Figuring out what you can eat or drink during a fast can be confusing.

In particular, you may wonder whether chewing gum will break your fast.

This article takes a closer look at the research to determine whether you should chew gum while fasting.

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Generally, most types of gum contain some calories.

For example, one stick of regular chewing gum provides about 11 calories, while a stick of sugar-free gum contains 6 calories (1, 2).

For stricter forms of fasting like water fasts, consuming any calories technically breaks your fast. This is especially true if you’re chewing multiple sticks of gum per day or choosing a type of gum that’s high in sugar.

In fact, some types of bubble gum can contain up to 30 calories per serving, which can stack up very quickly if you’re chewing several pieces throughout the day (3).

However, because many other types are very low in calories, chewing a stick or two of sugar-free gum each day is unlikely to significantly affect your fast.

summary

Most types of gum have calories. However, while chewing multiple sticks of sugary gum may break your fast, chewing a stick or two of sugar-free gum is unlikely to have a significant impact.

Chewing gum has been shown to decrease hunger and appetite, which could be especially beneficial during a fast.

In one small study, chewing gum for 30 minutes while fasting increased satiety and stabilized levels of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone that decreases appetite (4).

In another study, chewing sugar-free gum for 1 hour reduced hunger while fasting and decreased food intake at the next meal (5).

Chewing has also been shown to decrease appetite and attention to food-related stimuli, which may help prevent impulsive eating (6).

Therefore, chewing a stick or two of gum could help reduce hunger levels and make it easier for you to stick to your fast.

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Chewing gum may help decrease hunger and appetite, which may be beneficial while fasting.

Insulin is the hormone responsible for transporting sugar from your bloodstream to your cells so that it can be used as a source of fuel (7).

Fasting causes a reduction in insulin levels. This may be particularly true if you enter ketosis, a metabolic state that occurs when your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Longer fasts may cause ketosis (8, 9).

Some people believe that ketosis is responsible for many of the metabolic benefits associated with intermittent fasting (10).

According to one study, chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes did not affect insulin levels in 12 people who were fasting (4).

Some studies show that chewing gum may not affect insulin or blood sugar levels, suggesting that gum may not actually break your fast.

Another study including 59 women with gestational diabetes showed that chewing gum after a meal did not affect blood sugar levels (11).

However, keep in mind that this may not apply if you’re chewing multiple sticks of gum or choosing varieties of gum that are very high in added sugar.

summary

Some studies show that chewing gum may not increase insulin or blood sugar levels, suggesting that it may not break your fast.

Sugar-free gum minimally affects insulin levels and contains very few calories, meaning that it’s unlikely to break your fast.

However, stricter forms of fasting may prohibit consuming any calories at all. Additionally, some types of gum are high in sugar and could break a fast, especially if you’re chewing multiple sticks throughout the day.

If you choose to chew gum to help curb hunger and cravings, be sure to stick to sugar-free varieties and enjoy it in moderation.