Fasting has exploded in popularity over the recent years but it’s not without its challenges.
Because fasting can lead to hunger, you might find yourself reaching for a stick of gum to quell that uncomfortable feeling in your gut, but will this little stick of gum break your fast?
It might. Let’s take a closer look.
Does Chewing Gum Break a Fast?
While it may seem innocent, chewing gum has the potential to break your fast. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid that.
For example, regular chewing gum contains calories as well as sugar. While 1-2 sticks may not break your fast, consuming more than this can. With that said, some fasts are more strict and prohibit any calorie-containing foods or beverages.
If you are concerned about breaking your fast but don’t want to give up your beloved chewing gum, try swapping out regular gum for sugar-free.
Not only does sugar-free gum contain significantly less to no calories at all, but they also do not contain any sugar.
This prevents any insulin response which many signify as breaking a fast.
Does Gum Have Calories?
Whether or not your chewing gum has calories depends on the brand and type of gum.
Consuming several pieces of this type of gum can certainly break your fast, especially for more strict forms of fasting such as water-only fasts.
What About Sugar-Free Gum?
For most forms of fasting, very low calorie food and beverages are permitted during fasting hours.
When choosing sugar-free forms of gum, which tend to be a lot lower in calories and free of sugar, you are unlikely to break your fast even if you have a few pieces.
Can You Chew Gum When Fasting?
Whether or not chewing gum is permitted on your fast will depend on what type and how strict of fasting you are participating in.
Most fasts consider breaking a fast when an insulin response is evoked which can occur in the presence of sugar and/or carbohydrates while other fasts allow foods and beverages that contain minimal amounts of calories.
1. What Type of Fasting Are You Doing?
Intermittent fasting allows for low-calorie containing foods and beverages during fasting periods as long as they don’t evoke an insulin response. In this case, choosing a sugar-free gum that is low in calories is okay to consume during your fasting window.
Other forms of fasting such as water-only fasts and some religious fasts such as during Yom Kippur and Ramadan do not allow for any form of food or beverage aside from water and that includes regular or sugar-free gums.
2. Does Your Gum Have Added Sugars?
Another thing to consider when fasting is if your gum contains added sugars. Added sugars are commonly found in traditional chewing gums to provide flavor however, they also include higher amounts of calories along with them.
Consuming 1-2 pieces of regular gum may not be an issue for more laid back fasting methods however, many would suggest choosing a sugar-free option. This avoids any potential chance at evoking an insulin response and subsequently breaking your fast.
Sugar-free gums typically include sugar alcohols, which are only partially digested and don’t act the same in the body as sugars do. However, large amounts of sugar alcohols may result in stomach upset so it’s best to avoid consuming large amounts of these types of gums during your fast even if they don’t break it .
Sugar-free gums may also provide additional benefits for your dental health so even if you aren’t worried about regular chewing gum breaking your fast, you still may wish to consider sugar-free options .
What Should I Look For When Buying Gum?
When searching for the best type of chewing gum to avoid breaking your fast, look for options that are advertised as sugar-free. To avoid consuming artificial sugars, be sure to read the ingredients list on the package and choose ones that include sugar alcohols instead.
The most common types of sugar alcohols are xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol. These will still include some calories but try to find options that contain less than 15 calories per stick.
What Can You Eat and Drink When Fasting?
Most forms of fasting will allow for calorie-free beverages, including black coffee, tea, water, and other zero calorie products. Most fasts do not allow for any foods to be consumed during fasting windows with the exception of gum and some sugar-free mints.
Again, some forms of fasting may prohibit all of these items aside from water depending on how strict the fast is. Most fasts for religious purposes do now allow for anything aside from water during fasting periods.
What is the Best Way to Break a Fast?
When the time comes to break your fast you want to make sure to choose nourishing foods to give your body the energy it needs to function at its best.
Depending on when your fasting times are, you may need something quick and easy to digest. Some good options include Greek yogurt parfaits with berries and low-sugar granola or a collagen smoothie with fruits and vegetables such as the one listed below. This helps to provide a hearty-dose of protein along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to break your fast on a high note.
Collagen Berry Smoothie
- 1 scoop of Naked Nutrition Naked Collagen powder
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 large handful of fresh spinach
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed