Ok, so it’s not exactly a killer, but it sure got your attention, right? Even though sugar-free gum won’t really kill you, it’s definitely not good for you and has no place in a clean eater’s diet.
Unfortunately, I love chewing gum. And, I always choose sugar-free so I don’t rot my pearly whites. I’m not going to sit here and scare you or tell you not to chew gum, but I think it’s important to let all of you know what I learned the other day about sugar-free gum.
Some ingredients in sugar-free gum:
Sorbitol: Can cause digestion problems, like diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, and even irritable bowel syndrome.
Apartame: Artificial sweetener approved by the FDA, but some believe it causes diseases, tumors, and seizures.
Gum Base: Can include food-grade rubber, waxes, talc powder, and other substances we probably shouldn’t be putting in our bodies.
BHT: Preservative that’s banned in the UK and Japan and believed to possibly cause organ damage and cancer.
Think so-called all-natural chewing gum is a better option? Think again. Even though these gums (like Glee Gum and Pur Gum) claim to be better for you, they still contain gum base, wax, and xylitol (a sugar alcohol). These gums still have long, confusing words on the labels, so they can’t really be “all-natural.”
The only somewhat good alternatives I’ve found to chewing gum are using mouthwash and growing your own mint plant. I carry around a tiny bottle of Listerine with me in my purse or book bag. I’ve never really thought about growing a mint plant; I can’t imagine chewing on a plant to freshen my breath, but it’s worth a try!
Even though I found all these bad things about sugar-free gum, I don’t think I will quit chewing it altogether. I’ll try to cut back, but I really enjoy chewing gum. Do I have an addiction? Maybe, but I don’t think chewing a piece of gum once in a while is going to hurt.
So, moral of the story is, just be aware of hidden ingredients in some of the things you put in your mouth, but don’t stress over eliminating something you truly enjoy!
Are you a sugar-free gum fan? Let me know in the comments what kind of gum you like.
Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to gum that I can try?