Why Sugar Sabotages Your Recovery from Accident Injuries

Jay Stillman

3 min read

Why Sugar Sabotages Your Recovery from Accident Injuries

At Stillman and Friedland we see many clients who are struggling with back and joint pain post-injury.

When a client is overweight, the recovery is more difficult. Many try to diet and reduce the load on their back and joints, yet most patients fail on diets. Even worse, research data indicate that not only do patients fail to stay on a diet, when they go off the diet, they gain back even more weight.

Are “diet foods” actually sabotaging your health?

For many years the two key trends have been first, doctors prescribe a low-fat diet, and secondly, doctors blame the patient for failing to stay on the diet. The term for diet failure is usually “poor compliance”. But is the patient at fault?

Traditionally, our grandparents ate a diet full of fatty food and blamed weight gain on over-consumption of bread and potatoes or other high-carbohydrate starchy food. Rates of Type II diabetes were very low and restricted to older individuals—and people were leaner and healthier.

In the seventies, the FDA began pushing the idea that up to 11 servings of carbohydrates per day are “good for you”. It also claimed that sugar was a neutral influence on health. Now we know better, as a recent Washington Post article details.

While the public debate has begun on how we tax sugar as a disincentive to consumption, we ourselves can make a personal decision to keep sugar off the table.

In the seventies, the medical establishment blamed diabetes on consumption of fatty foods, but we now know that it is sugar consumption which is driving obesity and diabetes rates to unprecedented levels. In fact, consumption of healthy fats leads to satiety, keeping you feeling full for longer.

You can get leaner without starving yourself. Choose eggs fried in butter instead of breakfast cereal. Cut out sugary soft drinks, opting for water, unsweetened coffee with cream, or tea instead. If you just kick your daily cola habit you can lose a lot of weight, and take the strain off your back and knees. Obviously, sweets are off your list, but a small amount of over 70% dark chocolate is fine for an occasional treat. But if you want to go further, you need to check labels and avoid products with hidden sugar.

Here is a list of other sugary items to cut out:

  1. Ketchup: Ketchup is high in sugar, often disguised as high-fructose corn syrup. Ketchup has proportionately more sugar than milk chocolate. Barbeque sauce is even worse. Use an olive oil and herb rub for tasty chicken and beef.
  2. Mayonnaise and salad dressings: Low-fat products are higher in sugar, and therefore more fattening than regular formulas. Opt for olive oil and lemon juice on salads. Use sour cream instead of the mayo as a base for creamy dressings. It is a snap to mix up a tasty dressing in a jar, and cheaper, too.
  3. Granola and health or energy bars: These are cookies, anyway you look at it. The chewy low-fat bars are the worst offenders, but skip all of them. Try nuts instead for a snack.
  4. Breakfast cereals: When combined with high-carb, low-fat milk, these over-priced concoctions give you a sugar wallop in the morning, followed by a sugar crash later. That is why you need that cup of coffee to get you through the morning!
  5. Low-fat dairy products: A key fact to remember is that you cannot absorb the calcium in dairy without butterfat. You can eat low-fat yogurt all day long and get nearly zero calcium benefit. Choose full-fat, unsweetened products.
  6. If you get a burger for lunch, skip the ketchup and the bun, and say no to the fries as well. You will find that you stay full longer.

Related: Artificial Sweeteners and Your Health: Accident Recovery Tips

Making these simple changes will speed your recovery and make you feel better. Having your family stick to the same diet will support you in your recovery and keep them healthier too.

From Stillman and Friedland — because we care!