Diabetic Exchange- What’s It All About?



To make sugar and carbohydrate management easy a diet known as diabetic exchange was designed. 

The diabetic exchange diet was created so that diabetics have a better control of the quantity of cholesterol and sugar consumed.

Successful use of the diabetic exchange can give the diabetic better control of his or her blood glucose levels and weight.

It is important to measure carefully the food in this diabetic exchange diet, and, normally, you are advised to have only one snack with three meals each day.

With diabetic exchange, your foods are grouped into six particular types and each serving size is measured.

The right portion of any of the six groups of foods forms a balanced diet. Your dietitian informs you how many servings of each group of food you should take a day.

In order to get variety, you can replace food with another food belonging to the same group. Each drink and food has to be measured carefully.


Diabetic Exchange Grouping of Food

The list given does not cover everything although there is lots of variety that is in accordance to the diabetic exchange diet.

Although certain foods have been left out, they may be suitable for the diabetic. However, those given under the €˜”prohibited list”€™ must not be eaten by diabetics following the diabetic exchange diet.

It must be added here that a food not listed as prohibited does not mean that it is suitable as the list does not cover all prohibited items.

How to Use Exchange Method for Diabetes – Video Guide


Bread and Starch

  •   Cooked lima beans, half a cup.
  •   Cooked pasta, half a cup.
  •   Pita bread, a three-inch piece.
  •   A small jacket potato.
  •   Mashed potatoes, half a cup.
  •   Cooked rice, one-third cup.
  •   Cooked green peas, half a cup.
  •   A hamburger, half of it.
  •   Hot dog bun, half of it.
  •   Rice cakes, two.
  •   Small round tortilla, a six-inch piece.
  •   Cooked winter squash, half a cup.
  •   3-inch bagel, half a piece.
  •   Normal sized bread, a slice.
  •   Cooked cereal, half a cup.
  •   Corn, half a cup.
  •   Corn on the cob,  one medium-sized.
  •   Saltine crackers, six pieces.
  •   Half-inch square crackers, 2 pieces.
  •   Small dinner roll, a piece.
  •   Cooked dried beans which can be navy, white, chick peas, lentils, pinto or kidney, half a cup.
  •   English muffin, half a muffin.



  •   Small apple, one fruit.
  •   Five-inch banana, one fruit.
  •   Nine-inch banana, half a fruit.
  •   White or red grapes, 12 large or 17 small fruits.
  •   Kiwi fruit, one fruit.
  •   Melon such as honeydew or cantaloupe, one cup.
  •   Small orange, one fruit.
  •   Medium-sized peach, one fruit.
  •   Tinned pineapple, half a cup.
  •   Plums, two fruits.
  •   Dried prunes, three fruits.
  •   Raisins, two tablespoons.
  •   Whole strawberries, one and a quarter cup.
  •   Cubed watermelon, one and a quarter cup.



In accordance with the diet, you can have either one cup raw vegetables or half a cup cooked vegetable.

  • Kale.
  • Celery.
  • Turnips.
  • Carrots.
  • Broccoli.
  • Cabbage.
  • Radishes.
  • Eggplant.
  • Cucumber.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Asparagus.
  • Pea pods.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Green beans.
  • Collard greens.
  • Turnip greens.
  • Summer squash.
  • Zucchini squash.
  • White and red onions.
  • Tinned or fresh tomatoes.
  • Green, yellow and red peppers.
  • Mixed vegetables with less peas and corn.
  • Salad greens such as spinach, watercress and lettuce.



  •   1-percent, or 2-percent skimmed milk, one cup.
  •   Sugar-free or non-fat plain yogurt, one cup.
  •   Non-fat dry milk, one-third cup.
  •   Low-fat or skimmed buttermilk, one cup.


Meat or Meat Substitutes

  •   Canned tuna or salmon, a quarter cup.
  •   Skinless chicken, one ounce.
  •   Large egg, one (take less than 3 times a week).
  •   Egg substitute, a quarter cup (take less than 3 times a week).
  •   Fish that is not fried or breaded, one ounce.
  •   Lean pork or beef, one ounce.
  •   Low-fat cottage cheese, one quarter cup.
  •  Low-fat solid cheese, one ounce or one 1-inch cube.
  •   Tofu, half a cup.
  •   Skinless turkey, one ounce.



  •   A medium avocado, one-eighth portion.
  •   Regular cream cheese, a tablespoon.
  •   Low-fat cream cheese, two tablespoons.
  •   Regular margarine, one tablespoon.
  •   Low-fat margarine, two teaspoons.
  •   Regular or low-fat mayonnaise, one tablespoon.
  •   Cashew nuts or almonds, six nuts.
  •   Peanuts, ten.
  •   Pecan nuts, four halves.
  •   Olive oil, corn oil, canola oil or other oils, one tablespoon.
  •   Peanut butter, two tablespoons.
  •   Regular salad dressing, one tablespoon.
  •   Low-fat salad dressing, two tablespoons.


Prohibited List (The listed food should be avoided.)

  • Pie
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Pastries
  • Ice cream
  • Sweet rolls
  • Jelly and jam
  • Sugar-coated cereals
  • Regular fizzy drinks


Beverages and foods containing:

  •   Syrup
  •   Honey
  •   Sucrose
  •   Glucose
  •   Maltose
  •   Molasses
  •   Fructose
  •   Dextrose
  •   Corn syrup.
  •   High fructose corn syrup.
  •   Powdered, corn and brown sugar.
*** Posted By Natasha A.Nada ***