Warning: Diet Soda is Harmful to Your Post Bariatric Surgery Health
Everyone understands that sugary carbonated drinks must be avoided after Bariatric Surgery. The sugar content and empty calories would prevent the desired weight loss. Many people initially assume that “diet” soda can be consumed. Why does diet soda need to be eliminated from the post bariatric surgery diet as well?
The most compelling reason is that diet sodas or any type of carbonated beverage can cause gas, bloating, and discomfort. In the long term, this can lead to stretching out the stomach pouch, which in turn can lead to weight gain.
Secondly, most people’s attitude towards food changes when they drink diet soda. Often, people who drink diet soda feel that they can indulge in other high calorie treats since the beverage is calorie free. Ordering several slices of pizza or a burger with fries, or a decadent dessert and a diet soda is not uncommon. As a result, studies have shown that even though diet soda is free of calories, on balance, it does not seem to aid in weight reduction when consumed.
Thirdly, a possible link to consumption of diet sodas and an increased risk for Diabetes has been shown. A study in Diabetes Care found that drinking diet soda before eating primed the pancreas to release Insulin. When the pancreas is over worked, Diabetes may develop.
Some issues have been related to the artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas. Chemicals that are in the artificial sweetener Aspartame, may alter brain chemicals which can lead to head aches, anxiety, insomnia, and difficulty in focusing.
Taste buds can also be affected by artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas. Many people reported that once they’ve eliminated diet soda from their diet, they started noticing the flavors in foods more. The artificial sweeteners in foods and beverages such as diet soda overwhelm the taste buds with sweetness. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than table sugar; Splenda is 600 times sweeter. One theory is that diet soda may alter sweet receptors in the brain causing longer sugar cravings and not really satisfying these cravings, leading to craving sugar from other sources.
The bottom line is that Bariatric surgery requires lifelong behavior modifications including avoiding carbonated beverages such as diet soda. Although it’s difficult, eliminating sodas from the diet can be beneficial in many ways and will assist in lifestyle changes leading to weight loss that is permanent.