It keeps your mouth busy with something beside food
It can help you stay awake on a long drive
It may improve concentration and cognitive performance
It tastes good.
Although most gums are very low in calories, they may contain unhealthy ingredients. Let's take a look at Wrigley's Extra Peppermint Gum, for example:
Sorbitol, Gum Base, Glycerol, Mannitol, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Less than 2% of: Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Aspartame, Acesulfame K, Soy Lecithin, BHT (to Maintain Freshness), Color (Blue 1 Lake).
Like most sugar free gums, the sweeteners used here are sugar alcohols: sorbitol, glycerol, and mannitol. All sugar alcohols end with "ol". Unlike table sugar, there is some evidence that sugar alcohols may actually improve dental health. They are slightly lower in calories when compared to table sugar, however the amount used in chewing gum makes this a moot point.
One of the many contributions of Mexican cuisine to the US is salsa, which is Spanish for "sauce".
Typically based on tomatoes, salsa is a low calorie dip that can be enjoyed with tortilla chips, alongside rice and beans, and with tacos. Traditional recipes call for some heat, usually derived from spicy peppers.
What makes a good salsa?
If you make it on your own, it's sure to be awesome. All you need are diced ripe tomatoes, onion, vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper. If you are buying your salsa, it shouldn't have much more than that.
Here, for example, is the ingredient list for Frog Ranch Salsa:
From a nutrient perspective, salsas are a very good choice. They tend to be very low in calories: just 10-30 calories per serving of two teaspoons. This means you can have seconds without feeling guilty. The tomatoes provide a nice amount of vitamin C and lycopenes (antioxidants).