Seniors Should Avoid These Hidden Sources of Sugar

By , 8:00 am on

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is an important component of Home Care Assistance’s Balanced Care Method™ and we wanted to share some information about which foods seniors and their caregivers should avoid, particularly because of their high sugar level.

Controlling your sugar intake is an important part of healthy aging, but it’s not always easy to identify foods with high sugar content. Sweet-tasting things like soda and candy are obviously loaded with sugar, but you may be surprised at the hidden sources of sugar in the following everyday foods.

  1. Breakfast Cereals – Despite efforts to promote cereal as a healthy breakfast choice, most contain more sugar than you might think. Even whole grain cereals can have as much as a packet of sugar in a single cup. For seniors or family caregivers looking to prepare a quick meal, plain oatmeal topped with fresh fruit is a healthier alternative and is often more filling thanks to its high-fiber content.
  1. Marinades and Sauces – Marinating sauces may give a dish a punch of flavor, but it also adds a lot of sugar to your meal. For instance, a single tablespoon of barbeque sauce has around 6 grams of sugar, which is around one quarter of the amount of sugar the World Health Organization says healthy adults can consume each day.
  1. Salad Dressings – When it comes to overdosing on sugar, dressings marked “low-fat” are often the biggest culprits because sugar is added to make up for lost flavor. Ketchup-based dressings are sugar-heavy too. Look for varieties that contain no more than 2 grams of sugar per recommended serving.
  1. Flavored Yogurt – On its own, yogurt contains many nutrients that are great for your well-being, including heart-healthy probiotics, but many brands add sugar to sweeten the yogurt’s naturally tart taste. If you prefer a flavored variety, try diluting it with plain yogurt so you get to enjoy both flavor and health benefits.
  1. Dried Fruit – The sugar content in fruit increases exponentially when it’s dried. For example, there are only 4 grams of natural sugar in a cup of fresh, whole cranberries. A cup of dried cranberries can have as much as 78 grams. Treat dried fruit like candy and limit portions to a few sweet bites.

Surprised by any of the foods mentioned above? We were too! But armed with this new knowledge, you can ensure the total health of the parent or loved one under your care. And if you need help managing your loved one’s care needs or are simply looking for respite a few days a week, visit our website at or contact a Care Manager directly at 905-951-8885 and find out more about our comprehensive in-home care services.