Your mom or dad loves tea and coffee, but drinking it without any sweetener is not acceptable. You think your parent is sneaking sugar into these beverages and want to stop it. When sugar isn’t allowed, what can they replace it with?
Before you run to the store, you should talk to your parent’s doctor. While some feel sweeteners like agave syrup are diabetic-friendly, it is high in fructose, which makes it a risky alternative. Ask for the doctor’s input and recommendations from the different sweeteners that are readily available.
The Most Common Sugar Alternatives
Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Saccharin, and Sucralose are recommended by the FDA and many doctors as they do not have calories or raise blood sugar levels. While some feel they may negatively impact health, the FDA feels that if people stick to the safe levels, they are safe.
Sugar alcohols like xylitol are gaining attention. Mainly because studies have found that xylitol can help lower the risk of gum disease and ear infections. Xylitol is not calorie-free and it can affect blood sugar levels by a small margin. Xylitol is deadly to dogs, so it needs to be kept away from your parent’s dog.
Stevia is an incredibly sweet herb. The sap from the leaves is up to 400 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA considers it safe for beverages and foods though some people do have allergic reactions to it, and some studies show high amounts may hurt the kidneys.
Could You Switch Beverages?
If your parent doesn’t like or has been told to avoid the common sugar substitutes, you may want to try different beverages. While your mom or dad may find tea or coffee bitter without added sweetener, a mint tea may be more palatable without a sweetener.
You may find your parent enjoys a chai latte and can switch to that instead of coffee. You may be able to avoid the search for a sweetener by making a simple switch of that nature.
Diabetes is best treated through diet, careful monitoring of blood sugar levels, exercise, weight loss, and sometimes medications or insulin are also necessary. Is your mom or dad handling the lifestyle change on their own? Would a senior care aide benefit your parent?
Senior care services are available for medication reminders, reminders to test blood sugar levels, meal preparation, and appointment management. Talk to our agency to learn more about the ways a caregiver can help your parent.
Sources: https://www.kidney.org/newsletter/are-sugar-substitutes-ok-your-kidneys https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232036/ https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2011/11/10/142218078/chew-on-this-some-gum-may-ward-off-ear-infections
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Services in Michigan, please talk to the caring staff at Hope Senior Home Care today 313.881.3132.