Monday, June 29, 2009

Transit Time

Everyone who's coming to look at the yummy ice cream flavors, spoiler alert: don't read this posting. It's not appetizing, and it's not about how long it's going to take you to drive to get ice cream. What we are learning is both the nutritional aspects of what we eat, and how to make it. So of course our course wouldn't be complete without a lecture on "Digestive Wellness." Sure enough, that rolled around this week. It even merited two full class days (Thai cooking, seafood and sauces on the other hand, all were only one... this is one culinary school where how appetizing a subject is clearly doesn't pull rank).

With cleanses all the rage, one of the things we talked about was "transit time" -- i.e. how long from in to out. To break it down, what you consume should take about 1 minute in your mouth, 2 - 3 seconds in your esophagus, 2 - 4 hours in your stomach, 1 - 4 hours in your small intestines and 10 hours - 3 days in your large intestines. Of course, certain things take longer than others (and I found this fascinating). How long what you ingest stays "in residence" in your stomach falls into approximately the following rank order:

- Liquids: within a few minutes
- Fruits: 1 - 2 hours
- Veggies: a little longer
- Starches and grain: longer
- Legumes: longer still
- Protein: 3+ hours
- Fat: Longest

In total, transit time should be between 18 and 24 hours ideally. How can you test this? Eat 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and keep a watch out for when they show back up. See, I warned you it wouldn't be appetizing. I'm going to leave it to other sources to tell you what to do if it takes the little buggers too long to show up... plenty of info out there and I'm not looking to become a specialist.

1 comment:

  1. This post made me laugh. Given my own personal digestive wellness research led me right to the infamous Master Cleanse diet, I find this topic quite compelling. Classic. I missed the ice cream flavor vote :-(