The Diabetic Exchange List
*The Exchange Lists are the basis of a meal planning system designed by a
committee of the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic
Association. While designed primarily for people with diabetes and others
who must follow special diets, the Exchange Lists are based on principles of
good nutrition that apply to everyone.
The Exchange Lists
The reason for dividing food into six different groups is that foods vary in
their carbohydrate, protein, fat, and calorie content. Each exchange list
contains foods that are alike; each food choice on a list contains about the
same amount of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and calories as the other choices
on that list.
The following chart shows the amounts of nutrients in one serving from each
exchange list. As you read the exchange lists, you will notice that one choice
is often a larger amount of food than another choice from the same list.
Because foods are so different, each food is measured or weighed so that the
amounts of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and calories are the same in each