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  » Diet Information  »  Weight-maintenance diabetic diet
Method of constructing the diet restricted in carbohydrate containing approximately 1800 kcal (7560 kJ) with 230 g carbohydrate, 72 g protein and 66 g fat suitable for adults with diabetic mellitus.

Use is made of the Atwater calorie conversion factors of 4,4 and 9 kcal/g for carbohydrate, protein and fat respectively. Each carbohydrate exchange contains approximately 10 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g protein and 0.3 g fat. Calorie value is about 50 (equivalent to 20 g bread).
Each protein exchange contains approximately 20 g 7 g protein and 5 g fat. Calorie value is about 70 (equivalent to 30 g meat).
Each fat exchange contains approximately 12 g fat and almost no carbohydrate or protein. Calorie value is about 110 (equivalent to 1/2 oz butter). One pint of milk contains approximately 30 g carbohydrate, 18 g protein and 24 g fat. Calorie value is about 400.
In practice, for quick construction of a diabetic diet it is usually only necessary to work in terms of grams of carbohydrate and total calories. Thus, a diet prescription for 230 g carbohydrate, 1800 kcal would be calculated as follows:

1. The daily intake of carbohydrate (230 g) represents 23 carbohydrate exchanges.

2. The daily allowance of milk is decided, either on the basis of the patient's food habits or special requirements. In this example it is 400 ml (2/3 pint), which contains 2 carbohydrate exchanges, leaving 21 for distribution throughout the day.

3. The daily allowance of protein is then decided. Four protein exchanges will provide 280 kcal.

4. The calories allocated so far amount to 1590; a further 220 kcal are needed to bring the total up to approximately 1800 kcal. This must be provided by fat. As one fat exchange provides 110 kcal, two are needed.

Exchanges Grams of
Carbohydrate
kcal
400 ml (2/3 pint) milk =
2 carbohydrate exchanges
20 260
21 carbohydrate exchanges 210 1050
4 protein exchanges - 280
Total 230 1590
2 fat exchanges - 220
Grand total 230 1810

5. Finally, the exchanges (23 carbohydrate, 4 protein, and 2 fat) are distributed throughout the day according to the eating habits and daily routine of the patient.

Useful CHO exchanges
Each item on this list = 1 CHO exchange (10 g CHO):
1/2 slice bread from a large loaf, 1 large digestive biscuit, 2 cream crackers, 8 tablespoons natural unsweetened orange juice or grapefruit juice, 1 medium-sized eating apple or orange, 10 grapes, 1 small banana, 1/3 pink milk, 1 teacup cooked porridge, 1 teacup of cream or tinned soup, 2/3 teacup cornflakes, 1 small packet of crisps, one small potato.