In a diabetes diet you cannot eat variety of foods, this diet means lots of restrictions on eating, and you cannot eat regular food and absolutely no sweets. Well, all these are misunderstandings. Diabetes diet is balanced healthy diet that anyone can follow even if you are non-diabetic. You can make this diet interesting with various food contents. Diet plays a main role in controlling diabetes. Diabetic people should be careful about eating. They can eat regular food keeping in mind the consumption of the right amount of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Diabetic exchange list contains list of various food items, it is helpful in planning diabetic diets. The exchange list is one of the effective and latest ways of diabetic diet planning. The exchange system contains not only list of foods but it provides the most important information that is how much amount of food you should include in your diet to get particular number of calories. With the help of this information one can plan a balanced calorie diet. If you can control calorie intake you can manage your glucose level very well.
Exchange system groups all foods into six major groups as starches, fruit, vegetable, milk, meat, and fat. Foods in each group contain same calories, so you can exchange the foods within the group as it affects glucose levels in a similar manner.
Starches: An exchange (one serving) of starchy food contains 80 calories. The starch list is; two slices of reduced calorie bread (wheat bread), one pancake, half English muffin, 1/2 cup cooked cereals, 1/3 cup cooked pasta, 1/3 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup cooked bulgur, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup mashed potato, 3 ounces of baked potato, two small rice cakes etc. All these amount of foods equal to one exchange of starch.
Fruit: An exchange of fruit group contains 60 calories. The fruit exchange list gives the amounts of fruits equal to one exchange, the list is as follows; 17 small grapes, 1/2 grapefruit, one small apple or banana or orange, 1/2 mango, 3/4 cup strawberries or blackberries or blueberries, 3/4 cup pineapple, 1 1/4 cup watermelon, 1/2 cup juice of any fruit etc.
Vegetable: This group contains non-starchy vegetables. An exchange of non-starchy vegetable contains 25 calories. Usually one exchange equals to 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or vegetable juice or one cup raw vegetables. The list is; Artichoke, green beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, carrots, cucumber, okra, mushrooms, onions, peppers, eggplant, spinach, tomato, zucchini etc.
Milk: An exchange of milk or yogurt contains 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbohydrate. Fat-free milk and milk products are less in calories than whole milk and milk products. The list is; one cup fat-free milk, 2/3 cup fat-free yogurt (plain or flavored), one cup fat-free buttermilk etc.
Fats: One fat exchange contains 45 calories and 5 grams of fat. the list is; six almonds, six cashews, two tablespoons avocado, three macadamia nuts, 10 peanuts, one teaspoon oil (canola, olive or peanut), one teaspoon regular mayonnaise, one tablespoon low fat margarine, two tablespoon reduced-fat salad dressing etc.
Meat: Meats are good sources of protein. One exchange of lean meat contains 45 calories; one exchange of medium fat meat contains 75 calories and that of high-fat meat contains 100 calories. The list is; one ounce fish, two egg whites, one ounce lamb or chicken, one ounce cheese, 1/4 cup cottage cheese etc.
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