Even though Intermittent Fasting is a simple dietary practice that allows you to distribute your eating and fasting patterns into separate intervals, this simple meal plan can be quite restrictive and often includes several rules and restrictions.
Intermittent fasting is more than just distributing your eating and fasting practices into separate intervals, in fact, when practicing this fasting plan what you consume matters more than what you don’t.
Intermittent fasting is a restrictive eating plan that promotes you to consume a calorie deficit diet to achieve optimum results.
Healthy green veggies, fresh fruits, and legumes, lean proteins, unsweetened beverages, and fish are some healthy clean foods you can enjoy during intermittent fasting.
Among the most common questions many beginner intermittent fasting individuals ask is whether or not they can enjoy drinking their daily cup of joe, smoking, or even chewing gum.
Chewing gum while fasting is considered to be a great low-calorie way of preventing bad breath, warding off hunger, and improving your overall oral health.
But chewing gum while fasting might not be as beneficial as you may think, especially if you do not know which kind of gum to splurge on.
Here is all you need to know about gums and fasting to determine whether or not you should chew gum while fasting.
What is the Nutritional Content of Chewing Gum?
Chewing gums are a great way of freshening up your breath and refreshing your mind especially if you are having a long day.
In fact, it seems like these days many people resort to multiple packs of chewing gum throughout the day.
These gums are a sweet, rubbery, chewable substance that is just suitable for chewing and not swallowing.
Intermittent fasting is a restrictive eating schedule that promotes individuals to consume calorie-deficit clean foods to achieve optimum results.
Chewing gums can be a tricky food when it comes to fasting and restricting calories, here is a list of the nutritional content of chewing gum to help you know whether or not you should have it while fasting:
- Fillers to give chewing gum its smooth texture
- Gum to make the gum rubbery and chewable
- Resin to keep the gum strong and avoid it from falling apart
- Sweeteners to give the gum a sweet taste
- Flavoring that can be either natural or artificial to give chewing gum its desired flavor
- Softeners make the chewing soft and avoid it to harden by retaining moisture
- Preservatives to extend the chewing gum’s shelf life
- Each stick of gum often contains about 11 to 12 calories
- Sugar-Free Chewing gum contains about 6 calories and contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sugar alcohol like xylitol
Why do People Chew Gum Anyway?
Chewing gum is more than just enjoying a gooey chewable treat to pass the time and freshen up bad breath.
In fact, many people swear by chewing gum for benefits other than its minty taste and gummy consistency.
Here is a list of benefits of chewing gum that will you understand why many people enjoy this sweet and gummy treat:
Helps Suppress Hunger:
The act of chewing gum ideally helps you suppress and decrease the feeling of hunger by distracting you and taking your mind off eating which can help people significantly while fasting.
According to a study, chewing gum for about thirty minutes a day can help stabilize hormones called GLP-1 that decrease as well as suppress hunger and increase satiety.
Another study indicates that chewing sugar-free gum while fasting not only helps minimize hunger but also makes you feel less hungry after you break your fast.
Helps Reduce Stress and Improve Memory:
Another benefit of chewing gum is that it also helps you stay focused and alert. Chewing gum allows you to stay awake and not feel sleepy or tired throughout the day.
Furthermore, chewing gum also helps you strengthen your memory by increasing the blood flow to your brain.
According to a study, chewing gum can help improve your brain function and enhance alertness, memory, and decision-making skills.
While most people consider chewing gum to be a mere distraction, this gooey candy can often help you focus for prolonged periods of time. Chewing gum also helps prevent symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
Helps Improve Oral Health:
Lastly, chewing gum also helps you enhance your overall oral health by increasing the production of saliva.
Saliva helps prevent oral problems by keeping the gums healthy and preventing decay and erosion.
Additional saliva also helps you get rid of lingering foods in the mouth or between the teeth and prevents bacterial infestation or microbial build-up in the teeth.
According to research, chewing sugar-free gums with sugar alcohol like xylitol can help prevent tooth decay and enhance your oral health by 75%.
Can Chewing Gum Break Your Fast?
To simply answer this question, yes, chewing gum during intermittent fasting can definitely break your fast.
This is because chewing gums although sugar-free or low-calorie may trigger your insulin response, and in turn break your fast.
Here is why you should avoid chewing gum while fasting to help you achieve optimal benefits:
Whether you enjoy sweet berry-flavored gums or are a fan of minty low-calorie sugar-free gums, all types of gums contain calories.
While a stick of candy gums contains about 11 to 12 calories, sugar-free chewing gums contain about 6 calories per stick.
For restrictive fasting schedules like intermittent fasting, during your fasting periods consuming calories can immediately break your fast.
In fact, chewing multiple sticks of gum throughout the day can pile up to about 30 calories a day, eventually breaking your fast.
Triggers Insulin Response:
Insulin is a hormone that helps transport sugar from your bloodstream to your cells to be used as fuel.
Fasting for a prolonged period of time reduces the insulin levels in the body and promotes you to go into the ketosis process.
Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body begins to utilize glycogens present in the fat cells as fuel instead of sugars and carbohydrates.
The ketosis stage of fasting is directly linked with the 16/8 intermittent fasting plan which promotes you to easily lose those couple extra pounds.
Chewing gums with sweeteners can definitely trigger an insulin response in the body however, the effect of this insulin response is so small-scaled that it might not even break your fast.
But it is not recommended to consume multiple sticks or pieces of gum throughout the day as they might pile up to about 30 calories.
So, Can you have Chewing Gum while Fasting?
If you choose to indulge in a stick of gum once in a while you can go by enjoying your treat without breaking your fast.
But, it is recommended to consume low-calorie or sugar-free chewing gums to curb your hunger and prevent cravings while you fast.