How to Help Your Elderly Loved One to Cut Back on Sugar
You probably already know that high sugar levels can be dangerous and potentially can lead to diabetes, but there are a lot of different reasons your loved one might need to cut back. The bigger question is often how exactly to do that.
Phase out Processed Foods
Processed and pre-packaged foods are often high in ingredients like salt and sugar. The reason for this is partially for flavor but it’s also a matter of preservation for the food. No matter why it’s there, too much is not great for your loved one and, if she’s cutting back on sugar, it can easily send her back to where she was before she tried to cut back.
Avoid Sugary Drinks and Food
Drinks and foods that taste super sweet are likely full of sugar. Even some drinks that aren’t extremely sweet can have a lot more sugar in them than you realize. It’s best to limit any pre-sweetened foods and drinks anyway when your loved one wants to reduce her sugar intake. Up her water intake or make beverages in which you control how much sugar is included.
Read Labels on Everything
As you start to realize where excess sugar can lurk and hide it becomes apparent that you have got to be reading those labels. They can tell you at a glance how much sugar is in something and how much there is, but you sometimes have to be a detective. Familiarizing yourself with the alternative names for sugar is a great start. For example, words on the label that end in “-ose” are usually sugar in disguise.
Slowly Cut Back on Sugar that You Add Yourself
The benefit of making more foods and beverages from scratch yourself is that you know exactly how much sugar is in everything. You’ll also start to notice that you’re probably using an awful lot more sugar than you realized. This gives you a perfect opportunity to start cutting back a little bit at a time on how much sugar you’re using yourself.
Hiring home care providers can give your loved one some extra help with meal preparation and planning so that she can keep sugar limited in her diet.