Food Exchange Lists*

Use the Food Exchange lists below to follow your meal plan. Always consult your diabetes care team before making any changes to your meal plan. Click on one of the main food groups below to see lists of foods that have the same amount of carbohydrates. When you are planning a meal, you can substitute any food on the list for another on the same list.

Starches
Examples include: bread; matzoh; tortillas; cereals; rice; beans; vegetables such as potatoes and corn.

Fruit
Examples include: fresh cherries, grapes, and watermelon; canned pears; dried apples; applesauce; fruit cocktail; raisins; orange juice.

Milk
Examples include: fat-free, 1%, 2%, and whole milk; evaporated milk; buttermilk; plain yogurt; kefir.

Sweets, desserts, and other carbohydrates
Examples include: cake; cookies; fruit spreads; granola bars; honey; hummus; ice cream; potato chips; spaghetti sauce; frozen yogurt.

Vegetables
Examples include: artichokes; asparagus; canned tomatoes; celery; salad greens; sauerkraut; water chestnuts.

Meat and meat substitutes
Examples include: beef, pork, lamb, and veal; poultry; fish and shellfish; egg whites; cheese; sandwich meats; tofu.

Fat
Examples include: avocado; mayonnaise; salad dressing; nuts and seeds; oil; olives; butter and margarine; peanut butter; coconut; lard.

Free foods
Examples include: fat-free mayonnaise; fat-free salad dressing; salsa; sugar-free candy and gum; catsup and mustard; coffee and tea; cooking wine.

Combination foods
Examples include: bean, split pea, tomato, and chicken noodle soups; tuna and chicken salad; frozen dinners.

Fast foods
Examples include: burritos with beef; chicken nuggets; grilled chicken sandwiches; French fries; hamburgers; hot dogs; pizza.

*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 meal plans, the Exchange Lists are based on principles of good nutrition that apply to everyone. Copyright © 2008 by the American Diabetes Association and The American Dietetic Association.

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