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Diabetic Exchange Lists

By on June 22, 2013

imagesOur massive diabetic exchange lists make following your diet easy! Don’t guess at exchange values or waste time calculating them yourself. Our food exchange lists are easy to follow include the most popular foods around.

As you know, there are six categories of foods in the traditional diabetes food pyramid. We have organized our list to mirror these six categories.

Everyone also wants to know about free foods, such as coffee and tea. We will deal with each one of these categories in turn.

Please Note: All of the exchange values provided below are for illustration purposes only. Any given food item may be more or less depending upon the individual ingredients. The values provided are to help you plan your meals, but you should always review individual food labels to confirm exchange values.

To see how this all comes together you can check out an example such as the 1,800 calorie diabetic diet plan or the 1,500 calorie diabetic diet plan.

STARCHES AND BREADS DIABETIC EXCHANGE LISTS

One Exchange Value serving typically should conform to the following:

Calories: 80
Protien: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Fat: minimal to none

When at all possible choose whole grain bread, pasta and cereal. Also, when evaluating breakfast cereals, make sure there is less than 5g of sugar per serving, otherwise you get “bumped up” into a higher number of exchange points.

You should also note that “starches” don’t just include the standard breads, pastas, and grains. They include high starch vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and some beans.

COMMON BREADS, ROLLS, PASTA, CEREAL LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Bread (white, wheat, etc.) 1 Slice English Muffin 1/2 Med.
Bread, Red. Cal. (40c per slice) 2 Slices Bagel 1/2 Med.
Bread, French/Italian 1 SliceRoll, Dinner 1 Small
Bread Crumbs 3 Tbs. Roll, Hambuger 1/2 Medium
Taco Shell 1 Fat, 1 Starch Roll, Hot Dog 1/2 Roll
Corn Tortilla 1 Fat, 1 Starch Cereal, cooked 1/2 Cup
Bran, Concentrated 1/3 Cup Pasta, cooked1/2 Cup

COMMON STARCHY VEGETABLES LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Corn, kernals 1/2 CupBeans, Lima 1/2 Cup
Corn, cob (5 x 1 inch) 1 Beans, split peas, lentils1/3 Cup cooked
Potato, mashed 1/2 CupRoll, Dinner 1 Small
Potato, baked 1/2 Medium Pumpkin 3/4 Cup
Sweet Potato, mashed1/2 cup
Squash, Acorn 3/4 Cup
Sweet Potato, baked 1/2 Medium Squash, Winter3/4 Cup
Peas2/3 Cup Squash, Butternut 3/4 Cup

COMMON GRAINS DIABETIC EXCHANGE LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Rice, white, brown 1/3 Cup cooked Barley, cooked 1/4 Cup
Rice, arborio 1/3 Cup Cornstarch 2 Tbs.
Rice, basmati, wild 1/3 Cup cooked Cornmeal, uncooked 2.5 Tbs.
Couscous 1/2 Cup cooked Flour 3 Tbs.
Kaska, cooked 1/3 Cup Quinona, uncooked 2 Tbs.

COMMON CRACKERS AND MISCELLANEOUS LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Popcorn, popped, no fat3 Cups Ginger Snaps 3
Popcorn, popped, light 3 Cups, 1 bread, 1 fatGraham Crackers 3
Matzo, whole wheat7Melba Toast, rectangles5
Matzo, regular 1Melba Toast, rounds 5
Rice Cakes, whole 2Saltines 6
Rice Cakes, mini 8Pretzels 3/4 oz.

FRUIT EXCHANGE LISTS

One Exchange Value serving typically should conform to the following:

Calories: 60
Protein: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Fat: 0 grams

As expected fresh fruit is the optimal choice. If you must eat other types (canned, frozen, etc.), make sure there is no sugar added.

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Apple 1 small Apricots4 Medium
Applesauce, unsweet. 1/2 Cup Banana, 9 inch1/2
Blackberries 3/4 Cup Cantaloupe, sectioned1/3 melon
Blueberries 3/4 Cup Cantaloupe, cubed1 cup
Boysenberries1 Cup Cherries, fresh12
Grapefruit, 4 inch 1/2 Dates3
Grapes 15Figs2 small
Guava 1.5 small Honeydew Melon 6.5 inch 1/8 Melon
Mango, whole 1/2 Honeydew Melon, cubed1 cup
Mango, cubed 1/2 CupKiwifruit1 large
Lemon 1 large Peach, 2.5 inch1
Orange, 3 inch 1Pear1 small
Nectarine, 2.5 inch1 Cup Papaya, 3.5 inch1/2
Pineapple, diced 3/4 Cup Papaya, cubed1 cup
Pineapple, canned 1/3 Cup Plum, 2 inch2
Pomegranate, 3.5 inch1/2 Prunes, medium3
Rasberries 1 Cup Raisins2 Tbs.
Strawberries 1 1/3 Cup Rhubarb, cubed3 cups
Tangerine, 2.5 inch 2 Watermelon, diced1 1/4 cup

COMMON FRUIT JUICES

Item
Item
Item
Serving
Apple Juice, unsweet.4 oz. Lemon Juice, unsweet. 6 oz.
Cranberry Juice, Low Cal. 10 oz. Orange Juice, unsweet. 4 oz.
Grape Juice, unsweet. 4 oz. Pineapple, Juice, unsweet. 4 oz.
Grapefruit Juice, unsweet. 5 oz. Prune Juice, unsweet. 3 oz.

VEGETABLE EXCHANGE LISTS

One Exchange Value serving typically should conform to the following:

Calories: 28
Protein: 2 grams
Carbohydrates 5 grams
Fat: 0 grams

Raw vegetables are considered the best choice, particularly dark leaf vegetables, such as spinach. Steaming vegetables is the next best preparation choice.

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Artichoke 1/2 Okra 1/2 Cup
Asparagus, chopped 1 Cup Onion 1/2 Cup
Bamboo Shoots 1/2 Cup Pea Pods, snow 1/2 Cup
Bean Sprouts 1/2 Cup Pepper, green, red, yellow1 Cup
Beets 1/2 Cup Radishes 1 Cup
Broccoli 1/2 Cup Rutabagas 1/2 Cup
Broccoli Rabe 1/2 Cup Sauerkraut 1/2 Cup
Brussels Sprouts1/2 Cup Scallions 1/2 Cup
Cabbage 1 Cup Spinach, cooked1/2 Cup
Carrots1/2 Cup Squash, Summer1 Cup
Cauliflower 1 Cup Squash, Zucchini 1 Cup
Celery1 Cup Tomato 1 medium
Collard Greens1 Cup Tomato, paste1.5 Tbs.
Egg Plant 1/2 Cup Tomato, sauce, can 1/3 Cup
Fennel, bulb 1/2 Cup Tomato, juice 1/2 Cup
Garlic 5 cloves Turnips 1/2 Cup
Green Beans1 Cup vegetables, mixed 1/4 Cup
Kale 1/2 Cup Vegetable, juice 1/2 Cup
Leeks1/2 Cup Wax Beans 1 Cup
Mushrooms, Fresh1 Cup Water Chestnuts5 Whole
Mustard Greens, cooked 1 Cup Chili Pepper 5 small

LOW CARB AND LOW CAL VEGETABLE

Some vegetables have very little carbohydrates or calories. They are not technically “free” foods as outlined below, but if eaten raw they may be eaten in greater quantity. This does not mean you can eat 12 lettuce heads in one sitting, but generally you do not have to stress over the serving size like other foods.

Alfalfa SproutsLettuce
ChicoryParsley
Chinese CabbagePickes, unsweet.
CucumberPimiento
EndiveSpinach
EscaroleWatercress

MEAT AND MEAT SUBSTITUTES EXCHANGE LISTS

Meat and Meat Substitutes are a little more involved for determining One Exchange Value of any given serving. The conventional wisdom is that meat exchange values are determined based on their fat content as follows:

 
Nonfat
Low Fat
Medium Fat
Higher Fat
Calories 40-45 5575100
Protein7g 7g 7g 7g
Carbohydrates0g 0g 0g 0g
Fat0g 3g 5g 8g

High fat meat choices should be rare occasions. If at all possible stick with low fat options. Also, avoid frying meat and try to bake, barbeque or broil when cooking.

If eating hamburger, you may also want to rinse the meat after you cook it. This will remove a tremendous amount of the fat. Lastly, trim any excess fat before cooking.

NO FAT MEAT AND MEAT SUBSTITUTES

Item
Serving
Cheese, fat free 1 oz.
Cottage Cheese, fat free 1/4 Cup
Ricotta, 100% Skim 1 oz.

The above diabetic exchange lists should get you started toward implementing your exchange diet. However, as you may have determined, many of the foods we eat come already prepared.

Initially, it will take some time to figure the appropriate exchange value, but the reward will be well worth it. Great health and feeling great!

LOW FAT MEAT AND MEAT SUBSTITUTES EXCHANGE LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Cottage Cheese, 1% Fat 1/4 Cup Pork, tenderloin, trimmed 1 oz.
Cheese, low fat 1 oz. Poultry, chicken, no skin 1 oz.
Beans, dried, cooked 1/2 Cup (1 meat, 1 starch)Poultry, turkey, no skin 1 oz.
Egg, substitute, raw 1/4 Cup (55 cal.) Ground Chicken 1 oz.
Fish and Shellfish 1 oz. Ground Turkey 1 oz.
Tuna, water packed 1/4 Cup Canadian Bacon 1 oz.
Lunch Meat, 95% fat free1 oz. Tofu 3 oz.

MEDIUM FAT MEAT AND MEAT SUBSTITUTES EXCHANGE LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Beef, chipped 1 oz. Veal, no breast 1 oz.
Beef, flank steak1 oz. Cheese, mozzarella part skim 1 oz.
Beef, hamburger 15% fat1 oz. Cheese, ricotta part skim1 oz.
Beef, rin eye 1 oz. Cheese, processed lite 1 oz.
Beef, sirloin 1 oz. Cheese, lite 1 oz.
Beef, tederloin 1 oz. Parmesan 3 Tbs.
Beef, top round 1 oz. Romano 3 Tbs.
Beef, bottom round1 oz. Egg 1
Lamb, non breast 1 oz. Egg, substitute (56-80 cal.) 1/4 cup, raw
Pork, ground 1 oz. Lunch Meat, 86% lean 1 oz.
pork, sparerib 1 oz. Turkey Bacon 2 slices
pork, tenderloin 1 oz. Peanut Butter 1 Tbs., 1 meat, 1 fat

HIGHER FAT MEAT AND MEAT SUBSTITUTES

Eat these meats only infrequently. The saturated fat content is not good for you.

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Beef, brisket 1 oz. Cheese, blue 1 oz.
Beef, rib steak 1 oz. Cheese, brie 1 oz.
Beef, corned beef 1 oz. Cheese, cheddar 1 oz.
Beef, hamburger 80% lean 1 oz. cheese, colby 1 oz.
Beef, rib roast 1 oz. cheese, colby 1 oz.
Lamb, breast 1 oz. Cheese, monterey jack 1 oz.
Pork, ground 1 oz. Cheese, provolone 1 oz.
Pork, spareribs 1 oz. Cheese, swiss 1 oz.
Pork, sausage (link, patty) 1 oz. Cheese, processed1 oz.
Veal, breast 1 oz. Cheese, low fat goat 1 oz.
Poultry, duck 1 oz. Organ Meat, liver, kidney, heart 1 oz.
Poultry, goose 1 oz. Fried Fish 1 oz.

DIARY DIABETIC EXCHANGE LISTS

Dairy Exchange Value per serving is split into nonfat, low fat and medium to high fat categories.

Dairy choices are best if nonfat or low fat. The key is also to avoid as much, or all saturated fat in this category. If you are not a big dairy consumer, make sure you take a calcium supplement. Amongst other things, this will help with avoiding or minimizing diabetes and osteoporosis.

One Exchange Value serving typically should conform to the following:

 
Nonfat
Low Fat
Med. - High Fat
Calories80107125-150
Protein8g 8g 8g
Carbohydrates12g 12g 12g
Fat035-8

NONFAT DAIRY

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Skim Milk 8 oz. Low-Fat Milk, 0.5% 8 oz.
Nonfat Yogurt, Plain 8 oz. Lactaid Milk, skim 8 oz.
Canned Evaporated Milk 4 oz.

LOW FAT DAIRY

Item
Serving
Low Fat Milk, 1% 8 oz.
Yogurt, plain8 oz.
Lactaid Milk, 1% 8 oz.

MEDIUM TO HIGH FAT DAIRY

Item
Serving
Low Fat Milk, 2% 8 oz.
Whole Milk8 oz.

Fats

One Exchange Value serving typically should conform to the following:

Calories: 45
Protein: 0
Carbohydrates: 0
Fat: 5

Try and choose unsaturated or low saturated fat choices. Better cooking oil choices including safflower, olive, canola, etc.

LOWER OR SATURATED FAT LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Avocado, 4 inch1/8Nuts, Pecans2 whole
Margarine1 Tsp.Nuts, Pine Nuts1 Tbs.
Mayo1 Tsp.Nuts, Pistachio12 whole
Mayo, Reduced Calorie1 Tbs.Nuts, Walnuts2 whole
Nondairy Creamer2 Tbs.Oils, olive, safflower, canola1 Tsp.
Nondairy Creamer, lite5 Tbs.Oil, corn sunflower1 Tsp.
Nuts, Almonds6 wholeOlives, green5 small
Nuts, Brazil2 med.Olives, black2 large
Nuts, cashews5-8 wholeDressing, Italian1Tbs.
Nuts, Hazelnuts5 wholeDressing, mayo based2 Tsp.
Nuts, Macadamia3 wholeSeeds, sunflower1 Tbs.
Nuts, peanuts, Spanish20 wholeSeeds, Pumpkin2 Tsp.
Nuts, peanuts, Virginia10 wholeSeeds, Sesame1 Tbs.

MEDIUM OR HIGHER SATURATED FAT LISTS

Item
Serving
Item
Serving
Butter1 Tsp.Cream, light1.5 Tbs.
Bacon, crisp1 stripCream, sour2 Tbs.
Coconut, shredded2 Tbs.Cream, whipped, can1/3 cup
Nondairy Whipped Topping3 Tbs.Cream Cheese1 Tbs.
Cream, half and half2 Tbs.Margarine1 Tsp.
Cream, Heavy1 Tbs.Oil, palm, coconut1 Tsp.

FREE FOODS LIST

Finally, if you have read this far, you are now rewarded with some free food items!! Wahoo!! They may not seem like much, but let’s take what we can get. If the item has an * next to it, it has high sodium, so be careful.

The following items have very few calories and are considered free!.

Bouillon CubesBroth, ClearSoda, no calorie
CoffeeCranberries, unsweet.Most Extracts
Most HerbsHorseradishLime Juice
Most MustardsSugar SubstitutesPickles, unsweet.
Soy SauceSteak Sauce, mostTabasco Sauce
Taco SauceTeaVinegar, most

SUMMARY

The above diabetic exchange lists should get you started toward implementing your exchange diet. However, as you may have determined, many of the foods we eat come already prepared.

Initially, it will take some time to figure the appropriate exchange value, but the reward will be well worth it. Great health and feeling great!

SOURCES:

Joslin Diabetes Gourmet Cookbook, Polin, Bonnie Sanders, Towner, Frances, Bantam Books, 1993.

Mayoclinic.com (accessed August 2012).

Nutrition.gov (accessed August 2012).

By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed May 2013.