Senior Health: Sweet Subs for Sugar

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Sugar Alternatives For Elders

Our bodies naturally crave sugar. Unfortunately, it seems sugar is in almost everything we eat today, which means it’s no longer the rare treat it was to older generations. There’s nothing wrong with naturally occurring sugar in moderation, but seniors should limit their daily intake of artificially added sugar to around 6 grams, or 100 calories. This doesn’t mean your elderly loved one needs to give up on all his or her favorite treats, however. Here are 5 substitutes that will still satisfy your loved one’s sweet tooth.

1. Stevia
Stevia is the powdered extract of the stevia plant. This sugar substitute is up to 40x sweeter than sugar with no calories. As an added benefit, it’s completely safe for diabetics because it won’t increase blood sugar. Stevia is one of the most promising sugar substitutes because it has virtually no glycemic index and some brands, like Truvia, taste exactly like sugar.

2. Whey Low
Whey Low is a unique sugar substitute that’s actually made from three natural sugars: fructose (in fruit), sucrose (table sugar), and lactose (milk sugar). Whey Low is caloric, but the sugars are not fully absorbed by the body. This substitute has 25% of the calories and 30% of the glycemic index of regular sugar. It also comes in many varieties like brown sugar and powdered sugar, which makes it easier to use than most alternatives.

3. Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in corn, beets, and some berries. While it tastes nearly as sweet as sugar, xylitol has just 9 calories per teaspoon and a lower glycemic index than sugar. As an added benefit, it prevents bacteria from allowing plaque to stick to teeth.

4. Coconut Sugar
Columbus home care providers often recommend coconut sugar, which is produced from the sap of coconut trees. Unlike regular sugar, coconut sugar is packed with potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B. It also has less fructose than regular sugar, and fructose is harder to metabolize.

5. Honey
Raw honey is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants that can help against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, colds, and some respiratory infections. Substitute raw honey for sugar in tea, coffee, oatmeal, and smoothies.

Learn more about promoting senior health and wellness from the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. We offer hourly and 24/7 live-in care in Columbus, and every client can customize his or her care plan to meet their individual needs. Every care plan also incorporates our proprietary Balanced Care Method, which helps seniors maintain a high quality of life through a healthy diet, regular exercise, a sense of purpose, and social stimulation. To learn more about BCM or our care services, call (614) 481-8888 and request a free in-home consultation with a friendly Care Manager.

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