Your plate can be a great ally in managing your diabetes. If you have diabetes, you may already know the importance of eating healthy and managing your blood sugar levels. But learning what to eat and how much can be challenging. Using your plate as a visual tool to picture healthy portion sizes will not only help you with weight loss and weight maintenance but with managing your diabetes as well.
How to Use a Plate Plan to Control Diabetes
Wondering what the “plate plan” looks like? It’s just four easy steps:
- Take your 9-inch plate and visualize half of your plate filled with non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, beets, cabbage, and cauliflower.
- Next, picture one-quarter of your plate with nutrient-dense carbohydrates such as whole grains, including brown rice and quinoa, or starchy vegetables, including green peas, potato, baked sweet potato, corn, and parsnip.
- Finally, fill the last quarter of your plate with a protein such as tuna, lean chicken, or pork.
- Wash it down with water or any zero-calorie beverage.
While the plate method is a great visual for portion control, it’s not an exact science. It’s important for people with diabetes to consult with a registered dietitian for personalized calorie requirements and to account for any medications. Your registered dietitian can also help you consider your personal health goals, such as managing blood sugar levels, cholesterol or preventing complications from diabetes.
Once you get portion control basics down, learning to keep your blood sugar levels balanced can be much more manageable. And since a diabetes diet is a healthy choice for everyone, you can cook the same meal for everyone in your family.
By using this simple method, conducting regular A1C testing, and following up with your physician and dietitian, you can get a better understanding of your individualized needs. So take a good look at your plate and get to work managing your diabetes!
Need Help Getting Started?
The Novo Nordisk Diabetes Center at CentraState Medical Center is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for diabetes education. The center can help you control your blood sugar and reduce the side effects at any stage. Whether you are at risk for diabetes, have just been diagnosed with prediabetes, or have been living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for years. Contact the certified diabetes educators (registered nurses and registered dietitians) to work closely with you and your physician to create a diabetes management program. They can help you meet your unique needs, including meal plans, weight loss, and support.
*Adapted from the American Diabetes Association® “Diabetes Plate Method.”