Rumor has it that chewing a stick of gum before you eat will help you to curb your appetite and help you to lose weight. In reality, this could be doing more harm than good. When you put that minty stick of gum in your mouth, it is sweet and delicious. The problem with that is that you may tend to make unhealthier choices by chewing the gum, according to a recent study.
A study was performed at the University of Buffalo where 44 people went through three different sessions. In the first session, they chewed minty gum. In the second they chewed fruity gum. In the third they didn’t have any gum. After each of their sessions they filled out a survey and played games. The games were rewarded with either healthy food or junk food. They got to choose which games they wanted to play. The average consensus was that the participants did see a decrease in appetite after chewing the piece of gum. However, when they had the mint gum they ate smaller amounts of the healthy food and the same amount of junk food as they had without the gum.
In a second experiment 54 people were told to keep a food diary. They were to record their data for three weeks. In two of those three weeks they were told to chew gum before every snack, drink, or meal that they had. For one week they had Eclipse mint gum and the other week it was Nutratrim mint gum which is sold as a diet supplement. While the participants did eat less snacks and meals, the amount of calories that they consumed during those meals increased. They took in fewer nutrients during the gum weeks as well.
So what is the reason for the healthy food being left to the side after a stick of gum? Mint does not go well with most fruits and veggies, so if you have the taste of mint in your mouth you are most likely going to pick something to eat that the mint compliments such as chocolate ice cream. Bottom line is that you shouldn’t chew gum before a meal!