Can you chew gum while intermittent fasting?

can you chew gum while fasting

Some people may be concerned about common habits that may break their fast including if chewing gum would break their nutritional fast.

The answer really depends on how strict you want to be about defining what breaks a fast. Some people very rigid and say that taking in any type of calories taking a break so fast. However others like myself tend to be a little more flexible on what we consider break so fast. From my perspective, anything that would cause a significant rise in either blood sugar or insulin levels would break a fast. Again, the reason for the fast in the first place is to try to make your body more insulin sensitive, so anything that would cause another rise in insulin would defeat that purpose.

Regular Gum with Sugar on an Intermittent Fast

A stick of most regular chewing gum that is sweetened with regular sugar has about 5 grams of sugar or carbohydrates or about 20 calories. This 5 grams of sugar is most likely not going to cause a rise in either your blood sugar or insulin levels, so technically would not be breaking a nutritional fast. However, I have noted that some people end up chewing an entire pack of gum all day and if you are chewing multiple sticks of regular gum, then that amount of sugar may cause a blood sugar or insulin response.

So if you need to chew one stick of gum to ward off hunger at one point in the day, its ok from an intermittent fasting standpoint. Just don’t be chewing gum all day long.

Sugar-free Gum on an Intermittent Fast

Other people opt for sugar-free gum instead of the regular gum while intermittent fasting. The sugar-free gum can have either artificial sweaters or natural sugar alcohols like xylitol or erythritol (which are actually not derived from alcohol).

Xylitol has been shown in larger quantities to slightly increase blood sugar in some people which erythritol does not seem to have the same effect on blood sugar. Xylitol can also cause loose stools and is toxic to dogs, so you have to be careful that you puppy doesn’t get ahold of any sugar-free gum that you might leave laying around.

Another concern that has been reported is that the artificial sweeteners may cause a change in the gut biome. Although its not clear what this change in gut biome may have long-term on either weight loss or for health markers.

But overall, a stick of sugar-free gum shouldn’t impact blood sugar or insulin levels either, so chewing sugar-free gum would not break a nutritional fast.

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