Diabetic Food Exchange Guide

Healthy Portions Meal Measure - Portion Control Plate Guide

What are diabetes exchanges?

Meal Planning With Diabetes Exchanges Care Guide

Diabetes exchanges are groups of food with similar amounts of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and calories. The exchanges can be used to develop a healthy meal plan to control your blood sugar level.

Why are diabetes exchanges important?

Diabetes exchanges can help keep your blood sugar level steady. A meal plan with the right amount of carbohydrates is especially important. Your blood sugar naturally rises after you eat carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates in 1 meal or snack can raise your blood sugar level. Carbohydrates are found in starches, fruit, milk, yogurt, and sweets. Do not skip meals or avoid carbohydrates, because your blood sugar level can fall too low.

How do I create a meal plan with exchanges?

A dietitian will develop a healthy meal plan that is right for you. This meal plan will include the amount of exchanges you should have from each food group throughout the day. Your meal plan will be based on your age, weight, blood sugar levels, medicine, and activity level.

What are the exchange food groups?

Once you know how many exchanges you should have for each meal, you can exchange foods within the same group. This allows you to eat a variety of food while you keep your intake of carbohydrates and other nutrients the same. Follow your meal plan by keeping track of the amount of exchanges you eat for each meal and snack.

  • Starches: The following foods contain about 15 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, and 80 calories. Each serving counts as 1 exchange of starch .
  • 1 ounce of bread
  • 1 ounce of bagel (about ¼ of a bagel)
  • 1 4-inch pancake (about ¼ inch thick)
  • 1 6-inch flour or corn tortilla
  • ⅓ cup of cooked pasta or rice
  • ¾ cup of dry, ready-to-eat cereal with no sugar added
  • ½ cup of cooked cereal, such as oatmeal
  • 3 graham cracker squares or 8 animal crackers
  • 6 saltine-type crackers
  • 3 cups of popcorn
  • ¾ ounce of pretzels
  • Starchy vegetables and cooked legumes:
  • ½ cup of corn, green peas, sweet potatoes, or mashed potatoes
  • ¼ of a large baked potato
  • 1 cup of acorn, butternut squash, or pumpkin
  • ½ cup of beans and peas (such as pinto, kidney, or black-eyed)
  • ⅔ cup of lima beans
  • ½ cup of lentils
  • Fruit: The following foods contain about 15 grams of carbohydrate and 60 calories. Each serving counts as 1 exchange of fruit .
      1 small (4 ounce) piece of fresh fruit. Weigh fresh fruit at the grocery store. Large pieces of fruit usually weigh more than 4 ounces and count as more than 1 serving.
    • ½ cup of canned or fresh fruit
    • ½ cup (4 ounces) of unsweetened fruit juice
    • ¼ cup of dried fruit
    • Milk: The following foods contain about 12 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein. The amount of fat and calories in each serving depends on the type of milk (such as whole, low-fat, or fat-free). Each serving counts as 1 exchange of milk .
        1 cup low-fat milk
      • ¾ cup of plain, nonfat yogurt
      • 1 cup fat-free, flavored yogurt with artificial (no calorie) sweetener
      • Non-starchy vegetables: The following foods contain about 5 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of protein, and 25 calories. Each serving counts as 1 exchange of vegetables . Examples include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini.
          ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables
        • ½ cup of vegetable juice
        • Meat and meat substitutes: The following foods contain no carbohydrate and about 7 grams of protein. Meats with greater amounts of fat have more calories. Each serving counts as 1 exchange of meat or meat substitute .
            1 ounce of chicken or turkey without skin, or 1 ounce of fish (not breaded or fried)
  • 2007-12-30 10:02:17 by anyideas_helpful

    Starting new - diabetes

    So I have accomplished my goal of being completely off all soda pop by new year's, YEAH!! I know I am allergic to aspartame, it flares up my fibromyalgia symptoms but having drank diet soda since high school it has been really hard to break the habit.
    Now for new goals, I signed up for eDiets Diabetes plan. Yesterday, I went grocery shopping (never do on a Saturday!!) and then came home and completely cleaned out the fridge washed from top to bottom. I know should have done that first, oh well, all the healthy groceries gave me motivation to clean. Now my fridge looks so pretty I wanted to take a picture LOL but my camera is broken atm

    2013-02-04 04:12:27 by spunkyrose1938

    Good diet for weight loss.

    The reason you are hungry all the time is because the severe diet you have created for yourself.
    When I am in weight losing mode,which is pretty much all the time. I am never hungry. I am pretty active but 74 years old, so I gear my diet to that. I am also diabetic but very healthy
    otherwise. For breakfast I have a combination of nuts and dried fruit. I use pecans,
    walnuts, almonds, which I toast, prunes, apricots which I cut up, and dried cranberries. I have
    1/2 cup of this mixture. The nuts are high in protein, the fruit provides a little seetness, vitamins and minerals

    Why you should eat fruit -- not drink it -- to lower diabetes risk  — Today.com
    Consuming whole fruits at least three times a week may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new long-term study published Thursday in the British Medical Journal.

    Related posts:

    • Avatar hazeleyedbeauty1967 Does anyone know how to convert the points to exchanges on Weight Watchers?
      Aug 11, 2007 by hazeleyedbeauty1967 | Posted in Diet & Fitness

      I have the old plan from 1995 that only shows exchanges. The new system is points. How do the points relate to exchanges? I want to try the recipes on their site, but I can't calculate the old way and I would rather not rejoin when I have what I need and am doing fine with it. Any help is ap ….
      Does anyone know how many calories each exchange and point has?
      My friend is on the points system and I am on the exchange system and it seems to me that I am losing weight. She showed me her plan and I find that counting portions is much more in controll with the sodium, fat, etc.

      • You can sit in on a meeting for free, maybe you could get the info you need there. Also on the website they have a recipe builder, where you put in your ingredients and it will tell you the points value.

        Good Luck To You!!

    • Avatar katceniceros I was just diagnosed with Diabetics 2 and I need to know what tv dinners brand would be ok to eat?
      Nov 22, 2008 by katceniceros | Posted in Diabetes

      I have not gone todiabetics classes yet, my doctor is setting that up for me, but I have Lean cuisines now in my frig. I sometimes need something fast especially at work on my lunch. I need to now if thats a better brand than healthy choice or weight watchers. The lean cuisines have no perservatives.

      • You can survive on tv dinners as a diabetic if you read the labels. Not everybody's living situation has room for preparing raw food.

        Try to keep the carbs under 45g, and watch out for higher sodium and fat content.

        Some brands are better than others, and even wit …prepare meals on her own and didn't like having people cook for her (she was able to keep her a1c under 6 for many years). TV dinners were actually a suggestion by her endocrinologist. I wish I could remember specifically which meals of which brands I used to buy for her, but it's been too long.