I'm currently on a paleo diet which means I'm supposed to cut out sugar, however, I still chew sugarfree gum after lunch usually (Maybe 2 or 3 pieces a day). My question is this: how detrimental is this to my diet? The nutrition facts say that each stick only has 5 calories, but does chewing gum right after a meal have some other adverse effect on the way my body processes the food?
After a quick readup of what the paleo plan is, the biggest thing I can see is that it is not plan compliant. There's a couple things to remember about "sugar free" gum and similar products:
An unbalanced diet is an effective means to lose weight, but it is not sustainable for the long term. A balanced diet will ensure you get all your protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories your body needs to sustain its level of activity.
While losing weight on my own unbalanced diet, gum--even sugarless--was a major no-no. The reason being that it caused the pancreas to secrete insulin while I was trying to stay in ketosis. While I wasn't going to suddenly stop losing weight, it could potentially slow it down.
on a personal note: If chewing a couple sticks of sugar free gum keeps you from burying your face in apple pie or some other high calorie/low value food, then go for it. I tend to get more hungry when I chew gum, but it's not the same for everyone. Gum is a low value food, but since it is usually also low calorie it's not too bad.
virtually every sugarfree gum contains aspartame which has been shown to cause an insulin response, trigger cravings, and stall weight loss. not to mention it's been proven lethal to rats and goats! http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/12/business/yourmoney/12sweet.html