When an older adult is diagnosed with diabetes, you may immediately start thinking about ways to reduce the amount of sugar they eat. One way to do that is with sugar substitutes. The problem is that there are so many different kinds of artificial sweeteners that you may be uncertain which one to buy. The truth is that you may need to get more than one kind of artificial sweetener depending on just how you plan to use it.
Kinds of Sugar Substitutes
How you are going to use the sugar substitute is important because some artificial sweeteners don’t work well in baking. It’s also important to know that sugar substitutes cause differences in baked goods, such as:
* Lighter finished color.
* Lower volume in quick breads, cakes, and muffins.
* Different texture.
* Slightly different taste.
* Altered cooking time.
With that in mind, there are several kinds of sugar substitutes to choose from. Some of them are:
Saccharin: Saccharin is sold under the brand names Sweet n’ Low and Sugar Twin. It’s available in small packets that can be added to hot and cold drinks. It can also be used to sweeten either hot or cold foods.
Stevia: Stevia is often called a “natural” sweetener. While it comes from a natural source, the stevia plant, it is actually highly-processed since it goes through a complicated purification process. It can be used in hot foods because it does stay stable when it is heated.
Aspartame: Aspartame, which you may be familiar with as Equal or Nutrasweet, is a sweetener you should not use in baking because it breaks down and loses its sweetness when heated. It is best used as a substitute for table sugar to add to drinks or a bowl of cereal.
Sucralose: Sold as Splenda in the United States, sucralose is another sweetener that can be used in baking or as a table sweetener.
Are They Safe?
You may have some concerns about whether artificial sweeteners are safe for your aging relative. In the past, there was some suggestion that they may cause health problems. However, there is a great deal of research that indicates they are safe. However, they really have no nutritional value, so it’s still best to use them in moderation.
Elder care providers can help modify your older family member’s diet by using sugar substitutes. An elder care provider can offer the senior a packet of sweetener for their coffee or tea rather than getting out the sugar. Elder care can also cook healthy meals and an occasional dessert using a sugar substitute instead of sugar.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.