Health Notes #25

Not Even A Peanut?

For most people, eating is one of life's most enjoyable experiences. We enjoy it so much, in fact, that we find if difficult to limit it to regular meal times. Few people, however, realize what takes place in the stomach when they eat at times other than meal time. A few brief insights into the digestion process will help us better understand what actually happens, and hopefully will help us to choose never to insult our stomach again.

In the digestion of food the stomach does not work in a haphazard way--taking care of food whenever or however it arrives. It works in a set, rhythmic, orderly way. When we eat a meal the digestive process begins. If we snack any time during this process, digestion of the meal is prolonged in the stomach until the digestion of the new food has caught up with the rest of the meal.

One bite of food--even a little peanut nibbling--can possibly cause your food to be delayed in the stomach up to 72 hours if your stomach has not had time to digest your meal before taking the next addition.

You might be interested in seeing the X-ray studies conducted in one of Americas leading universities to determine the emptying time of the normal stomach. Usually a stomach empties in 4-5 hours. Several persons were given a routine breakfast of cereal and cream, bread, cooked fruit and an egg. Their stomachs were x-rayed and found to be empty in four and one-half hours.

A few days later these same persons were given the same type of breakfast and two hours later they were fed snacks. Their emptying time was checked. These are the results:

Normal Breakfast

Two hours later


Person #1 Ice cream cone Residue in stomach after 6 hours
Person #2 Peanut butter sandwich Residue after 9 hours
Person #3 Pumpkin pie, glass of milk Residue after 9 hours
Person #4 Half slice of bread and butter repeated every 1 hours and no dinner. More than half of breakfast in the stomach after 9 hours.
Person #5 A bite of candy, twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. 13 hours later, more than the morning meal still in the stomach.

You can readily see what confusion the stomach is thrown into when something new arrives every hour or two after breakfast, including more meals. What condition do you think that breakfast would be in after laying in that moist, warm environment for 12-14 hours? If we had the choice we would probably not choose to have the body finish digesting it. Right? Perhaps just open a door somewhere and throw it out! Unfortunately, we don't have that choice.

Tasty Granola

2 c. dates
1-1/4 c. hot water
1 T. vanilla
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. nuts
1/4 c. honey
1T. maple flavoring

Blend in the blender until smooth. Pour over:

12 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c. coconut
1 c. almonds, or sunflower seeds

Mix gently but thoroughly with your hands. Don't crush. Place loosely on cookie sheets. Bake at 200o F for 8-10 hours. or overnight. Stir gently at the end of the time and bake 1-2 hours longer, if needed, or until dry.

Store in airtight containers after it is cool. You may add dried fruit after cooling if you like. Delicious as is, served with nut milk, or sprinkled over cooked cereal. I like to sprinkle some on top of my waffle that has been smothered with warm applesauce. (#9 has two good waffle recipes. #6 has some appetizing toppings.)

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