If you are on the ketogenic diet for a little while now, you may have already started noticing the effects of ketosis (besides just more energy and a few pounds less on the scale!).
Unfortunately, ketosis also comes with a few unpleasant side effects, including dry mouth and bad breath.
All that pastiness in your mouth doesn’t exactly fare too well when it comes to how your breath smells, which isn’t good for you or others around.
That’s why there are keto gums. These chewing gums keep your mouth moist by activating the salivary glands and help to freshen your breath.
But before you reach for the nearest pack of gum, you should understand that not all gums are created equal, especially for those who are following a regimented keto diet.
1. PUR Gum
There are plenty of reasons why PUR gum is the go-to choice for those on a ketogenic diet.
If you are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional sugar-filled or aspartame-sweetened gum, the PUR gum is for you. It’s completely natural and makes no use of artificial flavors.
There are no chemicals used, so you can be sure that you’re not polluting your body with anything that will compromise both your level of ketosis or your health in general.
This keto-friendly gum is also gluten-free.
Gluten has been linked to various digestive issues and inflammation in the gut. Eating gluten-free diet isn’t just good for those suffering from Celiac Disease, but anyone who’s looking to reduce inflammation in general (1).
The ketogenic diet is already anti-inflammatory in nature, and avoiding gluten in the form of gum can help further avoid that stem from gluten.
XyloBurst gum is also non-GMO. Studies have suggested that GMOs — or genetically modified organisms — pose health and environmental risks when found in food products (2).
The cinnamon flavor that it tastes better than most cinnamon gums I’ve had.
It is also very effective in curing dry mouth while also helps curb carb-cravings.
It contains no simple sugars and helps maintain keto levels while offering something tasty to chew on.
Epic gum is actually designed in such a way so as to help reduce the incidence of cavities and gum disease.
It’s formulated to help eliminate food particles that may get left behind in teeth and gum tissue.
This keto-friendly gum helps reduce the risk of tooth decay and improve dental health.
Though this gum does not have any artificial sugar, it contains 45% more xylitol than other chewing brands, making it sweeter than most keto-friendly gums.
It’s also all natural, does not contain aspartame and is gluten-free. I absolutely love this gum when I feel the crave to have sugar.
It has worked great for me during the early days of ketosis when I experienced bad breath.
It has also helped me reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. Since it helps stimulate saliva production, your stomach acid can neutralize faster if you pop this gum.
I like this gum because it keeps my mouth hydrated for a longer period of time.
However, it does not contain as much xylitol as other gums and does not taste as sweet.
Sucking or crunching on one of these mints can provide the same benefits one would get from chewing on a stick of gum.
These mints have 98% pure xylitol and taste great. It is also safe if you are diabetic.
These keto-friendly mints are made from only three ingredients: xylitol, natural beets coloring, and peppermint oil.
What Should You Look For in Keto-Friendly Gum?
When you’re on a ketogenic diet, you absolutely need to be wary of the types of gum that you chew on.
You might not realize that the average stick of gum is loaded with simple sugars and carbs. In fact, the average stick of gum has about 2 grams of carbs (3).
If you chew on a few sticks of day, you’ll quickly and easily go way over your daily carb allowance and throw yourself out of ketosis.
Ideally, the gum you chew on should be void of any unnecessary carbs, keep your mouth moist, and your breath fresh without compromising your carb levels.
Many of the gum brands that keto dieters can use are made for diabetics and others who are closely monitoring their blood sugar levels.
They’re perfect for people who want to keep their ketone levels in check while countering bad breath.
The Common Denominator: Xylitol
Added sugar in any diet wreaks havoc on the body, and not just for people in ketosis (4).
More and more people have been looking for a natural alternative to sugar and all the artificial sweeteners out there, and xylitol fits the bill.
It tastes like sugar, has far fewer calories, and is all-natural.
Studies have even suggested that xylitol can even improve dental health when ingested in appropriate doses (5).
This sugar substitute has no fructose that’s typically found in sweets and sugar-laden chewing gum, which has been linked to insulin resistance and metabolic problems.
Since it does not contain fructose, it doesn’t have the negative effects on insulin and blood sugar (8).
Compared to regular sugar, xylitol is very low on the glycemic index at 7, while sugar rates at a whopping 70 (9).
The Bottom Line
Chewing gum while on the ketogenic diet can offer plenty of benefits.
It helps moisten your mouth, keep your breath fresh, and even help kick your cravings to the curb. But if you reach for gum that contains sugar, you could be sabotaging your ketogenic efforts.
That said, you also need to be wary of sugar-free gums, since many of them are sweetened with chemicals that aren’t best for your health.
Aspartame, in particular, is a popular sweetener used in gum, but it has been linked to negative health effects, including headaches, digestive symptoms, and even attention deficit disorders.
Instead, there are some gum brands out there that offer the best of both worlds: sweet flavors without the sugar or carb, and perfect during ketosis or after.
Next time you reach for a pack of gum, consider looking for any one of the above brands to keep your ketone levels in check.