diabetic diet exchange system, an effective way of meal planning

Diet is the key for controlling diabetes. Diabetic diet is not a very special diet, but it is just a healthy balanced diet. It helps everyone even if you are a non diabetic, as healthy diet controls body weight. Diabetic diet is not only about selecting healthy food but also the amount of healthy food. Planning of a diet includes choice of healthy foods in right amounts and at right times.

Our body needs calories for energy, but individual calorie need is different. Doctors or registered dietitian can help you to find your calorie need; usually it depends upon individual health, age and weight. After that you can draft your meal plan according to your calorific needs. Your meal planning should stick to your daily calorie requirements. Consistent eating habits can also help you to control blood sugar levels. While planning one more thing that you should follow, is eating the same amount of food at the same time.

Exchange system is one of the ways of meal planning. In this system all foods are grouped into six categories based on food content. These six categories are starches, fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and fat. The foods in each group have same count of calories. One serving in a group is called as an exchange and an exchange of foods in each group contains same amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats. So, you can exchange the food within the group as it contains same amount of calories and has the same effect on your blood sugar. The exchange system provides some free foods having less than 20 calories which you can eat in any amount throughout the day unless a serving size is specified.

The starches/bread group contains 80 calories that is 15 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of proteins and some fats. This group contains list of foods like one slice bread, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup cooked cereal, green peas, dried beans, one small dinner roll, 1/2 cup cooked pasta, 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, two rice cakes and 1/3 cup cooked rice. All these food items contains same amount of calories and you can exchange one with another.

In fruit group each exchange contains 60 calories. The list of foods in this group are; one small banana or apple or orange, one cup cubed watermelon, 1/2 cup canned pineapple, one medium peach, 1/2 large pear, two small plums and two tablespoon of raisins.

In vegetable group each exchange contains 5 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of proteins and 2 grams of fats. In your diet you can add one cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables. Starchy vegetables (like potatoes) are part of starch/bread list. This group contains non starchy vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, beets, cucumber, eggplant, onions, tomatoes etc.

In meat group lean meat contains 55 calories while low fat meat contains 75 calories. The food list is: one ounce skinless chicken, one large egg, one ounce fish (not fried), 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup tofu, one ounce lean beef etc.

The food list of milk group is: one cup skim milk, 1/3 cup dry nonfat milk, one cup low-fat buttermilk and one cup nonfat yogurt. Allowed fats are one tablespoon cream cheese, one teaspoon regular margarine, six almond or cashew nuts, 10 peanuts, two teaspoon peanut butter and one tablespoon regular salad dressing.

Based on this valuable information you can now prepare your very own diet plan.

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