People suffering from diabetes may be placed on the diabetic food exchange diet (also known as the diabetic exchange diet) in order to control the amount of cholesterol and sugar in their blood. This diet provides the foods that you can eat in 6 food groups, measured by exact serving size. This will ensure the right amount of nutrients from each food group to meet your body’s daily requirements.
In the diabetic exchange system, foods are grouped as starches, milk, fruits, meat and so on. Within each group, you will be eating foods that offer the same amount of carbohydrates, calories and other nutrients. You can trade or exchanges foods within the same group as they have similar nutrients, and also affect the blood sugar in the similar way.
How To Start Diabetic Exchange Diet
Your doctor or dietician will provide a meal plan that will list the number of servings you may eat from each food group. Measure or weigh all the foods and beverages so that you consume only the specified amounts.
Breads and starches are an integral part of diabetic exchange diet. This food group includes brown bread, bagel, cooked cereal, cooked dried beans, corn, green peas, lima beans, pasta, pita bread, rice cakes, cooked rice, tortilla and winter squash. Fruits that can be included in diabetic exchange diet are apples, bananas, grapes, kiwi, orange, melon, peach, raisins, plums, prunes, whole strawberries and watermelon.
Vegetables for diabetic exchange diet include green beans, asparagus, broccoli, beets, celery, eggplant, cucumber, cauliflower, kale, green beans, mushrooms, mustard greens, carrots, cabbage, radishes, peppers, pea pods, onions, zucchini, turnips and tomatoes. Some dairy product must also be included in your diabetic exchange diet such as skim milk, low-fat buttermilk, sugar-free yoghurt and non-fat milk.
Canned salmon or tuna, chicken without skin, low-fat solid cheese, tofu, turkey, fish and eggs must also be a part of diabetic exchange diet. Fats that can be included are avocado, low-fat mayonnaise, pecan halves, almonds, cashew nuts, peanut butter, low-fat salad dressing and regular margarine.
Some of the foods that must be avoided as a part of diabetic exchange diet are candies, cakes, frostings, cookies, granola bars, ice creams, sweet rolls, sodas, colas, pies, pastries, jams, jellies and the products that contain dextrose, corn syrup, glucose, fructose, honey, maltose, molasses, sugar and sucrose.
The amount of each serving or portion of the diabetic diet menu can be discussed with your dietician who will be able to design a diet plan as per your age, gender and physical activity level. A well-planned diabetic exchange diet can help control your blood sugar level and keep your weight in check. This diet offers a proper mix of carbohydrates, calories and other essential nutrients for long lasting results.