In a hurry? Our favorite keto chewing gum is the Spry Xylitol Gum.
What’s the deal with chewing gum on keto?
Well, the keto breath. Just chew some gum, and you are all set, right?
If you are on keto, you should be more aware of what passes your lips because carbs do add up very quickly.
Let's be realistic; most of us don't eat just one gum or mint per day...
Either you want to minimize the keto breath or just need a bite of concentration, choosing the right gum can make or break your daily carb limit.
We will look into what makes a keto-friendly gum and which ones should you avoid.
Also, I share my favorite chewing gum and breath mint to stop the keto breath and get the concentrating juices flowing.
Let's chew in.
Problems With Sugar-Free Gums
Everyone loves the idea of sugar-free this or that. We say 'it has no sugar anyways, so I can enjoy many of the things I would if I was not trying to lose that weight without worrying about sugar ".
Sugar-free gums have very distinct effects from normal gums, while the later is giving your tongue a sugar shower, sugars are absent in the former, replaced by sweeteners. So while you may be tempted to pop one or two chewing gums in your mouth because of the "sugar-free" tag, you should consider the effect on your diet.
I remember asking myself the question, is sugar-free the same as calorie-free. A ketogenic diet aims to switch the body's fuel from carbohydrates to fat, and the presence of calories might disrupt it.
- Sugar-free gums contain minimal calories - between one and two so consuming one or two would not kick you off your ketosis diet. You should take caution consuming them in large quantities as sugar-free gum contains sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohol (polyols) is not carb free, and it contains calories. Xylitol and Sorbitol are common types of sugar alcohol (7)
- Sugar-free gums are often made up of Soy lecithin, hydrogenated starch, and some other constituents that are tongue twisters. The sweeteners used include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH) (8).
I guess you shouldn't be too bothered with these rhyming words, but by what they could do. Consuming these things in excess could lead to constipation, diarrhea and most likely have an effect on your blood sugar, which is bad if you want to stay in ketosis and burn fat.
- The most common constituents of sugar-free gum is aspartame. Aspartame is an artificial replacement for sugar (9). Aspartame is generally regarded as safe after evaluations by numerous international bodies on food and drug safety. It has side effects too, especially for people who have phenylketonuria, a condition that makes their bodies unable to metabolize phenylalanine- an element of Aspartame. (10).
Aspartame has been linked as a cause to some conditions like headache (11), and allegations of dizziness, seizures, and other neurological and congenital anomalies. Natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, erythritol are safer, better, and healthier substitutes.
Are Gums With Xylitol Okay?
Ever wondered the type of sugar in your fruits? Well, if it was the normal table sugar, I guess an apple a day would make the doctor to stay. There are natural sweeteners in fruits, and one of such is xylitol. Xylitol naturally occurs in birch wood, plum, strawberry, cauliflower, and so on (12).
- Xylitol has drastically lower calorie content compared to table sugar and is a healthier substitute. Over time, xylitol has been used as a medication and has been adapted to mire uses I'm modern times. Though less used than Sorbitol, xylitol is commonplace in sugar-free products and is quite suitable for use by diabetics (13), as it metabolizes independently of insulin. (14)
- Xylitol is one of the biggest constituents of sugar-free gum and candies, just behind aspartame. It is recognized as safe for consumption (15), used in gums to treat tooth cavities (16), to prevent earaches (17) among others.
So if you desire to chew gum during your ketogenic diet, you could munch on some Xylitol based gum as it does not kick you if your diet. One of thumb that can be applied is that anything that is safe for a diabetic is acceptable during your diet (18) as it does not add little calories, insignificant when compared to sugar despite the similarity I'm their tastes (19).
You should take caution when consuming xylitol though, excess consumption makes it act as a laxative, and the EU Scientific Committee on Food stated “ingesting 50g a day of xylitol can cause diarrhea“and” excessive consumption may induce laxative effects” (20)
How Much Can You Chew?
Just started your keto diet? Do you have a guideline of meals to eat with you? If yes, check it out and see how every trace if carbohydrates and Calories have been eliminated as much as possible 60%.
One major rule guiding your keto regime would be the emphasis on avoiding calories - else your body pops out of the diet (21).
But to what extent can you avoid calories? What quantity of calories would be insignificant for your body to trigger out of the keto diet and what constitutes consumption that will simply dump you off the road. What amount of sugar-free gum and mint is appropriate?
The answer is quite simple. It depends on how intense or relaxed your diet regime is. Generally, you may eat one or two chewing gums and not be hurt, however, building up a number of piles of chewed gum would inject quite a large amount of calories into your body (22). One sugar-free gum or mint is about 2 calories, 30 pieces then are about 60.
Generally, the excess consumption of sugar alcohol causes bloating, constipation, and even diarrhea (23).
Can I Eat Gum While Fasting Keto?
Yes, you can. But the type you consume and the quantity determine if you are still on the keto diet or if you have skidded off like an imbalanced kid on a slide. Fasting and keto diet are very much similar, but as fasting is the abstinence from food, a keto diet is an abstinence from calorie consumption (24).
The advice of Dr. Jason Fung, a doctor who treats diabetics through a special fasting regimen and author of " The Complete Guide to Fasting ' gives us a headway, he stated, when asked about chewing gums while fasting “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." (25)
The effects are insignificant, so you can go for it if you have to eliminate something like bad breath, or to satisfy the urge to chew something. It is great however, if you can resist the urge. Chewing gum increases the desire for food. That could be too much temptation to bear.
What to Look For in a Keto Friendly Gum?
It is pretty easy to walk into any store and order some nice looking pack of chewing gum or to dive into a pack your friend brought.
But it would be pretty hard in yourself if you are on a Keto diet or you are diabetic - because both conditions require basically the same stuff - cut down sugar, carbohydrate and every source of calories.
- A keto friendly gum must be significantly different from a normal chewing gum. There are about 7 calories in normal chewing gums (26).
- A keto friendly gum has about 75% less (27). Generally, gum that is keto friendly must be made without sugar as there must be minimal calories. Such gum must be able to give a fresh breath to tackle the mouth smell that Ketosis emits at a point. The flavor should be long-lasting.
- A keto friendly gum, like every other consumable good, should be produced in the most hygienic environments.
Best Keto Gum & Mints
Let us take a look at some mints and chewing gums that tick all boxes for being keto-friendly.
#1. PUR Gum
Produced by the PUR Company founded in Ontario Canada, a company that specializes in health-friendly products.
The PUR gum is aspartame free, completely made from xylitol, making it safe for people on a ketogenic diet, that are diabetic or diagnosed with celiac disease.
Comes in different flavors such as cool mint, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, pomegranate mint, chocolate Mint, bubblegum, and cinnamon.
The product blends wellness and fun, giving you the bubbles of life in harmless ways. It provides a great substitute for the harmful ingredients in chewing gum.
Serving size: 1P ( 1.4G)
Calories: 5 Total fat: 0g Net carbs: 2g Protein: 0g Xylitol: 1g
Ingredients: Xylitol, gum base, gum arabic, natural flavors, carnauba wax
- Contains no aspartame, monosodium glutamate or kosher
- 100% xylitol product
- Blended with other healthy ingredients
- Friendly to dental health
- Flavors often get lost fast
#2. Spry Xylitol Gum
Spry xylitol is truly reflective of its name- xylitol gum. Spyr Xylitol gum is one of the top choices among those on the keto diet.
Its special formulation gives it a superb taste and long lasting freshness.
The addition of spearmint makes it a great option to address mouth odor.
The presence of xylitol makes it beneficial to gum health, as xylitol is known to prevent dental caries and cavities.
Serving size: 1 (1.08g)
Calories: 1.2 Total fat: 0g Net carbs: 0.5g Protein: 0g
Ingredients: Xylitol, gum base, peppermint oil, calcium carbonate, vegetable glycerine
- A tremendous source of xylitol
- Peppermint is beneficial to health, alongside the long-lasting freshness
- Aspartame free
- Flavor wears out fast
#3. Peppersmith Natural English Peppermint Gum
Made from 100% wood sugar (well, xylitol us derived from birch wood), the chewing gum is completely free from no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and aspartame.
Produced by the Peppersmith company of the United Kingdom, the chewing gum has been certified as having benefits for dental health (28). Peppersmith gum is available in Peppermint and Spearmint flavors.
The company produces three fresh mint flavors which are 'Fine English Peppermint', 'Sicilian Lemon and Fine English Peppermint' and 'Eucalyptus and Fine English Peppermint.'
Serving size: 1 (1.08g)
Calories: 1.7 Total fat: 0g Net carbs: 0g Protein: 0g
Ingredients: Peppermint oil, Calcium carbonate, Rapeseed Lecithin, Vegetable glycerol, Carnauba wax
- Has great, multipurpose ingredients
- Aspartame free
- Long-lasting flavor
- Can be returned
- Quite expensive
#4. Simply Natural Organic Breath Mints
A mint with a very strong flavor.
No one on a keto diet needs to worry of a mouth odor or of popping out of ketosis on appropriate consumption.
The mint gives a cool, refreshing, and organic flavor.
Made of organic ingredients, and devoid of artificial ingredients, this mint is a very healthy choice.
Serving size: 1(0.9g)
Calories: 3 Total fat: 0g Net carbs: <1g Protein: 0g
Ingredients; Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Tapioca Powder, Organic Peppermint Oil
- Excellent in battling mouth odor with a strong, refreshing flavor
- GMO-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Allergen-Free, sugar alcohol-free
- Naturally sweet
- When chewed, could be too strong
#5. Spry Xylitol Mints
A great combination of xylitol and green tea. The combination of these two ingredients provides a great package beneficial to your dental health.
Highly effective for tackling mouth odors, the mint inhibits and disrupts the growth of odor-causing microbes.
Made with xylitol, a natural and healthy substitute for sugar, you can still enjoy the pleasant benefits of lovely tasting mints without any worries of increased sugar levels or calorie intake.
It is beneficial for diabetics and those on a ketogenic diet.
Serving size: 1(0.6g)
Calories: 1 Total fat: 0g Net carbs: 0g Protein: 0g
Ingredients: Xylitol, Gum Base, Natural Green Tea Flavor, Vegetable Glycerin, Calcium Carbonate
- Purely natural
- Superb for dental health
- Tackles bad breath
- The flavor does not last long
All these products are excellent options. For me, I would love to have a selection of all these chewing gums and mints, if you do not mind. But to go with one mint and chewing gum each, I would select the Spry xylitol chewing gum and the Spry xylitol mint. My selection is not based on the brand name, but rather on the features of these options.
The Spry xylitol chewing gum effectively tackles mouth odor, one of the major occurrences and symbol of ketosis. During ketosis, you might not be confident enough to hold someone up close and talk to them because of the odor. With the Spry Xylitol Chewing Gum; however, you can have the confidence to talk to others up close as the peppermint in it helps keep your breath fresh. Based on the number of calories, the chewing gum has lesser calorie content than the PUR gum and is just a bit more than the Peppersmith gum. It is very affordable.
Spry Xylitol mint is also quite appealing. A great combination of xylitol and green tea makes for able delight. And for diabetics and those on a ketogenic diet, the presence of just a single calorie (compared to three in Simply Natural Organic Breath Mints) makes it a great choice. That gives me the chance to pop one more sweet more (winks) though with caution.
All of these products are excellent for a keto diet. Spry Xylitol Chewing gum and mint have very low-calorie levels with no artificial sweeteners at all. There are no sugar alcohols, no aspartame, no sugars but natural substitutes like Xylitol. These products help to address the issue of mouth odor during a keto diet and even make great options when off the diet, especially if you are keen on maintaining your sugar levels.
I am grabbing these products already. You should also deliberate and pick your choices to aid your current diet, prepare for one or to simply have healthy, sugar-free, and sodium-free, no calorie chewing gum and mints handy.
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Alex is editor in chief of Bodyketosis, an author, low-carb enthusiast and a recovering chubby guy who reclaimed his health using the ketogenic lifestyle. The need for the keto life began after his aunt and cousin were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he was next in line. Through personal experience and extensive scientific research, Alex offers insightful tips for everything keto.