Ask the Expert


Volume One / Number Nine

1. I am addicted to diet soda. Why can't I have carbonated beverages after WLS?

A: Carbonated beverages are generally discouraged after WLS as they may cause gas, bloating or discomfort. Band patients may find carbonation gives more GI discomfort when the band is tighter. For gastric bypass patients, there is some suggestion in the medical community that carbonation may "stretch" the stomach pouch, leading to more hunger and weight gain. The bottom line is that carbonation should be avoided as much as possible after all surgical weight loss procedures to minimize flatulence, abdominal bloating, and discomfort.

2. What is the deal with Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

A: Omega-3 FA's have several benefits. Some studies have shown that diets rich in Omega-3s may increase satiety, leading you to eat less. Omega-3s are "anti-inflammatory" helping to lower blood pressure, slow hardening of arteries, and decrease joint stiffness to name a few. They may help with hair loss as well. However, dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Choose a pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 or look for a USP-Verified mark to ensure you are getting a higher quality supplement.

3. My surgeon told me to follow a Low-Glycemic Index diet. What does that mean?

A: The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale of 0-100 according to the food's effect on blood sugar. Low-glycemic foods are digested and absorbed gradually and have a modest effect on blood sugar and insulin response. High-glycemic foods are rapidly digested and spike blood sugar, causing rebound hunger and sugar cravings. Diets high in High-Glycemic foods are associated with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.