Using diabetic diet exchanges gives you the assurance that you are getting the proper mix of calories, carbohydrates, and other important nutrients.
Meeting with a registered dietician will help you follow proper diabetic diet guidelines and using the diabetic diet exchanges you better control your blood sugar levels.
"In the 1950s, the American Diabetes Association, in conjunction with the U.S. Public Health Service, brought forth the "exchange scheme". This was a scheme that allowed people to swap foods of similar nutritional value (e.g. carbohydrate) for another, so, for example, if wishing to have more than normal carbohydrates for dessert, one could cut back on potatoes in one's first course."(1)
Today diabetic exchange lists are better developed with foods grouped in main types, which include starches, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, milk, meats, sweets, fats and free foods.
In each group, you will find various foods that you can exchange or trade while keeping calorie and carbohydrate amounts about the same. Food items found within a group have similar nutritional value and affect your blood sugar levels in similar ways.
Diabetic exchange lists are broken down into food groups. Below is a summary of the different groups:
Following diabetic diet exchanges allows you to add variety to your diet while at the same time assuring you that you are consuming the right amounts of calories, carbohydrates and other important nutrients.
(1) Wikipedia (2010). Diabetic diet. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetic_diet