Why Do Some Seniors Crave Sweet Foods?

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Reasons Older Adults Crave Sweets in Carmichael, CA

Most people enjoy indulging in something sweet from time to time, and seniors are no exception. There are many reasons older adults might crave sweet foods. The sight of a luscious dessert may be difficult to resist. However, when your elderly loved one prefers sweet foods constantly, there might be an underlying reason. 


Cravings for sweets might develop when the brain demands energy. The brain functions using glucose, and sweets supply an immediate source. However, sugary foods only temporarily elevate energy levels and mood before dramatically dropping. If the body doesn’t have a sufficient store of carbohydrates, the cravings continue. Try tempting your loved one with fresh fruit, whole-grain toast with peanut butter, or another healthy snack if the craving occurs between meals. 

Following a nutritious diet in the golden years can be challenging. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Carmichael, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Mood Elevation

A desire for something sweet might occur when the brain signals a drop in serotonin levels. When we eat sweet foods, the pancreas releases insulin to bind with amino acids and enable glucose to enter the cells. The fuel first goes to the muscles. However, insulin doesn’t bind with the amino acid tryptophan, which is free to travel to the brain to stimulate serotonin production. 

Once serotonin levels rise, the body feels satisfied. If your loved one seems irritable or has difficulty falling asleep and constantly craves sweets, prepare a meal using poultry or seafood. Ideal snacks between meals may include yogurt, cheese and crackers, or pumpkin seeds. 


When a person is feeling stressed, his or her body releases cortisol that negatively impacts blood sugar levels. Scientists from the University of Michigan learned that a craving for sweets often intensifies when cortisol levels are high. 

To remedy low blood sugar, the body desires something sweet, which may be one of the reasons people reach for sweet foods as a means of self-comfort. Offer your loved one healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables or whole grains. Determine the cause of the stress and find a way to alleviate the problem. 

Older adults might need assistance to prevent stress-related issues and embrace a nutritious diet. Homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Hormone Fluctuations

After a person consumes a sweet snack, endorphin levels in his or her brain rise. Endorphins are most often equated with natural pain relief. Researchers from the Association for Psychological Science published an article explaining this phenomenon is why women crave chocolate at certain times of the month. When this craving is satisfied, the elevated endorphin levels alleviate menstrual discomfort. The scent of lavender or vanilla has also been shown to boost endorphin levels. 

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Insufficient levels of healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract often lead to an abundance of yeast colonies. Sugar cravings arise in response to the low levels of microbes. 

Taking antibiotics often also destroys gut bacteria, which must be replenished. If this is the case for your loved one, offer him or her a daily serving of yogurt to normalize the problem. Food allergies or sensitivities may also cause gastrointestinal issues. Once again, yogurt is an easy fix. 

Craving sweet foods can make it challenging to lead a healthy life in the golden years. However, a professional in-home caregiver can assist with daily nutrition. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Carmichael, CA, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (916) 485-4663.


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