Could Sugar-Free Gum Cause Sugar Cravings?

 Nutrition Diva explains whether sugar-free gum can cause sugar cravings.  

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Q. I enjoy sugar-free gum between meals.  I find it helps keep me from snacking and satisfy cravings for something sweet.  I'm wondering, though, if it could lead to increased cravings and higher insulin levels in the same way that diet soda can.  Is the gum I chew to help avoid cravings actually CAUSING my cravings?  

A. I doubt it. The latest research confirms that artificial sweeteners do not raise insulin levels—so, no worries there.  I’ve always suspected that drinking diet soda all day long might a good way to train your tastebuds to constantly want something sweet.  However, the amount of sweetener in a piece of chewing gum is only a fraction of what you’d get in a bottle of diet soda. And minty flavors tend to quell the appetite (unlike fruity or sweet-tart flavors, which can stimulate it.) In fact, many people find that chewing gum reduces the urge to snack and satisfies the craving for something sweet.  As that seems to be the case for you as well, I think you can chew without concern. (But be sure to review Modern Manners Guy’s tips on Chewing Gum Etiquette.)

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.