A hero munching a chewing gum and lashing criminals is often the introductory scene shown in movies. Since long, chewing gums have been idolized as a symbol of style. Kids often challenged against each other on making the biggest bubbles using these gums and children loved showing off this talent to their friends. Otherwise, people pop in a chewing gum when they are restless, bored, relish eating one or even as a style statement. This universal product has faced many controversial comments and still continues to surprise us with different results that support as well as deny their benefits.
We’ve heard our parents complain against our usage of gums as they are laden with sugars and artificial colors. At the same time, we have also heard that munching on these gums are an excellent jaw exercise, also keeps us from feeling hungry, freshens breath, improves memory and even overcome food cravings. Feeling stressed? Munch on a chewing gum as this increases blood flow to the brain. This explanation is only theoretical and there is no solid proof backing it up. Research even suggests that sugar-free gum is good for the teeth as it prevents tooth decay and plaque formation. Despite such research and news, we are still unsure whether chewing gums are good or bad for health.
Healthy Gummy Bears
There are studies denouncing the use of these gums as they are likelier to reduce the consumption of healthy snacks but also highly unlikely to prevent the consumption of junk food. The latest of all is a study that shows the effects of chewing gum while exercising. This study focused on the physical and physiological functions of munching chewing gums, especially on middle-aged and elderly men.
The study involved 46 participants both male and female aged between 21 and 69 years who took part in two different trials. In the first trial the participants were asked to chew on two pellets of chewing gum of 1.5 grams and 3 kilocalories each while walking normally for around 15 minutes (after an hour of rest). The second trial was a control situation where the group was asked to repeat the same procedure with the only difference that instead of the gum, they swallowed a powder containing the same ingredients as the gum. During both the trials the participants’ resting heart rate, mean heart rate and distance covered were measured. Each participant’s energy expenditure was also calculated from their walking speed and body mass. Results showed that mean heart rate of every participant increased while walking when they munched a chewing gum meanwhile.
In order to confirm whether age and sex affected physiological results the research team split the participants into groups of male and female, and young or middle aged (18-39) and above (40-69). Study found that:
Some say that chewing gums leads to weight loss. There is no direct effect and one research that looked into the walking speed of participants who chewed a gum showed that speed increased while chewing a gum. This in turn led to greater weight loss due to burning more calories. But this is feasible only when the individual eats a nutritious diet in recommended portions and does his/her physical activity daily. For the right advice on eating healthy food and exercising regularly please get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
While going for a chewing gum it is always recommended to choose sugar-free ones. While some research say that chewing gums burns about 5% more calories comparatively and reduces calorie intake by 50-60 calories the tried and tested method is to follow a well-balanced diet plan, stick to your exercise schedule, lead a healthy lifestyle and minimize stress in life. There is no harm in chewing a gum or two for the love of its taste but don’t try too much of it.
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