Fat, for example, has more than twice the calories, gram for gram, as equal amounts of carbohydrates or protein. Choosing the right balance depends on your calorie goals, body weight, lipid profile, and your personal preferences. During digestion, both forms of carbohydrate break down in your body to single units of sugar, called glucose.
Similarly, if you have type 2 diabetes, and are treated with medications that cause insulin to be released from the pancreas (Insulin Secretagogues), or insulin, you also must match your carbohydrate intake to your medication dose. Carbohydrates are counted in grams, which is a measure of weight – and even a few grams more or less can make a difference in your blood sugar reading. It is important to eat a varied and well-balanced diet, especially when you are trying to lose weight to manage your diabetes.
In the exchange system, foods with a similar amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat per serving size are grouped together. Think about your usual foods and food preferences, and locate where each food falls on the exchange list. Familiarize yourself with the specific serving sizes listed for each food item that equal one exchange.
Learn the number of exchanges you need from each food list to plan your daily meals and snacks. It may seem overwhelming at first – but like any new skill, with practice it becomes second nature.
Carbohydrate is an important part of your diet because the most common sugar unit, glucose, is your body’s preferred source of energy or fuel.


Just be able to identify which foods have carbohydrates, and then control the amount you eat. Get what you need from low-fat protein sources like lean meats, poultry and fish, low fat or nonfat dairy products, and vegetarian protein sources like tofu.
The foods within each list can be “exchanged” for one another during meal planning and end up with about the same amount of calories and nutrients. The exchange system is designed to help you eat a balanced diet with the right amounts of carbohydrate, protein and fat.
Then look across the table to see how many starch, fruit, milk, vegetable, meat and protein, and fat exchanges you can have.
Your registered dietitian can help you choose a calorie goal and meal plan that keeps your food, medication and physical activity in mind. To find out how much you have learned about Understanding Food, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section. Milk, yogurt, hard cheeses, fortified cereals, spinachThe amount of energy and nutrients required for optimum health varies from person to person.
Limiting the fat you eat will help you control your weight and prevent heart and blood vessel disease. There are a variety of meal planning tools that you can use to help plan healthy, balanced meals.
This system emphasizes the importance of daily exercise, eating more whole grains, lower fat dairy products and leaner meats. These are the total portions or exchanges for the entire day – and should be divided up between the different meals and snacks.


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So excess protein from animal sources can mean excess calories and fat – which means a greater chance at gaining weight.
For examples of 1200 calorie and 1600 calorie meal plans using the exchange lists, see the links below the table.
They’ve been listed in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) for six years with patented formulas. Please make reference to the list below for your help guide to getting optimal vitamins and minerals from food sources. Water-soluble vitamins, including vitamins C and B groups, aren’t so easily stored and daily consumption of these is essential. Any vitamin C or B that the body doesn’t use because it passes through your system sheds (mostly when you pee). Which means you need a fresh way to obtain these vitamins every single day.Role Of Vitamins and MineralsVitamins and minerals raise the immune system, support normal development and growth, and help cells and organs do their jobs.
Carrots are filled with substances called carotenoids that the body converts into vitamin A, which will help prevent eye problems.vitamins and minerals sourceAnother vitamin, vitamin K, helps blood to clot (so cuts and scrapes stop bleeding quickly).



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