Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman — Is Chewing Gum Bad For You?
First Published: April 12, 2012 4:16 PM EDT Credit: Access Hollywood
NEW YORK., N.Y. -- Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet, and health questions.
Want to know which foods to curb sugar cravings? Or, what should you eat before a workout? Ask Keri anything!
Keri will choose one great question a week to be answered Thursday in our Healthy Hollywood column.
To submit questions for Keri, click HERE!
This week’s question is from reader Bridget — I always keep a pack of gum in my bag, but I have a feeling it might not be good for me to chew on. What’s the deal?
“Gum is one of those deceptive “foods.” While it can be a replacement to mindless noshing, all the sugar and/or artificial sweeteners are no good for your body (and teeth!). Sugar-free gum is filled with a variety of artificial sweeteners to keep it chewy and flavorful.
These sweeteners include aspartame, one of the most commercially used artificial sweeteners that has been linked to having carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects. Researchers theorize that artificial sweeteners, which can be 200-700 times sweeter than sugar, cause our bodies to react differently to food.
When calories don’t follow the sweet flavor, our bodies search for calories, resulting in more cravings and often increased overall calorie consumption! Yes, artificial sweeteners have the ability to make us crave more sweets! Sugar-filled gum is no better. The sugar in gum provides us with empty (and unhealthy!) calories and coats our teeth with the tooth-decaying sugars. Yuck!
Although gum and other hard candies seem like great oral fixes, they can also increase bloating. Turning foods over in our mouths causes us to swallow lots of air, generating an excess buildup of gas in our abdomen. This bloat makes us feel puffy – the last thing we want right before beach season!
The next time you feel like reaching for a stick of gum, try brewing some tea instead. Sipping slowly on hot or cold tea is a great way to calm both your cravings and stress levels. If you’re missing that minty flavor, try peppermint tea to help your body’s digestive system and actually reduce bloating!”
-- Terri MacLeod & Keri Glassman
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.