what is diabetic exchange diet?

Diabetic exchange diet is method to control your weight, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. It divides foods into six different groups. With the help of this diet plan you can eat right foods in right amounts. Each group contains list of foods. It provides information about how much amount of a particular food contains how many calories. Depending upon your individual need of calories you can select specific amount of foods. Your dietitian gives you a diet plan that lists the number of servings you may eat from each of the six food groups.

This diet plan is called exchange diet plan because you are allowed to exchange any food in a group for any other from the same group (exchanging foods between different groups are not allowed). For example one slice of bread and 1/2 cup cooked cereal contain same calories, so you can exchange these food items.

The six groups in the exchange system and the food amounts for each group are:

Bread and Starches group: Each exchange of this group contains about 80 calories. The list of food is; one slice bread, 1/2 cup cooked cereal, one small dinner roll, 1/2 cup cooked pasta or green peas, 1/3 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, half English muffin, two rice cakes etc.

Vegetables group: Each exchange of vegetable group contains 25 calories. You can choose one cup of raw vegetables or half cup of cooked vegetables. The list is; cabbage, carrots, cucumber, green beans, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, beets etc.

Fruits group: Each exchange of this group contains 60 calories. The list is; one small banana or apple or orange, 17 small grapes, one medium peach, one and a quarter cup whole strawberries, 1/2 cup canned pineapple, two small plums, one and a quarter cup cubed watermelon, one kiwi fruit, one cup cubed cantaloupe etc.

Meat group: Lean meat exchange contains 55 calories, medium fat meat contains 75 calories and high fat meat contains 100 calories. The list is; one ounce skinless chicken, one large egg, one ounce fish, 1/2 cup tofu, 1/4 cup low-fat cheese, one ounce low-fat cheese, one ounce lean beef etc.

Fat group: Each exchange of fat group contains 45 calories. The food list is; one tablespoon of regular cream cheese, one tablespoon of regular margarine or mayonnaise, two tablespoons of peanut butter, one tablespoon of regular salad dressing, six almonds, ten peanuts etc.

Milk group: The list is; one cup skimmed milk, one cup skim or low-fat buttermilk, one cup nonfat plain or sugar-free yogurt and one third cup dry nonfat milk. There is also one more group called as free food group. The foods in this list contain very few calories. You may eat three servings per day from this list. The list is; one tablespoon fat-free cream cheese, two teaspoon low sugar or light jam or jelly, one tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup salsa, two tablespoon sugar -free syrup, one tablespoon taco sauce, one tablespoon fat-free salad dressing, four tablespoon fat-free margarine etc.

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