When your brain tells you to eat, that’s what you do. Maybe you gorge. Maybe you nibble. And then maybe you forget about that hefty helping of mac ‘n’ cheese until it ends up on your thighs.QUIZ: What’s Your Eating Style?In between the mouth and the thighs, there’s an amazing system of digestion that takes place. This system determines whether your food gets stored, burned or expelled. Let’s explore the biology of what happens to food once it enters your digestive system.On your gastrointestinal interstate, everything enters via your physiological tollbooth: your mouth. The nutritious powerhouses slide through the express toll, giving you power, stamina, energy and strength to rock. Toxic (though tasty) foods can enter too, but you pay a heavier toll later for the damage they do along the way.Through its journey, your food and its nutrients (and toxins) will pull over at various organs, slow down on winding roads, merge with other nutrients and even get pulled over by the bowel brigade for nutritional violations. During each trip, your food hits a metabolic three-pronged fork in the road:
- It can be broken down and your bloodstream will pick it up so your liver can use it as energy.
- It can be broken down and stored as fat.
- It can be processed as waste and directed to nature’s recycling pot: the porcelain junkyard.