Red meat, like all foods, lingers in the digestive system for at least 24 hours. It does, however, take a little longer to digest than most other foods.
Stomach acids start turning solid food into paste just after you eat it. It enters the small intestine around 30 minutes later; food spends approximately 6 to 8 hours in the stomach and small intestine. The majority of nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine.
The food then travels to the large intestine, where it is digested, absorbed water, and eliminated. The complete cycle lasts about 24 hours, but total elimination might take anywhere from one to four days, depending on the type of food. Because red meat takes longer to digest, its total transit time is more likely to be four days rather than one.
Men and women appear to have different digestion times. According to a research conducted by the Mayo Clinic in the 1980s, women’s large intestine transit time averaged 47 hours and men’s was 33 hours. Because the study used markers that take longer to travel through the body than food, these time frames are longer than typical food digesting times.
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