your system for a while.

We at Bright Side prepared this article to help you stick to a balanced diet.

If we simplify the term, digestion time is a procedure when food that you eat breaks down into tiny particles that get transferred through your intestinal system into the bloodstream. It is important to understand digestion time to lose weight or to maintain what you have already achieved.

Fast-digesting food

If you have lots of fast-digesting food, you may find that you are eating way more than you should because very soon after you eat it, it’s all gone and you feel hungry again. This type of food gives you a rapid boost of energy — in other words, a glucose level jump. While a boost of energy sounds good, if your body is flooded with glucose and doesn’t use it, the rest turns into fat.

Slow-digesting food

Slow-digesting food raises your blood sugar levels much more slowly, giving more steady and balanced energy. But if you eat only very slow-digesting food, you make your digestive system work to the max all the time and it can be quite tough on your body.

Specialists suggest not mixing fast and slow types of food in one meal and avoid eating fast food too soon after slow, since digestion hasn’t finished yet, and so you don’t overload your stomach.

The best time for processing food that has components with different digestion times is at lunch when your digestive system is the most active. The meals for breakfast and dinner should be simpler and preferably with products that are quickly digested, so you get an energy boost soon after breakfast and let your stomach rest at night.

1. Water

Enters into the intestines immediately.

2. Fruit or vegetable juice

15-20 minutes

3. Raw vegetables

30-40 minutes

4.Cooked vegetables

40 minutes

5. Fish

45-60 minutes

6. Salad with oil

1 hour

7. Starch vegetables

1.5-2 hours

8. Grains (rice, buckwheat, quinoa)

2 hours

9. Dairy

2 hours

10. Nuts

3 hours

11. Chicken

1.5-2 hours

12. Beef

3 hours

13. Lamb

4 hours

14. Pork

5 hours

Do you eat more slow-digesting or fast-digesting foods? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Please note: This article was updated in April 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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