An 1800 calorie diet is planning of your meals and snacks such that total number of calories per day equals to only 1800. There are several methods of meal planning. One of them is diabetic exchange system. The exchange system groups foods into six categories; those are starches, meat, vegetables, fruits, milk and fats. Each of these categories contains foods which have similar amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fat. This means that each food in a particular category can be exchanged for another food in that same category.
While planning calorie diet for diabetes with the help of exchange categories you have to select certain exchanges from each category. The number of exchanges (amount of food) from a category depends upon your calorie requirements. For 1800 calorie diet breakdown of these exchanges are as follows: In this diet include nine exchanges from starch group, six exchanges from meat group, four exchanges from vegetables group, three from fruits, two from milk and four exchanges from fats group. You have to distribute the exchanges throughout the day.
In 1800 calorie diet you can include foods from exchange categories based on a typical breakdown as 50% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 30% fat. A sample 1800 calorie diet menu is: For a breakfast choose 8 ounces skim milk, one slice of whole grain toast, 3/4 cup unsweetened cereal, one tablespoon peanut butter, half grapefruit and tea or coffee. For lunch you can select salad made up of 1/2 cup shredded carrots, and 1/4 cup sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, two ounces grilled chicken, two tablespoons low-fat dressing, and one whole wheat pita. For dinner choose 3 ounces fish, one cup brown rice, 1 and 1/4 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup zucchini and two tablespoons light or fat-free whipped topping. In morning snacks include 3 grams crackers and 6 ounces of artificially sweetened low-fat yogurt. In evening snack include 1/2 granola bar and one cup cubed cantaloupe.
Exchange diet plan is easy to follow once you become familiar with the serving sizes for each category of food. You also have to know how much carbohydrate is contained in each category. With the help of exchange food categories you can plan your daily meals and spread out exchanges over the course of a day. But while following this diet you have to monitor your blood sugar level, if you find that your blood glucose level is high at any time during the day you need to adjust the amount of carbohydrates in your next meal. This exchange diet is also helpful in regulating weight.
A registered dietitian develops an individualized meal plan with the help of exchange food system which is based on individual nutrient needs and lifestyle.
Generally dietitians recommend three or four small meals instead of one or two large meals because in one meal you cannot get right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins. So avoid one large meal and take 3 or 4 small healthy meals as this will help control your blood glucose levels and also fight diabetes.
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