Does anybody here chew gum? Have you quit and noticed any improvements?
I, for one, chew a pack (15 pieces) a day of sugarfree gum, and I've created a dependency complex. Is it worth it to quit?
Here are the ingredients: SORBITOL, GUM BASE, GLYCEROL, MANNITOL, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, LESS THAN 2% OF HYDROGENATED STARCH HYDROLYSATE, ASPARTAME, ACESULFAME K, SOY LECITHIN, BHT (TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS), COLORS (BLUE 1 LAKE, BLUE 1, RED 40). PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE.
It's not pretty, but each piece is 2.7g. So- over the course of the day, I chew around 40g of gum.
I guess this might be one of those situations where wondering whether it is a problem means it is a problem. Thanks for your input, though.
Also- I sometimes have difficult achieving satiety. Could this have anything to do with chewing gum?
Final note- I know chewing gum looks trashy. We don't need to raise that.
This may be nitpicking, but... There's the fact that all gums taste sweet and therefore: a) get you used to eating very sweet things (craving-trigger for some?) and b) may cause some conditioned insulin response due to the sweet taste or the sugar alcohols - which maybe could explain your non-satiety.
I used to chew gum daily but started finding it too sweet and I also realised I was developing a habit of always chewing something or having something in my mouth (in a way I was using the gum as a decoy to stave off food cravings due to boredom). Now I only use it when tooth-brushing is unavailable (travelling etc.).
I always had doubts about the ingredients too. Apart from the sweeteners, all those artificial flavours and colours ("blue lake"??!) should probably be viewed with at least some suspicion (they do get swallowed after all).
Summary: sporadic use, no worries (don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!). A pack a day... maybe think twice.
As Robb Wolf and Cordain say there can be an insulin spike related artificial sweeteners. So regardless of wether or not the latest study report that sweetener as safe or not, there is the potential unwanted insulin response. I really like to be pretty loose with things and not geek out to the point where I have to worry about the odd piece of gum, but lets be honest a pack a day is more than the odd piece. Remove it from the diet for a month see how you look feel and perform.
"Also- I sometimes have difficult achieving satiety. Could this have anything to do with chewing gum?"
I chew gum sometimes and definitely have no problems achieving satiety. I quit for over a year and went back to it because I moved to a place where I was away from home a lot and my teeth felt dirty after eating. Nothing bad happened to me when I went back to it.
If it is concerning you, you might switch to a sugar-free gum that has more friendly ingredients like Steviadent.
Chewing gum gets the saliva working in your mouth and primes the stomach for the "expected" food to come. This could contribute to always feeling slightly hungry.
You might try chewing/sucking on whole cloves or fennel seeds. It sounds a bit odd, but I know people who enjoy them. Both help with digestion and mask any sulfurous odors. They are also void of aspartame, a serious neurotoxin, and the other questionable ingredients in sugar-free gum. If all else fails, chew on a few parsley or mint leaves. If you must have gum, you could also try Spry gum from a health food store.
I quit chewing gum a while ago. For me it did two things: 1) increase incidence of diarrhea. Sorbitol will do that. 2) increase hunger. While I would often chew gum in an attempt to quell hunger, it turns out it just made me more ravenous upon spitting it out. It also develops a dependence in uses.
I, like anything else would experiment, try going 1-2 weeks without it and see if you notice any changes?
Chewing gum was hard, hard, hard for me to quit. But it has been several years since I have dropped the habit on the advice of my classical homeopath. You see, most gum contains mint which is an antidote to homeopathic remedies (which cured me of a decade long bout with chronic bronchitis, but that is another story).
Also, I lived outside of the States for a quite a few years and now that I am back I notice the American obsession with chewing gum - Americans chew when they are talking to you, at business meetings, in all kings of situations that normal people would deem inappropriate.
Xylitol sweetened sugarless gums might be a good fit, they appear to have a good effect on mouth bacteria (starve and kill the bad carb hungry bacteria).
erythritol also displays the same "starve bad bacteria" effect but actually gets absorbed in to your blood stream before being excreted.
A gum with either of the above may help towards you not needing any gum for fresh breath, another thing you could try is "oil pulling" (traditional indian teeth cleansing). Outside of all the new age hippy BS on it all over the internet, it appears to break down oral bacterial biofilms, also was effective vs plaque and gingivitis in the two pubMed studies I can find.
But I do agree that a full pack of gum a day seems mightily excessive, at the least I'd cut back on the amount and drink more water instead...
ASPARTAME is not good at all, but I assume this would be the only source that a paleo eater would get it from, so I don't know if the amount would be harmful. I would recomend everyone to google aspartame. There is a documentary you can find about how harmful it is and how it got approved by the goverment when it shouldn't have. It is banned in some parts of the world.
My problem is I teach BJJ, so I'm literally face to face with people for my job. So, breath freshness is a huge part of my job requirement. When I began teaching, that was just part of the checklist, Clean uniform-check, clean skin-check, No BO-check, gum-check...ready to teach. Now I just feel self conscious without it. I know Paleo peoples probably didn't have, or care about, minty fresh breath. But. I have to. So, is this one of those compromises I just have to accept, or, is there a more "Primal" option.
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