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What are the risks of meal planning with diabetes exchanges?

Amy Campbell
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

Using the exchange system for meal planning can be a very helpful and nutritionally balanced way to plan your meals and help you manage your diabetes. There really are no risks involved with using this approach, although some people may initially find it to be confusing. With exchanges, foods are groups into different categories:  starches, fruits, milk, other carbs, vegetables, meat/protein and fat. A dietitian will help determine how many servings or "exchanges" you need from each of the food groups. You can exchange foods within a particular food group. For example, instead of one slice of bread, you might eat 1/3 cup of rice. Many people do quite well with this meal planning approach although others find carbohydrate counting to be somewhat easier and more flexible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.