Excerpt by Paul Pitchford, author of "Healing with Whole Foods" "Overeating is thought to be the major cause of premature aging. Fifty years of research have shown that when a nourishing diet is eaten sparingly, aging is retarded; in fact, consumption of too much rich and denatured food is responsible for most of our civilized diseases, such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Overeating by vegetarians also occurs regularly, and while it may not always result in weight gain, it invariably causes weakness, digestive upset, and accelerated aging.
"Habitual overeating, especially of meat and strong flavors, inflames the lining of the stomach. According to Chinese medicine, excess heat in the stomach is itself a cause of overeating, but even when this heat-overeating cycle is broken, one still must change underlying habits, which may have become embedded in wasteful things. Diabetes, known as a "prosperity disease," is primarily caused by overeating, not only sugar but too much food in general. It is unheard of in countries where people cannot afford to overeat.
"Eating begins with the simple art of chewing. Chew well to polarize the food with your system and in order to make smooth digestion possible. If under pressure at meals, simply chew, and let the chewing relax you. Then you can be grateful and enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal. Without adequate chewing you will feel heavy and dull, develop gas, and be undernourished. When digestion is efficient, the body begins to feel wonderfully light."