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  • Should You Trade In Your Diet?

    Learn how to manage blood sugar with the Exchange plan. You'll know know exactly what to eat, be able to prepare food at home and won't waste time counting carbs.

  • Don’t you just hate the idea of a diet? Luckily there’s no “Diabetes Diet.” That’s because following a diet implies that it will end at a certain point. To manage blood sugar, it’s best to eat healthy for a lifetime.

    A traditional approach to eating healthy is the Exchange plan. This plan is for you if you want to know exactly what to eat every day, eat foods prepared at home and don’t want to count carbs.

    The Basics

    In the Exchange plan, foods are divided into six groups (fruit, starches, dairy, vegetables, meat, fats, goodies and “freebies”). There is a specific portion detailed for each item. When eaten in the amount listed, the foods in each group have similar amounts of carbohydrate, protein, fat and calories.

    People get hung up with the name “exchange.” It simply means you trade one food for another. Take a look at the Fruit Exchanges below to make sense of it all.

    One Fruit Exchange:

    • 1 apple OR
    • 1/2 cup blueberries OR
    • 1 cup cantaloupe OR
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

    Sample plan: one fruit at breakfast.

    • On the first day, eat an apple at breakfast
    • On the second day, eat one cup of cantaloupe at breakfast
    • Do so and you have successfully followed the Exchange

    Is It for You?

    Some people find the Exchange works for them. It’s not for everyone, since there are limitations. The Exchange lists are fairly comprehensive, but simply cannot detail all foods found on supermarket shelves. Also, those experiencing problems with blood sugar swings really do need to know the exact carb amounts of foods. For those taking insulin, it is especially important to know the exact amount of carbs to determine insulin-to-carb ratios. In those cases, you may want to learn more about Carb Counting or Choices. Work with your dietitian to determine which plan would be best for you.

    Healthy Goals

    Help manage blood sugar and eat healthy for a lifetime with these goals:

    • Eat at about the same time daily
    • Enjoy a variety of foods
    • Don’t skip meals
    • Plan ahead
    • Even out carbs throughout the day
    • Control portions
    • Eat high-fiber and heart-healthy fat
    • Watch calories to manage weight

  • Used with permission. ©2014 Walmart. All Rights Reserved. 

     
    Important Walmart Disclaimer: All content provided is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a medical professional. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking any diet, exercise or health program, or before using any prescription or over-the-counter drug. Neither the author nor Walmart.com assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter. Walmart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site. If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all products prior to consumption. If the ingredient list is not available on the product, check with the product manufacturer, or do not consume the product.

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  • Dieting & Exercise Are Easier at Walmart
    Whether you want to lose weight or start working out, our Diet & Exercise Wellness Shop can help. Find great prices on the best in diet and weight management, nutritional bars and sports nutrition. Get expert information and tips, or check out the Diet & Exercise Buying Guide to find the best products for your needs. You can even make an investment in your health by shopping for bikes, exercise equipment or bathroom scales.