Dad has tremendous sugar cravings. Any advice?

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My 81-year-old dad has tremendous sugar cravings. I've got him on stevia for his coffee, he loves it because it's super sweet. But cookies, candy, etc., he will eat them at any time. The other day I made a big breakfast for him and my mom, and after they both ate their fill, he started eating cookies. I mean *right* after breakfast. I'm not sure if it could be a reaction to medications. He takes 25mg seroquel at night, and is also on aricept, buspar, atenolol, and simvastatin. I first noticed that he was craving too much sugar about 2 years ago; at that time he was on everything but the aricept and seroquel. It gives him pleasure, so I don't try to stop him, but I wonder if there's something else he could eat or drink that would help keep him from craving sugar so much. He's not in the least overweight -- probably more the opposite -- but I understand that excessive carbs don't help the brain. I wonder sometimes if he just does it out of boredom, but the fact that he went for cookies right after eating breakfast made me think twice about that. Any ideas?

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I am going through the sugar craving thing right now with Dad. He didn't start eating all the sugary stuff in sight until a month ago. He is in very poor health. I have been reading and finding some answers to some of the things that I am experiencing with him but as far as the sugar cravings go. I have researched and found sugar cravings are bad when you are a diabetic, when you are dehydrated because hunger is a mask for being thirsty ( Dad doesn't drink water like he should) and FTD dementia causes cravings also. I hope this passes soon though because after Mom passed away 3 months ago our budget is tight and it is costing a lot of extra money to keep up with the sugary snacks.
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Sugar is super addicting. If it were a drug just coming out now, it would be banned. It’s hard to get an addict off their addiction. Sometimes the best we can do is not to follow their example. Use the addict as a teacher, who teaches through negative example. And BTW, 81 does not have to be old!
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My sister is in a rehab facility following several strokes. She has always liked her sweets but it seems to have really amped up lately and weight gain along with it. She drinks cokes and eats junk food all day. At first I tried to counteract this by taking healthy meals but I live farther away than other family members and everyone, even staff, have given up and just let her have her way. The last visit I took a wonderful holiday meal; called ahead with my arrival time and even kiddingly said, "No junk; wait for me!" but when I got there she was eating this nasty honey bun thing that she often eats and wouldn't stop even while I was heating up her plate (which she knew had a lot of her favorite foods.) So of course she ate very little of the good dinner. I don't know the answer but I finally realized that whatever it is, it's no longer within her control at all. Still it's sad and annoying. It's nothing I can control either so I suppose I am just venting.
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All that medicine he is on mixed together with no research on what happens when a person takes all kinds of pills together will do more damage then sugar. And at 81 LET HIM EAT what ever he wants.....WE all LOVE dessert! No one is ever going to stop me from eating things that make me happy and bring me JOY! My Dad ate 4 gross processed packaged Danish every morning for the last 40 years, he was on no medication and he is 92! He eats his dessert at the NH first along with the other 5 old men at his table. They all do, their not stupid. The rules are when you reach 80 you get to do what ever you want. I'm wearing my pajamas to the grocery store when I'm that age......LOL
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My mom craved sugar until she got some Januvia in addition to her insulin (type II, severe insulin resistance). But she was often satisfied with sugar-free stuff, though she did not need the calories adn a lot of sugar free is not low calorie at all. Now between Seroquel, Aricept, and a statin, he's virtually guaranteed to have raging appetite problems and none of those make diabetes any better either...but that might not be enough reason to consider changing meds if he really needs them. The data on statins doing that is more recent. If weight gain does become a concern, try things like apple juice, cranberry juice, fiber drinks, and maybe even estrogenic foods like soy, apricots, alfalfa sprouts, and anything made with hops that is OK for him to have, which will take the edge off that a bit. And yes, protein and "good" fats can help too. Saturated fats though just make my appetite take off like a rocket, and I noticed that with my mom too.
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I have noticed the same with my father.. He has dementia and lives in assisted living.. He has always in the past before his dementia became a part of his life been very strict with his diet.. He ate healthy and didn't include many sweets in his diet, he was always afraid of gaining too much weight.. Now all has changed, he is actually craving sweets. He loves cookies , ice cream, puddings and cake.. He has a little refrigerator in his apartment and I keep a few snacks in there for him... He is not overweight and the way I look at it, his life is nothing like it was before and I'm sure not much fun for him. And if eating sweets makes him happy and it's something he can enjoy ,then I will continue to buy them.. He eats 3 healthy meals a day there at the facility and if his weight and blood sugars are good then I see no harm being done.
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Consider also replacing regular flour with coconut flour, which is much more nutritious. There are free coconut flour recipes on the web.
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He has diabetes so it's a real challenge. I include cake or cookies and sometimes something different - ice cream or tapioca are served about 4 days per week. I rotate hiding spots and make things that are easy to hide. Cookies are easiest, some cake is next in line, and other items like granola bars are also included. Good hiding spots are those he can't get to because of physical limitations. Sometimes I store it among items of non-interest like rice or oatmeal or if in the refrigerator, I'll put a well sealed bowl of tapioca in the crisper among the veggies. When stored you must be sure it is properly sealed - tight lid containers or zip locks for example. He can't sleep many nights. He admits he's usually not hungry but eats anyway. Maybe the sweets become a comfort food at this point?? I want to keep him as healthy as possible, but strike a balance that will still provide the quality of life through choice and give some sense of control over his destiny. I sometimes remind him at mealtime that I never serve him anything I wouldn't eat myself and this helps him to eat healthy. I make sure we have the cookies or cake together which helps. I do search for recipes that have a smaller percentage of sugar and fats, so adjusting traditional recipes is part of my method. I'm trying to use healthier fats in any food preparation too. I realize it's up to me to compromise - because he won't limit the amount of sugar otherwise.
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Protein in moderation is important, true. But the body converts too much protein into sugar, in a process called gluconeogenesis. Investigate the low carb-high fat diet, also known as the ketogenic diet.
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It is sort of bittersweet (no pun intended!) that most elderly folks love sweets. The stevia is a good idea too. As babies we are born with a taste for 'sweet'. It is our primary craving (breast milk is very sweet). As we get older other tastes come into play more and more and as we reach old age, many of our senses go 'dead'. What remains in the tastebud category is usually sweet. The old saying about 'our second childhood' seems to apply. I am sort of the opinion that when you get very old really, so what? Especially if you are making smart choices like subbing sugar for stevia. Also, fyi, we are not born with a taste for 'fat'. We develop that. The reason why fried foods are so addictive. My mother in law passed away at 93 recently. She had a master's degree in nutrition and was a home ec teacher all of her career. And all she wanted the last few years was dessert! We indulged her. Why not? Her life had become narrow and confined and she enjoyed what she enjoyed.
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