LivingAfterWLS Weekly Digest
You Have Arrived
Whatever else you have on your mind,  
Wherever else you think you're going, Stop for a moment and
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You Have

Autumn Leaf

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
'tis near Halloween.
~Author Unknown

In This Digest
Social Connections
Recipe: Chunky Peanut Butter Triangles
Sugar-Free Holiday Candy Poses Hazard
FAQ's on Sugar
Artificial Sweeteners
The Neighborhood-Hints to make the most of it
Social Connections
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Peanut Butter
from Splenda

These peanut butter bar cookies are packed with chocolate chunks.
42 Cookies, 1 cookie per serving

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup light butter, softened
1/4 cup SPLENDAŽ Sugar Blend
1/3 cup packed SPLENDAŽ Brown Sugar Blend
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (11.5 ounce) package NESTLEŽ TOLL HOUSEŽ Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine flour and baking soda in small bowl; set aside.

Combine peanut butter, butter, SPLENDAŽ Sugar Blend for Baking and SPLENDAŽ Brown Sugar Blend in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks. Press into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan, distributing chocolate chunks evenly.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars; slice each bar in half diagonally.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cookie per serving. 110 calories, 6g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 12g carbohydrate (8g sugar), 2g protein, 50mg sodium, 10mg cholesterol.


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Sugar-Free Holiday Candy Poses Hazard for WLS Patients
sugar free candyThe winter holidays bring a multitude of dietary challenges for any health conscious individual. For the weight loss surgery patient (WLS), who must avoid sugar intake, the season can be frustrating. Sugar intake is a real concern for people who've had gastric bypass, in fact most patients fear sugar. The foremost fear isn't weight gain, it's dumping. Foods containing sugar pass too quickly through the small pouch, they are rapidly absorbed and cause insulin levels to drop resulting in dumping syndrome.

Some WLS patients will turn to sugar-free candies to replace to old traditional sugar laden favorites. But the sugar-free candy comes with a price too. It contains sugar alcohol which is known to cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. In addition the candy can be consumed slowly in large quantity and often results in severe discomfort for the WLS patient.  Patients who have consumed excessive quantities of sugar-alcohol products report an initial dull tummy ache. The tummy ache soon becomes severe bloating, cramping and gas.  One woman reported pain so severe she begged to be taken to the hospital fearing she may soon explode.

There is not much to do in the case of excessive consumption of sugar-free products except wait-out the uncomfortable symptoms.  Some patients report relief after taking an anti-diarrheal products containing bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). Other patients have found relief from eating saltine crackers in moderation.

Candy that contains Mannitol, a common sugar alcohol extracted from seaweed, bears this package warning, "Warning: excessive consumption can cause a laxative effect" Mannitol is found naturally in pineapples, olives, asparagus, sweet potatoes and carrots. It's about 60% as sweet as sugar, so more product is needed to replicate the sweetness of sugar. Mannitol lingers in the intestines for a long time and therefore causes bloating and diarrhea.

Sugar alcohol can also be called Sorbitol, Xylitol, Lactitol, Isomalt and Maltitol.

The American Diabetes Association claims that sugar alcohols are acceptable in a moderate amount but should not be eaten in excess. In addition, weight gain has been seen when these products are overeaten. For gastric bypass patients generally the key, as in all eating, must be moderation. And of course, we can always rely on the old advice of conventional dieters, "Hungry for something sweet? Reach for a piece of fruit."

Kaye Bailey (c) 2005 - All Rights Reserved


The health content in the LivingAfterWLS website is intended to inform, not prescribe, and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice and care of a qualified health-care professional.


Sweet Stuff:

 The Skinny on Sugar and Fake Sugar   


October 19,  2011

LivingAfterWLS, LLC - All Rights Reserved 


Hello and Welcome!


With Halloween just around the corner and the feasting holidays coming right behind now is a good time to look at sugar, artificial sweeteners and the role they play in our weight loss surgery diets. I am always nervous about the "sugar" newsletter because if there is one thing health conscious people have strong opinions about it is sweet foods and how they get to be sweet. There is so much information (and mis-information) about sweets in the American diet that we can find "studies" or "proof" to support just about any position we want to take.


As a voice in the weight loss surgery community I seek the most current data from the sources we trust in this country to protect the health of the citizens. My sources include the Food and Drug Administration, The American Diabetes Association, The American Heart Association, The Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Medicine -- to name a few.

Today I've gathered some tidbits from these trusted sources to look at sugar, sugar substitutes, and sugar alcohol in the American diet and the weight loss surgery diet. I know that my fellow WLS patients are avid researchers and students and I invite you to take this information, expand on it with your own research, and apply to your personal experience. I believe you will find a suitable relationship with sweets in your healthy recovery from obesity with weight loss surgery.

And finally, this Halloween I wish you the best of life's treats as you pursue your dreams LivingAfterWLS!




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FAQ's on Sugar
Halloween Cookies
by Kaye Bailey
There is so much confusing and conflicting data available about the health benefits or damages of sugar. Let's take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about sugar and try to answer them reasonably without the hype or fear mongering that is commonly associated with foods of questionable nutritional value. Taking the best information we have available and using our personal experience I believe we can make the best food decisions for ourselves -- and save the drama for another topic.

Is Sugar Addictive?
Sugar taps into a powerful human preference for sweet taste, says Marcia Pelchat, PhD, a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a basic research institute in Philadelphia.  "We're born to like sugar," she says. Scientists aren't sure if people can become physically dependent on sugar, although some animal studies suggest that such a thing is possible, she says. "There are the same kinds of changes in brain dopamine, in these animals given intermittent access to sugar, as in drug addicts."

Are some type of sugar better than others?
Celebrities and high-profile chefs have touted the benefits of replacing refined white sugar with purportedly more natural, healthier sugars, such as honey, maple syrup, or molasses. But, according to Rachel K. Johnson, RD, MPH, PhD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association (AHA) there's no truth to these common misconceptions,  "In terms of something being inherently better about those sweeteners as opposed to table sugar or sucrose -- no." The bottom line: All are simple sugars. "A calorie of sugar is a calorie of sugar, so whether you're getting it from white sugar or some other type of sweetener, you're still adding empty calories to your diet," Johnson says.  

However, there may be one redeeming quality, she says. "Some of those sweeteners -- like maple syrup, molasses, honey -- may have a stronger taste, so you might be able to get the sweetness that you want with less of it, using less calories."
Does sugar cause weight gain?
Several current studies suggest a relationship between sugar intake and weight gain. What the studies do not determine is if the sugar causes the weight gain or the extra calories sugary foods provide that cause the weight gain. Seems like a moot point to me. As people with obesity - in whatever stage we are in - we know what foods we ate that contibuted to our personal weight gain. For me sweets and pasta were dietary staples at the height of my morbid obesity. What was on your menu when your disease was at its worst? I suspect we all blame our "sweet tooth" for a certain amount of weight gain. Studies on infants confirm that it is human nature to prefer sweets over foods like vegetables which are an acquired taste. According to registered dietician, Kathleen M. Zelman, "We love sweets because they not only taste good, but make us feel good. Consuming simple carbohydrates (like sweets) boosts the brain chemical serotonin, which can help improve mood. Stress reduces serotonin levels, which may help explain why some people reach for sweets when they're feeling stressed."

Simple Ways to Cut Sugar Calories
According to Zelman, the bottom line is that if you want to control calories, you should limit added sugars of all kinds, including high-fructose corn syrup. She suggests five simple ways to cut back on sugar calories:
  • Drink fewer sweetened soft drinks.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet fruits, fresh or canned in fruit juice.
  • Buy only 100% fruit juice that is not sweetened.
  • Instead of sweetened beverages, enjoy sparkling water with lime and/or a splash of fruit juice.
  • Choose unsweetened, whole-grain cereals and cereal bar


WLS Patients: Sugar and Dumping Syndrome 

Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial SweetenersPublished with permission from American Diabetes Association
Are you struggling to control your sweet tooth?

When you have diabetes, including sweets in your diet requires careful planning. However, it can be hard to just save sweets for special occasions.

Curb Your Cravings
Foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners are another option that may help curb your cravings for something sweet.

Sometimes artificial sweeteners are also called low-calorie sweeteners, sugar substitutes, or non-nutritive sweeteners. They can be used to sweeten food and drinks for less calories and carbohydrate when they replace sugar.

However, many foods containing artificial sweeteners still have calories and carbs, so be sure to check the nutrition facts label.

Their sweetening power is at least 100 times more intense than regular sugar, so only a small amount is needed when you use these sugar substitutes.

Also, with the exception of aspartame, all of the sweeteners listed below cannot be broken down by the body. They pass through our systems without being digested so they provide no extra calories.

FDA Approved
There are five artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
  • acesulfame potassium (Brand Names: Sunett, Sweet One)
  • aspartame (Brand Names: Nutrasweet, Equal)
  • saccharin (Brand Names: Sweet 'N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin:
  • sucralose (Brand Name: Splenda)
  • neotame (Brand Names: Best of All, A Sweet Leaf, Sun Crystals, Steviva, Truvia, PureVia)

These sweeteners are used by food companies to make diet drinks, baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, light yogurt, and chewing gum. You can buy them to use as table top sweeteners. Add them to coffee, tea, or sprinkle them on top of fruit. Some are also available in "granular" versions which can be used in cooking and baking.

What's The Deal With Stevia?
Stevia (sometimes called Rebaudioside A or rebiana) is now generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA as a food additive and table top sweetener. When something is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, it means that experts have agreed that it is safe for use by the public in appropriate amounts.

Stevia is several hundred times sweeter than sugar. It comes from the sweetest part of the stevia plant and is an ingredient in many foods that you can buy at the store.
Sugar Substitutes in the Store.


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The Neighborhood, much like an earth-grounded community, is organized in districts, typically called parent forums in the cyber world. Those districts have "children" forums that you can think of as streets or addresses. The titles of these destinations reveal the nature of the content shared there. Of course, just like a typical earth-grounded community, the conversation in the Neighborhood overflows from one forum to the next making a great melding pot of personalities, thoughts, and ideas. The best way for you to learn the Neighborhood is take a tour. Click and explore! Get to know us. We are excited to welcome visitors to our Safe Haven Circle of Friends!


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Thank you for being a loyal Neighbor of LivingAfterWLS. We are proud to serve you in your weight loss surgery journey.



Kaye Bailey

LivingAfterWLS, LLC