Sugar is one of those habits that your senior might need to start kicking, especially if she doesn’t already know how much sugar she’s eating on a regular basis. Any time you’re thinking about dietary changes, home care assistance can be a huge help. Here are some of the big facts you need to know about sugar and how it impacts your senior’s life.
Too Much Sugar Has Big Risks
High intake of sugar doesn’t necessarily cause diabetes, but it can be a contributing factor over time. Too much sugar also contributes to heart disease, kidney disease, and liver problems. All of these are health issues that you want to help your senior to avoid. This is even more crucial when your senior has existing health issues.
Hidden Sugar Is a Big Deal
Foods that your elderly family member thinks don’t have a lot of sugar might just surprise her with their hidden sugar content. It’s vital to start reading labels on the foods that your elderly family member eats most often. The sugar levels, including the added sugars which need to be included on the nutritional label, may be a lot higher than expected. Daily intake should be between 24 to 36 grams of sugar depending on gender, according to the American Heart Association, and that includes in everything that your senior eats.
Opt for Unsweetened Foods, if Possible
One way to avoid too much hidden or added sugar is to choose unsweetened foods. That way your aging family member can sweeten them herself. This also gives her the chance to try other types of sweeteners like honey, monk fruit, or agave nectar. It can take some adjustment to eat unsweetened foods, even if your elderly family member is adding her own sweeteners.
Swap Out Whole Fruits for Sweet Snacks
Sweet snacks are tasty and they do have their place, but your elderly family member is better off going with whole fruits and vegetables whenever she can. That’s because these foods are naturally sweet, but they also contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, like fiber. These whole foods make a better choice overall but can still give your senior some of that sweet taste that she might still enjoy.
You May Have to Cut Back Gradually
Making these changes all at once can be a lot, especially if your senior has had a big sweet tooth for most of her life. Cutting back gradually on added sugars gives her taste buds and brain a chance to adjust. Home care assistance can make these changes easier on her, too, by helping with meal and snack preparation and keeping foods available that meet her current needs for sugar intake.
Any new dietary changes are ones that you need to approach slowly with your aging family member. Even when she wants to eat healthier, she’s more likely to have long-term success by taking things slowly. Elder care professionals make all sorts of changes like this easier to work into your senior’s routines.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care assistance in Frisco, TX, please contact the caring staff at Clear Path Home Care today. Call 817-928-5788
Clear Path Home Care provides compassionate, high quality home care in Denton County, Montague County, Cooke County, Grayson County, Fannin County, Lamar County, Wise County, Collin County, Hunt County, Delta County, and Hopkins County in Texas.
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