Food Exchange List and Dietary Management of Non-Communicable Diseases in Cultural Perspective

Mahnaz Nasir Khan, Samia Kalsoom, Ayyaz Ali Khan


This review focuses at highlighting the importance of Food Exchange List in cultural perspective, as an effective dietary tool to help individuals’ manage their dietary modifications in relation to non communicable diseases whilst specifying measures that can help improve the quality of Food Exchange Lists for combating various non communicable diseases and addressing adherence related issues to specialized diets. A search was done using PubMed & Google Scholar till June 2016. Search terms used were food exchange list AND disease, diet AND non-communicable diseases. We included only studies that discussed Food Exchange List (FEL) in relation to non-communicable diseases; in addition to factors like cultural relevance and adherence.Out of the 837 papers accessed 57 were identified as relevant to the Food Exchange List, out of which 39 papers were focused to the concept and development of the Food Exchange List. Only 18 discussed FEL in relation to non communicable diseases and were thus included in the review.Food exchange list is a user friendly tool for dietary modification due to disease. This tool may help to customize meals for people as it provides information regarding various food items in different groups. This tool is helpful in reducing blood & plasma glucose levels, maintaining lipid profile & effectively combating other diet related diseases & those ailments in which diet plays a significant role in maintenance & prevention from reoccurrences. However, better management and adherence to modified diets for non communicable diseases can be ensured by keeping cultural relevance under consideration before using Food Exchange Lists for such diseases.


How to cite this:Khan MN, Kalsoom S, Khan AA. Food Exchange List and Dietary Management of Non-Communicable Diseases in Cultural Perspective. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(5):1273-1278.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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