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From Reno, Nevada, USA:

I am looking for food exchanges and also a good up to day calorie counter. I remember a book called "Everything you wanted to know about exchanges, but where afraid to ask."

Any information will be helpful. I was just put on insulin 4 weeks ago. Thanks.


The exchange system which has long been a useful device for helping to vary menus without changing the food value of a meal or a snack is now giving way to something a little easier. One of our nutritionists, Michelle Hansen, writes:

What seems to be 'in vogue' right now is using exchanges in the context of "carbohydrate counting," that is, converting Exchanges to Carbohydrate Choices or total grams of carbohydrate. A good article which explains this concept is "Carb Counting" in the Feb 1995 issue of Diabetes Forecast (your local ADA office should be able to help you access this). Another article which explains the recent ADA guidelines is entitled "Eating Healthy, Eating Smart" in the Dec 1994 Diabetes Forecast. Articles you can order which explain carb counting step-by-step through the ADA (1-800-ADA-ORDER) include

  • Getting started (level 1 )
  • Moving On (level 2)
  • Using Carb/Insulin ratios (level 3)

Video tapes are also available on Carb Counting and these can be ordered through Learn by View, P.O. Box 101221, Denver, CO, USA 80250-1221.

Books with carb and calorie information include: "Calories & Carbohydrates" by Barbara Kraus and "Complete Book of Food Counts" by Corinne T. Netzer (Dell Publishing). Any large bookstore could look it up in their current publication list or it might be in your Public Library's computer.

MH and DO'B

Original posting 23 Aug 96


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