Why I Never Chew Gum

Written By Brady Wirick

The Hidden Truth Behind Your Chewing Gum: A Closer Look at Ingredients and Health Impacts

In the everyday hustle, it’s easy to overlook the small things, like the ingredients in our chewing gum. However, a deeper dive into what’s actually in that stick of gum might have you thinking twice before reaching for your next piece. Today, we’re peeling back the wrapper to reveal the truth behind chewing gum ingredients and their potential effects on our health.

Common Ingredients in Chewing Gum

Chewing gum typically contains a mix of ingredients ranging from sweeteners to preservatives. Some of the most common ingredients include:

  • Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners: These are added for taste. While sugar is known for its role in dental decay and weight gain, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame K have their own controversies, including potential links to health issues with long-term use and weight gain.
  • Gum Base: This is what gives gum its chewy texture. The gum base can contain a mixture of elastomers, resins, and waxes – many of which are not disclosed to consumers. The opacity of these components raises questions about their safety.
  • Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Used as sweeteners, these ingredients are linked to obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders when consumed in excess.
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene): This synthetic antioxidant is added to maintain freshness but is considered a potential endocrine disruptor and has been linked to cancer in animal studies.
  • Lecithin (Soy): Used as an emulsifier, soy lecithin can pose allergenic risks to those sensitive to soy products.
  • Artificial Colors and Flavors: These additives make gum appealing but have been connected to behavioral issues in children and possible cancer risk.

The Impact on Digestive Health

Chewing gum can also have unintended consequences on our digestive health. When you chew gum, you swallow air, which can lead to bloating and discomfort. Moreover, the act of chewing signals to your digestive system that food is incoming, activating enzymes and stomach acids. Without actual food to digest, this can lead to an imbalance in your stomach, causing discomfort or even acid reflux.

Sorbitol and Digestive Issues

Many sugar-free gums use sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, as a sweetener. While sorbitol is lower in calories, consuming it in large amounts can lead to digestive issues such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. This is because sorbitol is not fully absorbed in the intestines and can ferment, leading to these uncomfortable side effects.

A Word on Natural Alternatives

For those looking to enjoy the benefits of chewing gum without the potential downsides, there are natural alternatives available. Gums made with natural sweeteners like stevia, which can actually benefit dental health, and natural bases, flavors, and colors are becoming more popular. These alternatives often avoid the controversial ingredients found in traditional gums, offering a healthier option for gum enthusiasts.

IF I was going to chew gum, which I don’t, even though Kim think’s I am sexy when I do, the brand I would choose would be Simply Gum.

Here is an amazon link: https://amzn.to/3U45eND

The Bottom Line

While chewing gum can seem like a harmless habit, the ingredients in many popular brands may give health-conscious consumers pause. By understanding what’s in your gum and considering natural alternatives, you can make more informed choices about your chewing gum and its impact on your health.

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