Need Another Reason to Quit Sugary Drinks and Diet Beverages? Here’s One


Sugary drinks like fruit juice, fruit flavored drinks, “vitamin” drinks, and soda are all high in simple sugars and calories your body doesn’t need. These drinks can easily add hundreds of calories a day to your diet. For gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients, those calories could equate to not losing weight, or even gaining weight!

For those who have switched to diet soda or diet beverages to reduce their calories from liquids are in for a rude awakening also. Many studies link diet drinks to increased caloric intake and weight gain.

Despite this, many people still drink sugary drinks and diet beverages. For those gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients who still have been unable to kick the sugary drinks or diet sodas, here’s one more reason to choose water: daily consumption can affect your brain.

New findings from the Framingham Heart Study show a correlation between higher consumption of sugary drinks and brain atrophy, including lower brain volume and poorer memory. For those who favor diet drinks, the study seems to deliver worse news: those participants with daily consumption of diet drinks were three times more likely to develop a stroke and dementia.

While this study does not in any way show a cause and effect relationship, it does highlight yet another reason to chose our beverages wisely. For gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients, choosing no or low calorie drinks is key to limiting overall caloric intake and promoting weight loss. While diet sodas do fit into the no or low calorie category, they have their own set of issues that make them less than ideal.

The best choice of beverages for bariatric patients is water (unless we are talking about your pre or post surgical protein shakes). Water is crucial to hydration, health, and also weight loss. Other good choices include milk, herbal tea, and coconut water, but water should make up the bulk of your 64 ounce recommendation.

For Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band patients who are in need of a little help in fitting in all of their liquids each day, please join us on Monday, May 8th at 6pm for Dr. Shillingford’s Nutrition Support meeting. Check out Dr. Shillingford’s event calendar to plan for future meetings if you are unable to attend this month’s meeting. For those interested in bariatric surgery with Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, Program Medical Director for Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, please call (561) 483-8840 to schedule an evaluation to see if you are a candidate for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery, or to attend an informational session to learn more about all 3 procedures.

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