The exchange diet is one that allows you to pick and choose the foods you eat from each
of the six food groups based on portion sizes. When you begin eating with this diet, it
may seem like a lot of work but as you get used to the portions sizes and the common
substitutions that you make it will get easier.
One of the benefits of the exchange diet it the flexibility you have in your meal planning.
As long as you are eating the correct number of exchanges from each food group you will
maintain better control of your blood glucose levels.
If you get bored quite easily by eating the same food day in and day out, the exchange
diet might be for you. There are endless possibilities to combine different foods together
at meal times. You can have broccoli for dinner three nights in a row but make it a
completely different meal each time. One night you can have one small potato, ½ cup of
steamed broccoli and a one ounce pork chop; the second night have ½ cup of cooked
pasta tossed with ½ cup of broccoli and one ounce of cooked chicken; and the third night
try 1/3 cup of rice mixed with ½ cup of broccoli and one ounce of lean ground beef.
The exchange diet also takes the guess work out of meal planning for diabetics. It is laid
out in a very straight forward and easy to understand manner. If there are foods that you
cannot find on the exchange list given to you by your dietician, call and find out which
group it belongs too and what a proper portion size is.
At first you should weigh and measure your foods to ensure you are using the proper
amounts but as time passes you will be able to do this by sight.