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How Jenny’s Grocery List and the ADA Exchange System Differ

A healthy diet plan consists of eating a variety of foods that contain the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whether you are using Jenny’s Grocery List or the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Diabetic Exchange List, you can learn to eat a nutritionally balanced diet.

If you are familiar with the 13 food groups in the ADA Diabetic Exchange List, you may notice a slight difference in the food groups Jenny Craig uses.

Jenny’s Grocery List:

  • Starch
  • Milk
  • Meat and Meat Substitutes
  • Fruit
  • Vegetable
  • Fat
  • The ADA Diabetic Exchange List:

  • Starch
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fruit
  • Fat-free/1% Milk
  • Reduced-fat/2% Milk
  • Whole Milk
  • Vegetable
  • Nonstarchy Vegetable
  • Lean Meat
  • Medium-fat Meat
  • High-fat Meat
  • Fat
  • Alcohol Equivalent
  • Here is a quick reference chart on how the ADA exchanges fit into the Jenny Craig system:

    ADA Exchange Jenny Craig Exchange
    1 Starch 1 Starch
    1 Carbohydrate 1 Starch
    1 Fruit 1 Fruit
    1 Fat-free/1% Milk 1 Milk
    1 Reduced-fat/2% Milk 1 Milk, 1 Fat
    1 Whole Milk 1 Milk, 1 Fat
    1 Vegetable 1 Vegetable
    1 Nonstarchy vegetable 1 Vegetable
    1 Lean Meat 1 Meat
    1 Medium-fat Meat 1 Meat, 1 Fat
    1 High-fat Meat 1 Meat, 1 Fat
    1 Fat 1 Fat
    1 Alcohol Equivalent 2 Fat

    As you can see in the lists and table above, Jenny Craig’s exchange list was reduced to six groups instead of the thirteen groups that the ADA uses. This was done to simplify the groups. For example:

  • Instead of three categories of milks (Fat-free/1% Milk, Reduced-fat/2% Milk, Whole Milk), we reduced them to two groups (Milk, Milk + Fat).
  • Instead of three categories of meats (Lean Meat, Medium-fat Meat, High-fat Meat), we reduced them to two groups (Meat, Meat + Fat).
  • Not all foods are created equal, so learn more about making the best selections from each food group. The Jenny Craig Program uses the food exchange system to help you eat healthy while you lose weight and beyond.

    Daly A, et al. Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes. Alexandria, Va.: American Diabetes Association and American Dietetic Association; 2008.