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Can You Chew Gum While Fasting? 10 Best Gums for Fasting

Chewing sugar-free gum while fasting can make it easier to stick with a fasting schedule. This article will discuss the best gums to have while fasting and the ones you should avoid to get better results.

Can You Chew Gum While Fasting? 10 Best Gums for Fasting
Highlights
  • Intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat, not what you eat.
  • Regular gum often contains sugar and calories, while sugar-free options use artificial sweeteners.
  • Sugar-free gum with minimal calories is acceptable during fasting.
  • Different types of gum have varying nutritional profiles.
  • Chewing gum offers many health benefits, including appetite control and stress reduction.

Can You Chew Gum While Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, a common method to improve your health and manage weight, revolves around when you eat rather than what you eat [1].

In Intermittent fasting, you need to avoid calories, even the small numbers found in chewing gums.

So, does it mean that we cannot chew gum while fasting? Well, you can, but there are essential things to know and consider, especially the gum’s calorie and sugar content.

Dr. Jason Fung:

"Chewing sugar-free gum during fasting is generally acceptable and can help manage hunger and keep your breath fresh. However, it's best to avoid gum with sugar as it can cause an insulin response."

Most Gums Contain Sugar and Calories

One of the most important points about chewing gum while fasting is that most regular gums contain sugar and calories, which are both banned during fasting.

When we think of gum, we often imagine it as a calorie-free way to freshen our breath. However, most types of regular gum contain calories.

The small number of calories found in a stick of gum comes from sugar, and these small amounts of sugar and calories can impact blood sugar levels and insulin response [2].

Consuming sugar, which is high in calories, can interrupt the fasting state. When sugar is ingested, our body releases insulin to manage the increased blood glucose levels.

This release of insulin shifts the body from a fasting state to a fed state, hindering the benefits of intermittent fasting [3].

Even a small amount of sugar from gum can prompt this shift. So, it’s important to find chewing gums with minimal or zero sugar content. But how many calories and carbs and how much sugar and fiber are there in regular gums? 

Learn More: Taking Medications on Intermittent Fasting: Do Medications Break a Fast?

Dr. Eric Berg:

"If you chew gum while fasting, choose a sugar-free variety. While there may be a minimal insulin response, it’s unlikely to break your fast, especially if it helps you stay on track."

Gum Nutritional Value

The following table shows the nutritional value of regular chewing gum [4].

Nutrients of Chewing GumAmounts in 1 stick (3g)
Calories 10.8 kcal
Carbohydrate 2.9 g
Sugar 1.98 g
Fiber 0.072 g

Note that different types of chewing gums have different nutritional values. So, let’s compare the most common types and see how they differ in calorie, sugar, and carbohydrate content.

Types of Gum

Gum isn't just for freshening your breath! There are different kinds out there, each with its own nutritional value. Understanding these specifics allows us to find the gums with minimal negative effects on fasting results.

Let's compare three popular types: sugar-free, zero-calorie, and nicotine gums [5].

Nutrients in 1 Stick (5g)Calories (kcal)Sugar (g)Carbohydrate (g)
Sugar-Free Gum 13.4 0 4.74
Zero-Calorie Gum 0 0 1
Nicotine Gum 3 0.4 1

As you see in the table, sugar-free gums have the lowest sugar content, so can we chew sugar-free gums, or can they interrupt fasting?

Can Sugar-Free Gum Break Intermittent Fasting?

The short answer is no. Sugar-free gums offer a low-calorie alternative with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sorbitol, or xylitol, providing a calorie-free option and containing less than 5 calories per piece.

The body's response to such a small caloric intake is minimal, and it does not trigger the metabolic changes that break a fast, such as significant insulin release.

Also, a recent study examining the impact of low-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame suggests they do not significantly influence blood glucose or insulin response, supporting the idea that sugar-free gum is unlikely to break a fast [6][7].

This makes sugar-free gum a viable option for those practicing intermittent fasting or trying to reduce caloric intake, as maintaining stable blood sugar levels is key to achieving the benefits of fasting [8].

So, sugar-free gum does not break intermittent fasting, but can chewing gum stop autophagy?

Learn More: Carnivore Diet Fasting: Types, Food List & Meal Plan

Chewing Gum Cannot Affect Fasting

A study published in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism" found that sugar-free gum caused a minimal increase in insulin levels, which is unlikely to significantly affect fasting.

Does Chewing Gum Stop Autophagy?

Autophagy is like the body's recycling system for cells. It helps get rid of damaged or old cells and keeps cells healthy, which is crucial for making sure our cells function properly.

Intermittent fasting boosts autophagy and enables the body to clean up cells even more. But here's the catch: eating can slow down this cleaning process.

Research shows that consuming even one or two calories can stop autophagy. This happens because nutrients signal our body to stop cleaning (autophagy) and start digesting food, which ruins fasting benefits.

So, during fasting or when you want autophagy to happen, it's best to avoid consuming calories. The number of calories found in chewing gum might not seem like much, but it can still mess up autophagy [9] [10].

However, chewing gum while fasting can bring various health benefits.

Learn More: 36-Hour Fast: Benefits, Autophagy and Weight Loss Results

Does Chewing Gum Have Any Health Benefits?

Gum offers some surprising scientifically proven health benefits, including reducing hunger, improving oral health and concentration, decreasing stress, freshening your breath, and helping you quit smoking.

Gum Reduces Hunger

Chewing gum before eating can reduce hunger and make it easier to manage your appetite. Because it tricks the brain into thinking you're eating, which can temporarily satisfy cravings [11] and help you control hunger while fasting.

Chewing Gum Can Curb Hunger

Research in the "Appetite" journal indicated that chewing gum can help reduce feelings of hunger, making it easier to adhere to fasting protocols.

Gum Helps Improve Oral Health

Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production, which helps neutralize mouth acids, which in turn reduces tooth decay and improves overall oral health [12].

Chewing Gum Can Improve Concentration and Alertness

Chewing gum can make you more alert and improve your thinking abilities by boosting attention and concentration. Because chewing increases blood flow to the brain, which can help keep you more focused [13].

Gum Can Help Reduce Stress

Chewing a stick of gum can also act as a stress reliever, helping to reduce the stress hormone - cortisol - levels and provide a sense of calm and relaxation [14].

Gum Freshens Your Breath

Chewing gum freshens breath by cleaning the mouth, removing odor-causing bacteria, and improving oral hygiene, which is a nice thing for those who try intermittent fasting and worry about bad breath.

Chewing Gum Helps You Quit Smoking

Nicotine gum helps you quit smoking by lowering withdrawal symptoms and cravings for cigarettes  [15].

So, to choose the best chewing gums for intermittent fasting, you need to consider the following points.

Chewing Gum Can Improve Oral Health

According to a study in the "Journal of Dental Research," chewing sugar-free gum can improve oral health by increasing saliva flow and reducing plaque, which is beneficial during fasting periods.

Tips for Buying Chewing Gums for Intermittent Fasting

Please note that sugar isn't the only factor to consider when choosing chewing gums for fasting. Some sugar-free gums may contain other ingredients that could affect your fasting state. So, what are the other important factors?

  • Choose low-calorie gums: If you're trying intermittent fasting to lose weight, you should choose low- or zero-calorie gums. Although sugar-free gums are lower in calories, it's still important to check the calorie content.
  • Choose gums with artificial sweeteners: Gums sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, or xylitol can provide the sweetness you crave without the caloric load, as they have minimal impact on blood sugar and insulin levels [16] [17].
  • Choose gums with natural ingredients: Gums sweetened with stevia or erythritol are a great choice for those who prefer natural sweeteners, as they are low in calories and have a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels [18].
  • Choose sugar-free gums: Sugar-free gum can help you avoid the negative impacts of added sugar on insulin levels and caloric intake.

So, if you’re considering chewing gum while fasting, you need to find the best gums! Here are some of the most popular chewing gums with minimal calories and sugar for intermittent fasting.

Popular Sugar-Free Gums for Intermittent Fasting

Here are some of the top sugar-free and low-calorie gums that can easily fit into your fasting routine:

  • Extra Sugar-Free Gum (Wrigley's),
  • Orbit Sugar-Free Gum (Wrigley's),
  • Trident Sugar-Free Gum,
  • Ice Breakers Ice Cubes Sugar-Free Gum,
  • Eclipse Sugar-Free Gum,
  • Airheads Sugar-Free Chewing Gum,
  • Pur Xylitol Chewing Gum,
  • Epic Xylitol-Sweetened Chewing Gum,
  • Dentyne Ice Sugar-Free Gum, and
  • Spry Fresh Natural Xylitol Chewing Gum

Extra Sugar-Free Gum (Wrigley's)

Extra sugar-free gum contains sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose, with flavors like peppermint and spearmint.

Ingredients: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Glycerol, Aspartame, Mannitol, Acesulfame K, Soy Lecithin

The following table shows the Extra Gums’s nutritional value in 1 stick (2.5 g).

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 2
Protein (g) 0

Orbit Sugar-Free Gum (Wrigley's)

It contains sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose, with flavors like peppermint and spearmint.

Ingredients: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Glycerol, Aspartame, Mannitol, Acesulfame K, Soy Lecithin

Its nutritional values in 1 piece (1.9 g) are provided in the table below.

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 1
Protein (g) 0

Trident Sugar-Free Gum

It uses sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol and comes in flavors like spearmint and peppermint. Trident stands out because it has 30% fewer calories than sugared gums.

Ingredients: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Xylitol, Glycerol, Aspartame, Mannitol, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose

Here are its nutritional values in 1 stick (1.9 g).

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 1
Protein (g) 0

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes Sugar-Free Gum

It’s sweetened with xylitol, maltitol, mannitol, aspartame, and acesulfame K and contains peppermint and spearmint flavors.

Ingredients: Xylitol, Gum Base, Maltitol, Maltitol Syrup, Mannitol, Maltodextrin, Aspartame, Gelatin, Acesulfame Potassium, Sorbitol, Isomalt, Neotame, Sucralose

Here are the nutritional values of this gum in 1 piece (2.3 g).

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 2
Protein (g) 0

Eclipse Sugar-Free Gum

It uses sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, and sucralose. You can savor peppermint and spearmint flavors without any sugar.

Ingredients: Sorbitol, Maltitol, Gum Base, Glycerol, Acacia, Soy Lecithin, Aspartame, Acesulfame K, Carnauba Wax

Let’s take a look at its nutritional values in 2 pieces (3g) in the following table.

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 2
Protein (g) 0

Airheads Sugar-Free Chewing Gum

This sugar-free gum is available in blue raspberry, lemonade, and watermelon flavors and is excellent if you like tangy flavors. It's sugar-free and gluten-free with a soft texture which makes it a good option for kids too.

Ingredients: Xylitol, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Maltitol Syrup, Coconut Oil, Sucralose, Lecithin, Acesulfame K

The following table summarizes the Airheads Sugar-Free Chewing Gum nutritional values per piece (2.4 g).

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 2
Protein (g) 0

Pur Xylitol Chewing Gum

This gum is a diabetic-friendly option that also helps your oral health. It doesn’t have many artificial ingredients to maintain its natural flavor and it makes it lose its taste very quickly when consumed.

Ingredients: Xylitol, Gum Base, Gum Arabic, Glycerol, Carnauba Wax, Tocopherols

Here, you can check the nutritional values of Pur Chewing Gum for 2 pieces (2.8 g).

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 2
Protein (g) 0

Epic Xylitol-Sweetened Chewing Gum

If you like the taste of cinnamon, you should try Epic which will keep you awake and energized. It has a balanced flavor that makes it pleasant for everyone who loves a spicy taste and also it’s good for your teeth health.

Ingredients: Xylitol, Gum Base, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Gum Arabic, Titanium Dioxide, Carnauba Wax

You can check its nutritional value in 1 piece (1.5 g) in the following table.

Calories (kcal)2.4
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 1.06
Protein (g) 0

Dentyne Ice Sugar-Free Gum

This gum is made with sorbitol which contains fewer calories. It also comes in a small and handy package that you can easily keep in your bag. 

Ingredients: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Maltitol, Mannitol, Acacia, Candelilla Wax, Glycerin, Soy Lecithin, Sucralose

Each piece (3g) of this gum contains the following nutrients.

Calories (kcal)5
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 2
Protein (g) 0

Spry Fresh Natural Xylitol Chewing Gum

Spry's sugar-free gum is made with gluten-free natural ingredients and doesn't have a strong flavor so you can choose this gum if you like a normal and balanced taste.

Ingredients: Xylitol, Gum Base, Natural Flavors, Calcium Carbonate, Gum Arabic, Vegetable Glycerin, Sunflower Lecithin, Carnauba Wax

The following table shows the nutritional values of 1 piece (1.2 g) of Spry Fresh Chewing Gum.

Calories (kcal)2.2
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 0.9
Protein (g) 0

Summary

So, you can chew gum while fasting, but it’s important to choose sugar-free, zero-calorie gums to avoid the negative effects of sugar and calories on your fasting results. Also, remember to consume gum in moderation to ensure it complements your fasting routine effectively.

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