|WEIGHTS, MEASURES, AND THE METRIC SYSTEM
The care provider who is planning meals for a diabetic needs to
know something about food values. The following tables will help
determine measurements for carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Also
included are equivalents for most of the measures used in these
tables. Be sure to use standard measuring utensils, such as an 8-ounce
measuring cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, and the like. (Drug and discount
stores also carry a set of measuring spoons covering sizes from
18 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon.) It is also a good idea to remeasure
after cooking. There are a few foods that need not be measured;
these are noted in the Exchange Lists.
EVERYDAY WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons = 18 cup
4 tablespoons = 14 cup
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 13 cup
8 tablespoons = 12 cup
12 tablespoons = 34 cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
2 cups = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
1 fluid ounce = 12 tablespoons
16 ounces = 1 pound
1 pound butter or margarine = 4 sticks, 2 cups, or 64 pats or squares
1 stick butter = 12 cup (approximate) or 16 pats or squares
Dash or few grains = up to 18 teaspoon
The metric system is based on units of 10. For liquid measure,
the simple metric unit is the liter, which is just a little larger
than our quart. One teaspoon is equivalent to 5 milliliters (or
5 cubic centimeters a unit that drug dispensers prefer).
Units of Measure
1 milliliter = 1 cubic centimeter
1000 milliliters = 1 liter
1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters
1 tablespoon = 15milliliters
1 cup = 0.24 liter
1 pint = 0.47 liter
1 quart = 0.946 liter
1 gallon = 3.8 liters
1 fluid ounce = 29.57 milliliters
The basic unit of metric weight is the gram; this unit is approximately
one-thirtieth of an avoirdupois ounce and is mostly used in pharmaceutical
and scientific work. The more convenient unit is the kilogram, weighing
approximately 2.2 pounds.
Units of Measure
1000 milligrams = 1 gram
100 centigrams = 1 gram
1000 grams = 1 kilogram
1 ounce = 28.35 grams
1 pound = 0.45 kilograms
2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram
1 gram carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 gram fat = 9 calories
1 gram protein = 4 calories
1 cup nondairy whip = 160 calories (approximately)
Examples: 1 teaspoon sugar is 5 grams carbohydrate (20 calories)
1 teaspoon margarine or butter is 5 grams fat
Most foods should be measured. You will need a standard 8-ounce
measuring cup, measuring teaspoon, and tablespoon, and an ounce
or gram scale. All measurements are level. Most foods are measured
Careful measurement is more important for meat and fat quantities
than for fruit, juices, and starches. Careful measuring of vegetables
is less important as they generally are low in calories and fat.
It is important to measure foods at the beginning so you become
acquainted with real serving sizes. (However, it really isnt
necessary for you to weigh every bean!)
Meats may be baked, boiled, roasted or broiled (indoors or on an
outdoor grill). Do not fry foods except in fat exchanges allowed
for that meal. Vegetables may be prepared with the family meals,
but the portion for the diabetic should be removed before extra
fat exchanges or bread exchanges are added. Fat allowed in your
diet may be used to season vegetables. Vegetables may be cooked
in bouillon or fat-free meat broth if desired.
It is not necessary to buy special foods. Select the diet from
the same foods purchased for the rest of the familymilk, vegetables,
bread, meats, fats, and fruit (fresh, dried, or canned without sugar).
Special dietetic foods should be used with discretion;
always check the labels of these foods for protein, carbohydrate,
fat, and calorie content. Be sure additional calories in special
diet foods are figured in the diet.
NOTE: Scientific tests indicate that saccharin may be dangerous
to your health and, taken in large quantities, may be cancer causing.
Its use is cautioned because of its ability to cause cancer in experimental
Seasonings: Cinnamon, celery salt, garlic, garlic salt, lemon,
mustard, mint, nutmeg, parsley, pepper, sugarless sweeteners, spices,
vanilla, and vinegar. Other foods: Coffee or tea (without sugar
or cream), fat-free broth, bouillon, unflavored gelatin, sour or
dill pickles, cranberries (with nonnutritive sweetener or sugar
FOODS TO AVOID
Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages.
Sugar. New research shows that all carbohydrates are digested at
about the same speed. Whether the carbohydrate is simple (like sugar)
or complex (like bread) doesnt matter. Both kinds raise your
glucose levels at about the same rate.
For this reason, sugar is no longer a no-no. But you must work
it into your food plan in place of other carbohydrates. Ask your
dietitian to show you how.
Also, keep in mind that sugar has calories but no vitamins. Foods
with sugar often have fat as well. The American Diabetes Association
considers some artificial sweeteners safe in moderate amounts. These
include saccharin, aspartame (NutraSweet), and acesulfame potassium
SPECIAL NOTE: Negligible (trace) and less than 18 exchanges are
not figured in the recipes in this book.
Calories are rounded off.
The following pages and the recipes in this book are based on the
1995 version of the Exchange Lists for Meal Planning.
Your registered dietitian or doctor will select items from the
following food groups according to their carbohydrate, fat, and
protein content, calorie count, and so on. To ensure good nutrition,
your diet should include the same essential foods, sometimes referred
to as the basic six, recommended for everyone:
4. Starches (cereals, bread, starchy vegetables)
Foods on the same list have about the same nutritional value. The
groupings are called exchange lists because one food
may be exchanged for another on the same list, but foods on one
list may not be exchanged for foods on another list. Each diet plan
includes foods from all exchange lists to give variety.
The diabetic person on a rigid restricted-calorie diet should avoid
too many bread, fat, and meat exchanges. The calorie counts and
exchanges have been calculated from the diabetic exchange lists
found on the next few pages. Different exchange groupings vary slightly.
It is imperative that a diabetic follow the calorie prescription
given him or her by the doctor and the exchange lists that are included
with his or her own diet order. (A strict diabetic should recalculate
these recipes if using a different exchange system.) Different methods
of recipe preparation, interpretation of ingredients, types of nonnutritive
sweeteners (both liquid and granulated), and so on, will vary the
volume of the recipe and approximate yield. If the yield is different,
the calories of the recipe need to be recalculated, and the exchanges
EXCHANGE LISTS FOR MEAL PLANNING
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. Copyright
(c) 1986 American Diabetes Association, The American Dietetic Association.
An exchange is a measured portion of food. The size
or quantity of each exchange on the list is already developed for
you in easy household measurements.
One of the most important aspects of diabetes management is dietary
care. The food exchanges are lists of foods grouped by similar values
of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats so that one food can be substituted
for another in your daily meal plans. Foods have been divided into
six categoriesmilks, vegetables, fruits, breads, meats, and
fats. Foods in any one group can be substituted or exchanged with
other foods within the same group.
We suggest that you consult your physician or nutritionist about
your meal plan. You will be told how many exchanges you can have
from each of the six lists, taking into account how many calories
will be best for you. The number of calories will be based on your
health, energy needs, and physical activities.
Copyright 2001 by Billie Little Preface by Selvyn B. Bleifer, M.D.