Extra Evil — The Sticky Truth about Gum

Sugar Free Gum – The best solution to curbing cravings and avoiding high-calorie foods …. Or NOT.

 

Gum is a MAJOR vice for me.  I’m talking like I used to chew 7-10packs a week!  I really thought it wasn’t too big of a deal as long as I stuck with my diet until I read that a couple of the ingredients in sugar-free gum are the same harmful ones in diet soda: Aspartame & Sorbitol.  In addition, there is another preservative in gum that is also found in many processed foods to keep them from breaking down – BHT.

So, in an effort to help out my own budget and health (and maybe yours if you are a fellow gum-chewer), the following post will describe the negative effects of the above-mentioned ingredients, and also a couple of alternatives I’ve found to replace chewing gum.

1. Negative Effects of Aspartame

  • Aspartame Increases appetite
    • Aspartame (and other artificial ‘diet’ sugars) are 4 times as sweet as regular sugar, but don’t provide the same calories as sugar per gram. So, when our bodies consume it, the brain and digestive system experience the taste and expect the sugar/carbohydrates to follow.  Your stomach is all ready, but the sugar never enters which leaves you feeling hungrier than pre-gum. **
  • Aspartame Causes weight gain and more fat to be stored
    • Aspartame is made up of phenylanine and aspartic acid – 2 amino acids that signal your body to RAPIDLY produce and release insulin and leptin, the 2 primary hormones for regulating our metabolism. . Elevated insulin and leptin levels, in turn, are two of the driving forces behind obesity, diabetes, and a number of our current chronic disease epidemics. **

  • Aspartame leads to a Fatty Liver and Weight Gain

    • Aspartame goes immediately to the liver when you ingest it. The liver then splits aspartame into phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. This process requires a lot of energy from the liver which means there will be less energy remaining in the liver cells. AS a RESULT, the liver cells have less energy for fat burning and metabolism, which will result in fat storing. Furthermore, excess fat accumulates inside the liver cells causing “fatty liver” and when this starts to occur it is extremely difficult to lose weight in the future. ***

  • Last BUT not least, Aspartame is PROVEN to cause MORE weight gain than consuming regular sugar

    • The American Cancer Society study7 conducted in early 1980s included 78,694 women who were highly homogenous with regard to age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and lack of preexisting conditions. At one-year follow-up, 2.7 percent to 7.1 percent more regular artificial sweetener users gained weight compared to non-users matched by initial weight…
      • The reason for this is that real sugar allows your body to accurately determine that it has received enough calories, and signal you are full. The fake sugars lack the expected calories, so your appetite is activated by the sweet taste and the hunger sensation remains.

2. Negative Effects of BHT  (a by-product of petroleum used to preserve food, also used for embalming)

  • Slows metabolism — Toxic preservatives can slow your metabolism by up to 70%**
  • Digestive issues – This preservative is not digestable or beneficial to a body in any way.  Many processed foods are coated with some form of it, and there was recently a video taken of what happens when it hits your stomach.  The following video follows packaged ramen (on the left) & homemade ramen noodles (on the right) through a digestive system.  After 4 hours, you can basically still see the packaged ramen as it hasn’t changed form or been broken down, while the fresh noodles are fully digested.   Therefore, your body is not getting the nutrients from the processed food, which also  slows metabolism and results in hunger signals. **

3. Negative Effects  of Sorbitol

  • Tooth decay — Sorbitol and other additives are less-detrimental to your dental health than sugar, but will still cause enamel to rot and then your teeth to dissolve. ** 
  • More Digestive distress – gastric disturbances and osmotic diarrhea. ‘nuff said. You can look that one up on your own if you’re curious.

So, how can you combat a gum addiction?  What about gum made with natural ingredients and no preservatives?  For example, I found this gum at Vitamin Shoppe –

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This is a better choice than regular sugar-free gum, but more expensive & there are still negative effects of chewing it —

4. Negative effects of chewing motion

  • BLOATED 😦

    When you chew, you send the signal to your brain to start the digestion process, so your stomach and pancreas begin to produce the digestive enzymes. This can cause bloating, and can also lead to your digestive system being overtaxed and an inability to produce digestive enzymes when you actually need them … especially as you get older. ***



BEST Alternatives to replace Chewing Gum (thus far… 🙂  —

I’m determined to give up gum… Believe me, I’ve tried MANY times, and have not conquered it.  I found a couple alternatives I have started combining to beat this habit.  If you have more any ideas, or try this out and are successful, comment below.

1. Chewing Fennel Seed after eating (I found this idea from foodbabe) – 

  • Fennel seed is a “natural fat-buster” by helping increase metabolism and prevent weight gain.
  • It also freshens your breath & relieves menstrual cramps.
  • Unlike chewing gum, chewing fennel will actually help improve your digestive system & reduce bloating.
  • You can read more about ALL the awesome benefits on the “Top Home Remedies”

After a meal, I just chew on about ½ teaspoon (approx. 3.5 calories, which is significantly less than multiple pieces of gum at 5 calories per stick)

 2. Peppermint oil for a minty fresh taste, Or Brushing your Teeth after eating

  • If you just want the minty-fresh taste after you eat, you can use a few drops of peppermint oil.


UPDATE 4/13/16 — 
1&2 did NOT help me.  Here is what I did —> Got rid of all my gum, and vowed never to buy again.  I also bought a bag of the floss sticks to use.  I use one of these after meals (when I would normally pop in a piece of gum) and it helps distract my mind from the gum cravings.  Usually, I have to start doing something soon after so I forget about it.   I’ve been about 2 full weeks now without gum, and saving $2-3 a day (yes, I was a heavy gum-chewer LOL).  IMG_6513[1]

I hope this helps us gum addicts give up the addiction once and for all!  It will help improve our health, decrease our waistline & increase our wallets!  Best luck to all of you who join me in this.  

 

1/20/17 –> UPDATE: None of these worked — Here is my new attempt to tackle this ridiculous addiction.


Have An Awesome Week!  

“Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.”

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4 thoughts on “Extra Evil — The Sticky Truth about Gum

  1. Loved this post and really appreciate your tips! I too have tried to give up gum many times, but have never succeeded. However I’m not willing to give up! I may try the dental floss sticks, as I agree that at least half my battle is rooted in being used to having something in my mouth after my meals. Sometimes I suck on mints, but most of them contain many of the same ingredients found in gum!

    Like

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