Diet plays important role in diabetic treatment. However, a diabetic diet is not some kind of special diet. In diabetic diet all you have to do is maintain a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This is not a very difficult task; only control carbohydrate intake. Controlled and balanced food is the base of a diabetic diet. How to plan a controlled diet? There are number of ways to plan your diet one of them is the exchange system.
The amount of calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates varies with foods. In exchange system all foods are divided into six groups according to the amount of these factors present in various foods. These six groups are fruit group, vegetable group, bread/starch group, milk group, meat/protein group and fat group. Within each group a serving of food is approximately equal (not identical) to serving of another food in that group. So, within a group exchanging of food is allowed but exchanging foods from one group to another is not allowed.
You can plan your 2500 calorie diet with the help of exchange list. Each group of exchange list contains different number of carbohydrates. In starch group one starch exchange contains 15 grams of carbohydrates and three grams of protein which equal to 80 calories. In fruit exchange group one fruit exchange contains 15 grams of carbohydrates and it is fat free, the total calories are 60. In milk exchange group one milk exchange equals to eight grams of proteins means 32 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrates means 48 calories, the total number of calories are 90 including fat. Vegetable exchange group contains five grams of carbohydrates and two grams of protein, the total number of calories are 25.
In meat exchange group very lean meat (fresh fish, fat-free cheese, egg whites etc.) contain seven grams of proteins and one gram of fat, the total number of calories are 35. Whereas lean meat ( lean pork, cottage cheese etc) contain seven grams of protein and three grams of fat, the total number of calories are 55. In fat exchange group one fat exchange contain five grams of fat that is 45 calories. Fats are of three types; mono-saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats. Considering the calorie count in each group you can easily select the food to get close to your target of 2500 calorie per day.
There are some food products which contain less than five grams of carbohydrates per serving, in terms of calories such food contain less than 20 calories. If you eat very small portion of these foods like three or less than three servings per day then do not need to count calories of such food. These foods are called as free foods. Examples are diet soft drinks, carbonated water, soy sauce, spices, cucumber, cabbage, unsweetened pickles and sugar-free gelatin.
Some people eat mixed foods which do not fit into one exchange group. Your dietitian helps you to count calories in such a combination food. However, it is recommended that you consult your primary care provider or dietitian before you decide on the diabetic diet you want to follow.
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