You've probably read that chewing gum can help you crave food less, and ultimately eat less, which will aid weight loss. Some research even indicates that this may be true. But if you want to lose some pounds, counting on gum to help you achieve your goals is not an effective long-term strategy. New research shows that chewing gum has a negligible impact on weight.
New research studies, which aimed to find out if chewing gum can, in fact, lessen appetite and hunger, and even the amount of food gum-chewers eat.
One study found that, while it was true that people who chewed gum ate fewer meals, those same people ate more food per serving. What's more, they chose less nutritious meals than did participants in the study who did not chew gum.
Another study revealed that people who chewed gum ate less fruit, and were much more inclined to eat things like chips, candy, and junk food snacks. Why? It's like due to the minty flavor in gum. It makes vegetables and fruits taste bitter and unnatural.
Researchers stated that "These studies provide no evidence that acute or chronic gum chewing reduces hunger or energy intake. In fact, chewing mint-flavored gum may deter consumption of fruit and reduce diet quality."
The human body, by design, triggers digestion when chewing begins. There's a complex, neurological reflex involved, which makes the body start to produce enzymes when the jaw executes a chewing motion.
Chewing when you aren't eating can be harmful; it may accomplish the exact opposite of what you want to happen. Chewing gum sends the body physical and neurological signals that indicate food will enter the digestive tract soon. That means the acids and enzymes get activated, but the food they're designed to digest isn't there. This may lead to bloating, excess stomach acid, and an inability to produce necessary levels of acids and enzymes when it comes time to eat.
It's best to chew gum only right before or right after a meal. That may actually be beneficial to the digestive system.
If there's no sugar in a stick of gum, it may seem safe to assume it won't be bad for your teeth. Xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol commonly used in sugar-free foods, even battles tooth decay. But be wary of the label "sugar-free" - it doesn't necessarily mean that gum is safe for your teeth.
Sugar-free gums often have more ingredients, like flavorings and preservatives, that are acidic; they can erode the enamel of the teeth, even if they also contain the anti-cavity xylitol ingredient. Dental erosion is a condition in which the enamel gradually decalcifies. Over time, the teeth dissolve. Dental erosion is unrelated to cavities.
Artificial sweeteners commonly found in sugar-free gums have been linked to a variety of health risks. Aspartame metabolizes in the body as wood alcohol, which is poisonous, and formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen used as an embalming fluid; the liver and kidneys cannot process it out of the body. Formaldehyde has been associated with birth defects, weight gain, tumors, and cancer.
Splenda, or sucralose, is another artificial sweetener found in many chewing gums. The FDA approved its used based on just two human studies. The longer of those studies lasted only four days. Animal studies indicated that sucralose consumption led to fewer red blood cells, which is a sign of anemia; spontaneous abortion; enlarged kidneys; and a higher death rate.
Eating artificial sweeteners distorts the body's biochemistry, and it may actually make you gain weight. Studies concerned with the effects of artificial sweeteners on the body have indicated that they lead to more weight gain than natural sugar because they stimulate the appetite and lead to over-eating, even in the absence of hunger. They cause increased cravings for carbohydrates and stimulate fat cell storage.
Wrigley will release a caffeinated gum, containing the equivalent of half a cup of coffee's caffeine. It won't be the first caffeinated gum for sale, but it will be the first for Wrigley, and should make caffeinated gum a mainstream product.
Experts are concerned that caffeinated gum will make it too easy for teens and even children to consume caffeine. Excess caffeine has been associated with stroke, anxiety, toxicity, arrhythmias, and even death. And if caffeinated gum appeals to you, it's a good sign that a serious state of fatigue is linked to lifestyle choices like too much unhealthy or processed foods, lack of sleep, an excess of stress, and too little exercise. The solution to these underlying issues is not caffeinated chewing gum, much as chewing gum cannot bring about sustainable weight loss.
There is no one secret or trick to losing weight. In most cases, cutting back on simple carbohydrates like fructose, sugars, and grains will lead to weight loss. Breakfast cereals, waffles, pancakes, bagels, pretzels-refined carbohydrates-break down into sugar quickly, which raises insulin levels, and leads to one of the main factors for weight gain: insulin resistance.
If you eliminate sugars and grains from your diet, you'll likely experience sugar cravings and hunger pangs (aka hunger pains). Your appetite may increase. This is the body's natural response to weaning off of sugar.
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