Diabetic Exchange Diet

The American Diabetes Association and Dietetic Association have developed a diet of food exchanges that work well in the treatment for diabetes. Learn more.

The American Diabetes Association and Dietetic Association have developed a system of food exchanges that work well in the treatment for diabetes. You can now find the food pyramid on most products you buy in your local grocery store. Usually found on the side or back panel. These guidelines are not to be substituted for your complete regime. Consult with a registered dietician as your physician instructs you to.

Meats. The exchange groups for meat and cheese are categorized by lean meat (55 cal) and low fat substitutes, medium-fat meat (75 cal) and substitutes, and high fat (100 cal). Exchange sizes on the meat list are generally one ounce and based on cooked meats (three oz of cooked meat equals 4 oz of raw meat) These proteins are found in meats, fish poultry, cheese, eggs, milk, dried beans, legumes and some nuts.

Starches and Bread. Each exchange contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates; 3 grams of protein, and a trace of fat for a total of 80 calories serving size may vary. A general rule is that 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, grain, or pasta equals one exchange and one ounce of a bread product is one serving.



Vegetables. (25 cal) are 1/2 cup cooked, 1 cup raw, and 1/2-cup juice. Each group contains 5 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and between 2 to 3 grams of fiber. Vegetables can be fresh or frozen, canned low sodium is also acceptable.

Fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrates for a total of 60 calories. The serving size varies. Example ½ of banana is one exchange, 1 small orange is 1 exchange.Milk is usually one cup or 8 oz. For those who are on weight-loss or low-cholesterol diets, the skim and very low-fat milk lists should be followed (90 cal).

Fats store in the body for extra calories for in the future. A fat exchange is (45 cal) usually varies in serving size. Avoidance of saturated fats and choose polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats instead. Fats are found in margarine, butter, oils, nuts, meat fat, and dairy products.

Free foods. Sugar free soda, black tea and coffee, sugar free gelatin, and I cup of raw lettuce.It is very rarely recommended for anyone that is diabetic unless instructed by a physician to go on a 1200 cal ADA diet.

The following is a list of how many exchanges from each group is needed for the calories listed above.

Cal 1200 1500 1800 2000 2200

Bread 5 8 10 11 13

Meat 4 5 7 8 8

Veg 2 3 3 4 4

Fruits 3 3 3 3 3

Fats 2 3 3 4 5

Milk 2 2 2 2 2

Sample Daily Exchange for 1500 Calorie ADA (Diabetic Diet)Using common sense and the above exchange list you can figure out how many you need for each exchange. Never skip a meal or save up your exchanges for another meal. Example: 1 hamburger is 2 starches, 1 meat, 1 fat, 1 vegetable if with the works. (Based on a 3oz patty)

1500 Calories sample

Break Lunch Dinner Snack

Bread/ 2 2 2 1

Meat 0 2 3 0

Vege 0 1 2 0

Fruits 1 0 1 0

Fats 1 1 2 0

Milk 1 0 0 1

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your health provider. It should be re-emphasized that nothing herein should be considered medical advice.

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