ADW Diabetes recently had the opportunity to speak with talk show host and registered dietician Samantha Heller, MS, RD, CDN. Heller is part of the team working on the ‘Blood Sugar Basics’ campaign that is designed to offer education and instruction on how a person with diabetes can take better care of themselves as it relates to diabetes testing, diet, exercise, and overall health. When speaking with Ms. Heller, we wanted to get better information about the difference between sugars and added sugars and how they can be better identified. She is a fantastic source of information, and provided us with some great ways to help us remember what she has taught.
With years of experience as a health and wellness expert, Heller has assisted people with chronic health conditions – including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer – adopt healthier lifestyles. Additionally, as a senior clinical nutritionist, Heller developed and ran NYU Langone Medical Center’s Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation & Prevention Nutrition program for nearly a decade.
Here is our conversation:
What is the recommended number of grams of sugar that an adult male, adult female, and child should have in their daily diet?
The Institute of Medicine recommends that we consume about 45 percent to 65 percent of calories from carbohydrates. If you eat about 1,500 calories a day that means about 169-225 grams of carbohydrate/day. Of course, this is an estimate and will vary with age, physical activity, health conditions, etc. Individuals should work with their healthcare team to determine what might be most appropriate for them. Education is key in living well with type 2 diabetes. That’s why I’m partnering with the American College of Endocrinology and Merck to launch a new Blood Sugar Basics program called The Game Plan, which offers four easy-to-understand goals to help people manage their type 2 diabetes. Creating a specific and personalized game plan and setting goals is a huge part of managing diabetes.
Does that number differ when the person has diabetes? If so, how?
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes start with about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. The amount of carbohydrate will vary depending on your blood sugar control, weight and physical activity. Your health care team will work with you to decide what is best for you. It is important to remember that carbohydrates include starchy foods such as bread, rice and pasta as well as vegetables, fruits, yogurt, milk and legumes. Sodas, desserts, candy and chips are loaded with refined carbohydrates that can wreak havoc with blood sugars. One serving of carbohydrate equals 15 grams. Check out goal number 2 of The Game Plan, “Enter the Nutrition Zone,” for more tips on ways to maintain a healthy diet.
ADW Diabetes has published Samantha Heller sugars interview for people with diabetes.
About ADW Diabetes:
ADW Diabetes (ADW) is a mail order company that is dedicated to keeping diabetes management affordable. ADW is focused on helping customers effectively manage their disease by providing one of the largest selections of diabetes-related products, including insulin pump supplies and glucose testing products at significant discounts. ADW takes a leading role in diabetes education through Destination Diabetes, an informational website featuring tips and advice from experienced healthcare professionals. ADW is involved in and supports the diabetes community and organizations that further diabetes education and research.
About Samantha Heller, MS, RD, CDN:
Samantha Heller, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and exercise physiologist. She is the Clinical Nutrition Coordinator at the Cancer Care Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn. She hosts a live two-hour show, “Samantha Heller’s Health & Nutrition Show,” on NYU Langone Medical Center’s DOCTOR Radio, which airs on SiriusXM, and authored a medically peer-reviewed book titled “Get Smart: Samantha Heller’s Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Total Body Health,” published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2010. Heller graduated with a dual Master of Science degree in nutrition and applied physiology from the Teachers’ College at Columbia University.