Answer: Some brands of gum are keto-friendly, but many are not.
If you find yourself lost without a stick of gum to chew on, fret not! There are several gum brands that are keto-friendly:
Unifying all these gums is their primary sweetener: xylitol, a keto-friendly sugar alcohol that does not count against your daily carb limit. As a nice side effect, some studies have found that [chewing xylitol-based gum after meals can improve dental health:
Chewing gum accelerates the processes of rinsing away acid and uptake of beneficial calcium phosphate molecules to remineralize tooth enamel. The recommended length of time for chewing after eating is approximately 20 minutes. Consumption of xylitol chewing gum for ≥3 weeks leads to both long-term and short-term reduction in salivary and plaque.
The picture is not so rosy with other gum brands, unfortunately. Definitely steer clear of any gums that contain sugar, as that's a definite no-no on keto. Also look out for brands that contain maltitol, a non-keto sweetener. Outside of Xylitol-based brands, most sugar-free gum contains less desirable sweeteners such as aspartame and sorbitol, which aren't dealbreakers, but aren't ideal if you can choose a more keto-friendly gum.
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