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Food Nutrient Data for Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes, 2007

The 2007 edition of Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Meal Planning is based on this specifically prepared database of almost 700 foods. The serving sizes of the foods in each list (starches, fruits, milks, vegetables, meats and fats) reflect the mean macronutrient and energy values for each of the groups in this database.

Foods included are those commonly eaten by a majority of individuals in the United States. Many are core foods in the US food supply, while some foods represent ethnic or other eating preferences (e.g., vegetarian). In almost all instances, the foods from each list are based on commercially prepared products rather than homemade recipes, because of the extreme variability of the latter. Wherever possible, nutrition values represent generic rather than name brand, or are an average of several nationally available name brands. Some foods may be in the database in more than one form. Vegetables, for example are fresh raw as well as fresh or frozen cooked, and canned. Some foods are in two lists (e.g., Beans, Peas, and Lentils), and some are in two lists but in different serving sizes (peanut butter for example).

The first column of each of the Tables indicates the source of the nutrient data.

  • The most common source of energy and nutrient values for foods is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference1, the foundation for most food composition databases in the public and private sectors, and is identified by the USDA 5-digit number beginning with a 0, 1, 2, or 4.
  • Some foods are from the USDA’s Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies2, identified by a 5-digit number starting with 5, 7, or 9).
  • The other main source is an average of nutrition facts from food labels of similar foods and is designated “Label.”
  • Occasionally nutrition information was obtained from a recipe and is designated “Recipe”. Recipes used for Choose Your Foods are “on file” with this data.

The food names and serving size columns cross-reference the same designations in the Choose Your Foods booklet. The fourth column, grams per serving, is the metric weight of the portion, providing more definition for words such as “medium”, as well as providing specifics for those who are doing carbohydrate gram counting as a meal planning method. The rest of the columns represent the energy and nutrients used in the Nutrition Facts portion of food labels. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are included because of the configuration of the fat list. Abbreviations used:

  • SFA = saturated fatty acids
  • trans = trans fatty acids
  • PUFA = polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • MUFA = monounsaturated fatty acids
  • chol = cholesterol
  • sod = sodium
  • carb = carbohydrate
  • pro = protein
  • ETOH = absolute alcohol

Exchange Lists


  1. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2006. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 19. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, Accessed August 17, 2007.
  2. USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, 1.0. (2004). Beltsville, MD: Agricultural Research Service, Food Surveys Research Group. Accessed August 17, 2007.

Compiled By

Madelyn L Wheeler MS,RD,FADA
Anne Daly MS,RD
Alison Evert MS,RD
Marion Franz MS,RD
Patti Geil MS,RD
Lea Ann Holzmeister RD
Karmeen Kulkarni MS,RD
Emily Loghmani MS,RD
Tami A Ross RD

September 2007