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This may be a stupid question...

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by KylorsMom, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. KylorsMom

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    So this may be a stupid question, or just for type 2's but what in the world is the "Diabetic Exchange"? I keep seeing this and it says this food equals 1 starch or 1 fat. What is that all about?
     
  2. sooz

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  3. Michelle'sMom

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    The exchange system was in use before carb counting, & I've met older T1s who still use it. Some dietitians use it as an intro to carb counting with both types.
     
  4. LoveMyHounds

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    But it looks more complicated than carb counting! ;)
     
  5. CAGrandma

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    Yes, I think it is more complicated. I remember the nurse trying to explain it to me (type 2) and my finally saying that my grandson has type 1 - couldn't I just count the carbs? She threw up her hands and said sure - the exchange thing is supposed to be easier but she thought adults could deal with numbers like 23 or 48 instead of some weird calculation method.
     
  6. quiltinmom

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    It doesn't really make sense to use that system for a type 1 who needs to count "every carb" they eat, For a type 2, it might be to count exchanges instead of actual carbs, Since they dont' necessarily make medication changes based on carbs eaten like a t1 does.

    I wonder if it might be a psychological thing too. Maybe they were finding that people felt carb/calorie counting was too hard (It's sometimes harder to get older people to make lifestyle adjustments like that), so they came up with a different way to count them. Counting to 10 is easier than counting to 100, right? lol

    Basically, one carb exchange equals about 15 carbs. So basically you count carbs in "chunks" instead of exact numbers.
     
  7. Mish

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    For it to really make sense as to why any type 1 uses it you have to remember that nutritional labels on foods are a relatively new thing. So many older type 1's were brought up knowing that they were allowed certain number of exchanges and what the exchange was for a certain food. There was no label that said "one serving weighs 30g and has 15g of carbohydrate".

    You also have to remember that many older type 1s grew up taking one or two shots a day -no meal shots, no correction shots because the limited availability of portable meters meant you weren't checking BG all day long like we do today. A shot was based on a predetermined meal plan of a set number of exchanges and you didn't vary from that. Ever. And when you think about it, you didn't have pumps that could measure insuiln in fractions of units. You had 1 unit. or 5. The exact difference between 5 or 10g of CHO wasn't important. (and I mean the truly elderly 30 year old type 1s probably remember life like this lol)

    So for new type 1s it makes no sense.
     
  8. Heather(CA)

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    If I'm correct it is a way of counting carbs where 15 grams is one. I disagree that it is more complicated. My son and I learned both methods of counting. The counting each carb way is more accurate IF you have that info.

    The exchange method is a LOT easier if you're counting carbs at a resturaunt. It works really well for winging it. Instead of trying to count and guess 23+ 8 + 30. In your head your saying that's about 1 1/2, 2 (because it's another half) , 3, then 4 (30 grams is 2). For a total of 4.

    Sounds strange but works great, I am very happy we learned both methods of counting...
     
  9. jilmarie

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    I still think in terms of "chunks" of 15 grams of carbohydrates for any food that I'm unfamiliar with or don't typically eat. I think it's a useful guesstimating tool. If I'm eating a simple prepackaged food like yogurt, I put in the exact carbs, but I do a lot of my counting by 15s in my head.
     
  10. Heather(CA)

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    Exactly! It's like another tool in your kit right? :D I can look at a plate of food in a restaurant or family gathering and count 1234 etc..:D
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Always struck me as awkward. I guess the idea of 'rounding up" by 15s just seems strange. Mish's explanation makes sense, though it's not a method I'd want to use.
     
  12. Michelle'sMom

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    I agree. It works for us.
     
  13. Mom2Will

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    us too!! Guess we are strange :)
     
  14. KylorsMom

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    Thanks for the info guys! I was really just curious, thanks for not making me feel silly for asking :)
     
  15. Heather(CA)

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    It's not really rounding up by 15's. It's more like breaking things up into amounts where they are 15 grams of carbs is 1 carb. 30 grams is 2 carbs, 45 is 3 carbs..

    For example...

    1 carb
    1/2 a cup of mashed potatoes
    1/2 cup of corn
    small apple
    Medium peach

    2 carbs
    2 inch square frosted cake

    3 carbs
    1 cup of white rice.. 1/3 cup is 1 or 15 grams.
     
  16. Megnyc

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    That is basically what I do. I know how much of everything is 15 carbs and count from that. So for example I know how many fries are 15 carbs so if I have 3 times that grouping it would be 45 carbs. Obviously, at home I am more precise but if I am out and have no nutritional info that is how I do it.
     
  17. moco89

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    The "exchange" diet also includes meats and fats, not just things like 1 starch.

    So you could have a meal with:

    3 starches
    1 fat
    2 meats

    etc.


    I was diagnosed in '94 and this was how I had to eat for like 6 months.
     
  18. Heather(CA)

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    I only use the info for carbs...Not an "Exchange" diet. And like I said before, at home we are more precise, but the 1:15 works great when out and about. :cwds:

    Exactly Megnyc
     
  19. nanhsot

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    Now that you put it this way, we do this a lot too. I often think in terms of 15. We were taught this as a baseline, then taught to carb count specifically. Our initial lesson was to think in 15s, and I still do, just not in an "exchange" way but more of a quick counting way.
     
  20. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Yeah, no. I still find it to be arcane. But whatever works ;)
     

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