Many individuals that are attempting to lose weight or maintain their current weight use chewing gum as an appetite suppressant. Chewing gum has been shown to curb your appetite, resulting in a decreased urge to snack.
How Chewing Gum Helps Curb Appetite
When you chew a piece of chewing gum, the chewing action simulates eating, which sends a message to your brain that eating has already taken place. It is common to eat during periods of boredom or stress. However, chewing a low calorie and/or sugar free piece of gum will reduce stress and satisfy boredom, satisfying the need for oral involvement.
Nutritional Information in Chewing Gum
While chewing gum is not an adequate source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and a variety of other nutrients, its nutritional content is better than that of unhealthy snacks. The exact calorie, sugar and carbohydrate count varies, depending on the type and brand of chewing gum. However, it is safe to say that in the average of stick of gum, calories range from 5 to 15, with a sugar count of 2 grams and a carbohydrate count of 2 grams. For a healthier choice, choose chewing gum that is sugar-free, which will have less calories and sugar per stick.
Less Desire for Snacks
If you are like many other people, you develop an urge to snack when you're bored or sitting still. Actually, this is why most people report increased snacking habits in the car, at the movies or while reading a book. The solution to this is to keep your mouth and brain busy by chewing a piece of gum. When you're chewing gum, you're less likely to want another type of snack. Because your mouth is already being exercised through the chewing process, it is less likely that you will experience food cravings resulting in making poor food choices. A stick of chewing gum, generally ranging in calories from 5 to 15, will often satisfy the craving for a snack with a much higher calorie count. In fact, studies have shown that by chewing gum between meals, you considerably reduce the desire to reach for a sweet treat. The same study did not reveal a difference in craving salty snacks in groups that were chewing gum between meals and groups that were not chewing gum between meals.
Unhealthy Risks of Chewing Gum
Any type of consumable product that contains Sorbitol can cause digestive problems if consumed in large amounts, including chewing gum. Research shows that people who chew 20 pieces of more of chewing gum that includes Sorbitol are likely to experience severe gastric disturbances, including diarrhea. While it is safe to chew gum at a moderate level to help curb your appetite, do not chew an excessive amount of chewing gum in a short amount of time.