I recently read an article about “Slider Foods” that Weight Loss Surgery patients need to stay away from. I have to be honest, I’ve heard different definitions of what a slider food are. However, I will summarize this article, as I found it fascinating! (Let me know what you think.)
For most people eating sliders is a good thing (not healthy but o.k. to eat). For example, popularized by the American food chain, “White Castle”, a slider (originally slyder) is a miniature grilled hamburger or cheeseburger on a steamed bun often served with onions and dill pickle and other condiments. They originally sold for a nickel a piece in the 1940s making it affordable to add a side of fries for just pennies. By all accounts this is a good kind of “slider” food.
To the weight loss surgery patient slider foods are the bane of good intentions and ignorance often causing dumping syndrome, weight loss plateaus, and eventually weight gain. Slider foods, to weight loss surgery patients, are soft simple processed carbohydrates of little or no nutritional value that slide right through the surgical stomach pouch without providing nutrition or satiation. The most innocent of slider foods are saltine crackers, often eaten with warm tea or other beverages, to soothe the stomach in illness or while recovering from surgery.
Slider Foods Spell Weight Regain For Weight Loss Surgery Patients
Soft processed carbohydrates, slider foods, are the bane of good intentions and ignorance often causing dumping syndrome, weight loss plateaus, and eventually weight gain for gastric bypass, gastric band (lap-band), and gastric sleeve bariatric patients.
Understanding Slider Foods
The most commonly consumed slider foods include pretzels, crackers (saltines, graham, Ritz, etc.) filled cracker snacks such as Ritz Bits, popcorn, cheese snacks (Cheetos) or cheese crackers, tortilla chips with salsa, potato chips, sugar-free cookies, cakes, and candy. You will notice these slider foods are often salty and cause dry mouth so they must be ingested with liquid to be palatable. This is how they become slider foods. They are also, most often, void of nutritional value.
For weight loss surgery patients the process of digestion is different from those who have not undergone gastric surgery. When slider foods are consumed they go into the stomach pouch and exit directly into the jejunum where the simple carbohydrate slurry is quickly absorbed and stored by the body. There is little thermic effect in the digestion of simple carbohydrates like there is in the digestion of protein so little metobolic energy is expended. In most cases patients in the phase of weight loss who eat slider foods will experience a weight loss plateau and possibly the setback of weight gain. And sadly, they will begin to believe their surgical stomach pouch is not functioning properly because they never feel fullness or restriction like they experience when eating protein.
The very nature of the surgical gastric pouch is to cause feelings of tightness or restriction when one has eaten enough food. However, when soft simple carbohydrates are eaten this tightness or restriction does not result and one can continue to eat, unmeasured, copious amounts of non-nutritional food without ever feeling uncomfortable.