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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.
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:
Sample plan: one fruit at breakfast.
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.
Help manage blood sugar and eat healthy for a lifetime with these goals: