Food Exchanges

Food Exchange US Unit Metric Comments
Starches (6 or more exchanges)

80 Calories
15g Carb., 3g Protein, 1g Fat
  • bread
  • breads, other
  • tortilla
  • crackers
  • cooked cereals
  • dry cereals
  • dry cereals, unsweeted
  • dry flour or grain
  • pasta
  • rice
  • corn
  • popcorn
  • potato (small)
  • potato, mashed
  • sweet potato
  • squash, winter
  • cooked beans, peas, lentils (add 1 meat exchange)
1 slice
1 oz
1 (6")
4-6 (3/4 oz)
1/2 cup
3/4 cup
1/2 cup
3 Tbsp
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
3 cups
1 (3 oz)
1/2 cup
1/3 cup
1 cup
1/2 cup
1 slice
30 g
1 (15 cm)
4-6 (20 g)
125 ml
175 ml
125 ml
45 ml
125 ml
125 ml
125 ml
720 ml
1 (85 g)
125 ml
80 ml
250 ml
125 ml
  • Most starches are a good source of B vitamins
  • Choose whole grain foods such as 100% whole wheat bread and flour, brown rice, tortillas, etc. for nutrients and fiber.
  • Combine beans (starch & meat) with grains (starch) for their complimentary proteins and fiber
  • Combine grains (starch) with milk (milk) or cheese (meat) to compliment proteins.
  • Add 1 fat exchange for starchy foods prepared with fat.
Vegetables (3-5 exchanges)

25 Calories
5g., 2g., Protein
  • raw vegetables
  • cooked vegetables
  • tomato or vegetable juice
1 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
250 ml
125 ml
125 ml
  • Choose more dark green leafy and deep yellow vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, and peppers.
Fruit (2-4 exchanges)

60 Calories
15g Carb.
  • fresh fruit
  • melon (cubes)
  • canned fruit
  • dried fruit
  • fruit juice
1 small
12 oz (1 cup)
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
1/2 cup
1 small
360 g (250 ml)
125 ml
60 ml
125 ml
  • Choose whole fruits for fiber
  • Choose citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, or tangerines
Meat & Substitutes (5-7 exchanges)

35-145 Calories
7g Protein, 0-13g Fat
  • meat, poultry, fish
  • cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • egg
  • peanut butter
  • tofu
  • cooked beans, peas, lentils (add 1 starch)
1 oz
1 oz
1/4 cup
1
1.5 Tbsp
4 oz (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup
30 g
30 g
60 ml
1
22 ml
115 g (125 ml)
125 ml
  • Choose leaner meats such as chicken, fish, and lean cuts of meat; add fat exchange for higher fat meats and substitutes.
  • Remove skin from poultry.
  • Limit frying or adding fat.
  • Have 2 servings of fish per week for Omega 3 fatty acid.
Milk (2-3 exchanges)

80-150 Calories
12g., Carb., 8g., Protein, 0-8g., Fat
  • milk
  • yogurt
1 cup
1 cup
250 ml
250 ml
  • Choose lower fat milks; add fat exchange for higher fat milk.
Fat (use sparingly)

45 Calories
5g. Fat
  • oil
  • mayonnaise
  • cream cheese
  • salad dressing
  • peanuts
  • avocado
  • butter or margarine
  • higer fat exchange additional)
1 tsp
1 tsp
1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
10
1/8
1 tsp
1 exchange
5 ml
5 ml
15 ml
15 ml
10
1/8
5 ml
1 exchange
  • Eat less fat.
  • Eat less saturated fat such as animal fat found in fatter meat, cheese, and butter. Also eat less hydrogenated fat.
  • Check Nutrition Facts on food labels; 5 g Fat = 1 Fat exchange.
Sweets (use sparingly)

Calories vary
15g., Carb., Protein &Fat varies
  • ice cream
  • cookies
  • syrup
  • jam or jelly
  • sugar
  • pudding
  • muffin or cupcake
1/2 cup
2 small
1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
2 Tbsp
1/4 cup
1/2 small
125 ml
2 small
15 ml
15 ml
30 ml
60 ml
1/2 small
  • Choose sweets sparingly because they are high in fat or sugar.
  • Can be substituted for a 1 Starch, Fruit, or Milk exchange.
  • Add 1 or 2 Fat exchanges for sweets containing fat.

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