Do you enjoy sugar a little too much? It can add a touch of sweetness to your coffee, dessert, and other delicious treats. Often, we do not even realize how much sugar is in our food and beverages.
Still, it can negatively affect your health, especially for seniors who sometimes are living with being overweight or have diabetes. The good news is that you do not have to give up your love of sweet tastes in order to live a heathier lifestyle. You can take steps to incorporate safer alternatives to your meals and beverages.
There are a wide variety of sweeteners to choose from that can not only prevent serious health risks, but also potentially benefit your health. Below, we list some of the health issues often found in correlation with high sugar intake.
What health issues can arise with too much sugar in a diet?
Your health is essential, so understanding the risks sugar poses can help you make better decisions. Sugar can lead to a wide range of health complications, including the following:
- Weight gain
- Heat disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Dental issues
- Fatty liver
While it’s okay to sometimes indulge in foods that have a small amount of sugar, you can lower the risk of some of the illnesses and diseases above by taking steps to find an alternative. Below, we dive into some of the best and healthiest options to replace sugar to help you get started on making proactive changes to your diet.
Sugar Alternatives to Try
The first on the list is Stevia! Stevia is a natural sweetener that is derived from the leaves of a South American shrub called Stevia rebaudiana. It is known to be even sweeter than sugar, so it’s perfect for those who have a sweet tooth and love desserts. Studies have also shown that it can lower blood pressure, so it’s an excellent alternative for those who enjoy sweet foods.
Another top contender for one of the healthier alternatives to sugar is Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol extracted from either birch wood or corn. It is a better option than sugar because it does not contain any fructose. Studies show it may even have some health benefits, such as improved bone and dental health.
Monk fruit is a natural sweetener that is known to be a lot sweeter than traditional sugar. Native to southern China, this small green melon has become a popular substitute for sugar in recent years. It is used today in many desserts since it has no calories or carbs and will not raise blood sugar levels.
Honey is a sweetener that is naturally produced by honeybees. It has many minerals that offer several health benefits, such as protecting against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Coconut sugar contains zinc, calcium, iron, and other minerals. The sugar is removed from the sap of coconut palm to use as a sweetener for cakes, cookies, granola, and parfaits. It also has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which is beneficial to health.
Removing Excessive Amounts of Sugar from your Diet for Seniors
Desserts, beverages, cereals, and other food can contain high levels of sugar that can be detrimental to your health and overall well-being. However, you can still enjoy some sweet treats in moderation by using healthier sugar alternatives. Some recommended alternatives include Stevia, honey, Xylitol, coconut sugar, and monk fruit. By using these alternatives, you can improve both your physical and mental health.
The highly experienced professionals at Frontier Management have many years of experience helping seniors and those who love them learn about eating as healthfully as possible. You are welcome to visit one our beautiful properties, take a tour and speak with our friendly staff.