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 portion’s 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. If 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 mealtimes. 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.