Chewing gum was the once forbidden snack for every school age child. In the year of 2005, it was named the number one snack choice by Americans. New research indicates it may be good for a number of things that include:
- Helping to manage weight
- To increase focus
- To increase alertness
- To increase concentration
- Helps relieve life’s everyday stresses
- Sugar free gum can help prevent tooth decay and freshen breath
Chewing gum is very easy to carry in a purse, tote bag or lunch bag. It is an inexpensive snack low in calories at about 5 to 10 calories per serving. With such low calorie count, it is a good way to munch, reduce calorie intake and avoid higher calorie snacks.
Gum before an afternoon snack can help reduce hunger and decrease calorie intake according to an initial study published in “Appetite” in 2007. It may prove to be an easy and economical way of suppressing the appetite.
This study consisted of adults who chewed gum for 15 minutes at one hour intervals over a three-hour period before eating an afternoon snack. Results were:
- The adults who chewed ate 36 calories less of the snack than adults who did not chew gum. There was no difference found with chewing regular or sugar free gum. Both regular and sugar free helped the adults who chewed gum eat less.
- The role of chewing gum in appetite control and weight management will require more research
You can save 120 calories by chewing two sticks of gum at 20 calories instead of eating 1 to 2 chocolate chip cookies at 140 calories. Sugar free gum also counts as “free” food in weight management food exchange lists.
It is a small lifestyle change that can make a difference long term. Try chewing gum rather than mindless munching to help manage your weight.
Additional benefits of chewing gum might include:
- A simple way to increase focus or relieve tension
- Chewing may help relieve daily stresses associated with driving in traffic or waiting in long lines, waiting at doctors or dentists offices.
- Many athletes and coaches chew gum to help them “stay in the game.”
- Some teachers have reversed their school policies and encouraged students to chew gum during tests to help increase alertness and concentration. Remember when you had to stand in the corner for chewing gum? I dutifully obeyed, but somehow secretly knew, there was something very good about chewing gum! Now the truth finally comes out……
- Some psychiatrists and psychologists believe two reasons why people chew gum are to relieve boredom and reduce tension. I fully agree I was probably bored and tense every time I was caught chewing gum during class time.
- Chewing gum may also help release nervous energy and provide an outlet for frustration and irritation.