Soft foods and digestion time

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 12, 2011 at 4:48 AM

Just wondering if Soft foods are more rapidly digesting than less soft foods. I am looking for a sustainable energy source and find that, for example eating a stick of butter(MCTs) and an equivalent portion of lard(LCTs) at different meals had a similar effect in terms of sustaining energy and muscle mass: they did not appear to do so as well as more solid foods such as nuts/shredded coconut/baker's chocolate. Even though the chewed solid food probably is liquified I FEEL(but may be wrong) that greater sarcopenia/muscle catabolism occurs when softer foods are consumed than when more solid foods are. Am I deluded? Is this actual/fantastical "fact" attributable to differences in digestion rate of softer vs. more solid foods? Any ideas and kindred experiences would be appreciated.

  • 77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    asked by

  • Views
  • Last Activity
    1890D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

2 Answers



on March 27, 2011
at 06:00 PM

MCTs appear to be in a league of their own when it comes to digestion:

"MCTs passively diffuse from the GI tract to the portal system (longer fatty acids are absorbed into the lymphatic system) without requirement for modification like long-chain fatty acids or very-long-chain fatty acids. In addition, MCTs do not require bile salts for digestion. Patients that have malnutrition or malabsorption syndromes are treated with MCTs because they do not require energy for absorption, utilization, or storage." - Wikipedia.

However, to your first question... soft foods tend to be digested faster if the same food, WHEN IN THE STOMACH. Basically, raw chunks of food take longer than cooked tender and small pieces of food. Also, for the most part meat is digested more quickly than vegetable matter in the stomach. In the 1800's a guy got shot in the stomach and lived and William Beaumont did studies on him. Basically, he could watch exactly what his stomach was doing. With meat the stomach went crazy, with vegatables the stomach didn't do much, sometimes they would come right out mostly undigested and other times they would spend a considerably long time in the stomach. I have not read the study other than a few paragraphs. I read about it in the book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. Also, you can read the original source published in 1838 right here:

Experiments and observations on the gastric juice, and the physiology of Digestion


on March 13, 2011
at 12:02 PM

Fat actually digests more slowly than any other food - it's complicated for our watery systems to process oils. I don't think softness or hardness has much to do with anything. Some foods that are 'hard' break down almost completely just from chewing.

I eat a ton of fat and have great energy. Maybe you just need more EFAs and calories to feel your best.

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!