Type 2 diabetes is relatively common among older adults, and its symptoms are often exacerbated by consuming excessive sugar. Giving up on sugars can be challenging for diabetic seniors, but there are several healthier alternatives available. Philadelphia home care experts list down a few sugar substitutes.
Raw honey contains much less fructose than normal sugar and agave nectar. When consumed regularly, honey can boost heart health, reduce inflammation, and build up immunities. However, a common side effect of honey is that it is metabolized in the body in the same manner as fructose and normal sugar. Diabetic seniors should consult their doctors before adding honey to their diets.
Monk Fruit Extracts
Unlike other sugar substitutes, monk fruit extracts can be up to 150 times sweeter than normal sugar. Hence, it should only be consumed in very limited quantities. One of the benefits of monk sugar is that it contains very little calories, so it is good for weight loss. However, most of the fruit extracts available in market contain other artificial sweeteners. Seniors should carefully read the labels when shopping for sugar substitutes.
Agave nectar ranks fairly low on the glycemic index, which means it does not lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. However, the nectar is rich in fructose. When consumed excessively, this nectar can lead to weight gain and obesity. It is also sweeter than sugar, and it should be diluted before being consumed.
Seniors looking for healthier and easy-to-prepare substitute for sugars should consider date paste. The paste is easy to prepare. Simply blend 3/4th cup of water with ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract and one cup of pitted, warm dates. Date paste can be used in baked goods, smoothies, salads, dressings, and several other meals and drinks, and it can taste sweeter than regular sugar.
Sugar alcohol can be as sweet as normal sugar, but it contains much less calories, does not promote tooth decay, and prevents blood glucose levels from rising. One of the side effects of birch sugar is that it can have a laxative effect on seniors. The sugar can be used in beverages, cereals, baked products, and smoothies.
As an artificial sweetener, sucralose is often marketed as a product made for diabetics. It is nearly 600 times sweeter than sugar, but it contains zero calories. The product is sold under various brand names. It can be used in baked goods, tea, coffee, drinks, candies, and several other products. However, the product should be consumed in limited quantities and only to satisfy cravings for sweet products.
Before considering any substitute for sugar, seniors need to consult their doctors. The doctor can prescribe a particular sweetener, bearing in mind a senior’s diabetes level, health condition, food allergies, and other vitals.
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