Type II diabetes is prevalent among older adults. If your dad has it or has been told he’s in a high-risk group, he needs to make some changes. Exercise is one of the things he should be focusing on. He also needs to start carefully monitoring his sugar intake.
How good is your dad at finding sugar in the products he purchases? Many things have hidden sugar. Use these shopping tips to quickly identify the sugars hidden in the foods your dad enjoys.
Look for These Terms
When your dad and his caregivers are scanning labels, words like “sugar,” “honey,” and “corn syrup” are easily identified as sugars. You know they’re a type of sugar, so they’re easy to pick out. Some sugars aren’t as well known. If you see these terms, they’re all types of sugar.
- Agave nectar
- Cane juice
- Sorghum syrup
In addition to added sugars, there are natural sugars in fruits. If a food contains chopped dates or figs, the sugar content will be higher. Some packaged foods will also use prunes, applesauce, and banana to sweeten the item.
Read nutrition labels carefully. Look at the “Total Carbohydrates” ‘area and see how many carbs are in an item. Under that, you’ll see the count for “Total Sugars.” You want to pay particular attention to the line that follows “Total Sugars” as that is the added sugar found in that food item. Ideally, you want foods with no added sugars.
Added sugars are often found in products you wouldn’t expect. The can of chicken noodle soup your dad picked out for lunch may have added sugar. For example, Progresso Hearty Beef Pot Roast and Vegetables has 2 grams of added sugar per serving. If he ate the whole can, that’s 5 grams of added sugar.
Learn to Do Without
Your dad may need to implement a lot of self-control. He loves ginger ale, but it’s packed with added sugar. Stocking up on herbal tea, fresh citrus fruit, and herbs/spices can help fight some of the cravings for sweetened beverages.
He should look at plan seltzer or water with a few slices of fresh ginger for flavor. If he loves sweet tea, he could look at herbal teas that are naturally sweetened with fruit instead.
Caregivers Can Help Him While Shopping
Is it time to have caregivers cooking meals for your dad? If he’s relying heavily on takeout or prepared meals that need reheating, he’s not eating as well as he could. Talk to a senior care agency about meal preparation services.
A senior care aide will work with your family to come up with a weekly menu and shopping list. The caregiver takes your dad shopping, if he wants, and helps him read nutrition labels. He’ll have the help he needs to make wiser choices when it comes to the foods he eats.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Care in Simpsonville, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.
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