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Diabetic Diet Exchange

Diabetics and their families are probably the most familiar with the diabetic diet exchange method of meal planning. The diabetic diet exchange method assigns foods to certain groups based on their effects on blood glucose levels. Using an allotted number of exchanges, diabetics build recipes and meals that meet their own individual diabetic needs.

The diabetic diet exchange method was developed as a joint effort between the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association. The method has been used for several decades and has recently been reformatted to include a wider variety of commonly consumed foods including fast foods, which reflects the changes in foods that are marketed specifically to diabetics and the need for variety in today’s busy lifestyles. Additionally, many individuals, not just diabetics, are making more thoughtful food choices. Decades of poor food choices have infected the nation with several food-related disorders. Because of this, several health organizations have launched campaigns to educate consumers. Consumers have responded by demanding that food manufacturers provide healthy foods. Several major food manufactures have met the challenge resulting in the need for an updated diabetic diet exchange listing that includes more low fat and reduced sugar foods as well as fast foods. The new diabetic diet exchange includes more listings for lean meats, carbohydrate controlled foods, and foods for vegetarian diets.

The diabetic diet exchange method works by assigning foods to six different categories – starch/bread, cereals, and grains group; meat and proteins group, vegetable group, fruit group, milk group, and the fat group. Each food is assigned a quantity that makes it equal to one exchange. Review the following examples from each group…

 

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