Chewing gum…is it that bad?


Bad breath?
Chew a piece of gum!

Hungry? Craving something sweet?
Chew a piece of gum!

Stressed or bored?
Chew a piece of gum!

If you are one of those people who are always chewing gum then please continue reading!

There are so many varieties of gum available containing an array of different ingredients, available in every colour you could think of, plus an ever improving longer-lasting flavor, however all these features are coupled with a host of undesirable health risks.

Take a read of these 5 reasons why you should think twice about popping another chewy!

1. Makes you crave sweets more

The more sweet you taste, the more your taste buds will prefer those sweet flavours. No matter what the source of the sweetness is. The less exposure our taste buds have to sweet tastes, whether they be from natural sweet or artificially sweetened foods the less our taste buds will crave them.

2. It’s addictive

In the brain, sweet tastes stimulate the reward pathways, much the same as with drug addiction. Hence why you end up chewing piece after piece. In fact, if you regularly chew artificially sweetened gum the satisfaction you get from actual sugar is much less, therefore your sugar-free gum is actually making you more addicted to the sweet stuff!

3. Digestive issues

The act of chewing is the first step in the digestion process. Simply chewing causes a release of acids, enzymes and digestive hormones which all play a part in digestion. We have a direct nerve connection between our brain and gut, so when we start chewing communication occurs which triggers certain processes related to digestion to occur in your body. If you chew gum all the time you are constantly stimulating this process which can compromise your body’s ability to produce sufficient digestive enzymes when you actually do eat food! Chronic gum chewers beware! This is definitely not ideal…humans were not designed to be chewing and digesting 24/7. Whenever you chew you swallow excess air, which results in air pockets in your digestive tract leading to bloating and potential abdominal pain.

4. Kills your good gut bacteria

Chewing gum has a huge impact on your gut bacteria with several studies concluding a reduction in gut bacteria with ongoing exposure to artificial sweeteners often found in gum. Your gut bacteria has a number of important roles in your body including immune function, brain health and of course digestion.

5. Makes you hungry

Your body and brain are smarter than you. When the body tastes something sweet it anticipates that it is receiving some form of calories. Except in the case of chewing gum, it doesn’t actually happen. This leaves your body confused, unsatisfied, and hungry for an actual meal! On top of this your body has just released all the digestive juices to then receive no food into the stomach. What this means for you is a double hit of those hunger pains!

My thoughts:
I’m not saying never chew gum, however choose a product that is sweetened without artificial sweeteners (xylitol-sweetened gums are available at most health food stores). I recommend never chewing gum in place of eating. And keep in mind that chances are you are going to be hungrier!