Photo by CN Digital Studioby Mike Dawson, DETAILS
Two healthy young men sit at a table. One eats a pork belly slider, the other, an arugula salad.
Question: Which man will digest and, um, deposit his meal first?
Answer: It's a tie.
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"While everyone is different, in general, if you have healthy bowels, whether it's steak, bacon, salads, fruits, dairy, it all exits your system at roughly the same time, usually within 24 to 72 hours," says Maged Rizk, M.D., director of the Abdominal Pain Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic.
"The idea that certain foods stay in a normally functioning system for weeks is ridiculous." Food processing times differ the greatest in the stomach, the first stage of digestion. But this is a more structural issue, says Rizk.
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"Bulkier foods-nuts, celery-will take longer to break down than soft or highly processed foods. But all the foods from a meal are broken down and out of the stomach within two-to-three hours, then usually leave the body within three days."
-Mike Dawson is a magazine writer and editor, and a regular contributor to Details.
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