Chewing gum can be one way to curb hunger. It satisfies the need to chew, and if your gum is minty, it can inspire you to keep your breath fresh. Sweet gums can also curb sugar cravings. The question is: if you practice intermittent fasting, will chewing gum break your fast?
We asked fasting expert Jason Fung, MD, a nephrologist (kidney specialist) and author of The Complete Guide to Fasting to weigh in. He specializes in helping people reverse diabetes through weight loss and diet. He found that fasting helps his patients lose weight and keep it off more effectively than calorie restriction, so he knows a lot about the subject!
When asked about chewing gum during a fasting window, Dr. Fung told POPSUGAR, "Yes, sweeteners can certainly produce an insulin response, but generally for gum, the effect is so small that there is likely no problem from it. So yes, technically it does break the fast, but no, it usually doesn't matter."
The one issue with chewing gum while fasting, Dr. Fung added, is that "gum is usually not recommended because the act of chewing and the sweetness usually triggers salivation and hunger." So for some, even if you chew sugarless gum, it might actually make fasting harder. On the other hand, if chewing gum satisfies your need to have something in your mouth (and without it you wouldn't be able to fast for as long as you want), go for it!