The diabetes plate method balances portions, controls carbohydrate intake and limits the need to measure, weigh or count calories in the foods or beverages you consume. Grab a 9-inch plate and get started with the guide below.
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following guidelines to build a healthy plate to control carbohydrates, which raise blood glucose levels.
Divide a 9-inch plate into three sections for food, and consider your beverage the fourth section of your meal:
Nonstarchy vegetables: Fill half of your plate with nonstarchy vegetables.
Examples: Asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, peppers, salad greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula, endive), leafy greens (kale, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens) okra, tomatoes or zucchini.
Protein foods: Fill one-quarter of your plate with lean protein.
Examples: Lean meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese, eggs, lean deli meats, or plant-based protein such as tofu, beans, lentils, hummus, edamame, nuts or nut butter, falafel or tempeh.
Carbohydrate foods: Fill one-quarter of your plate with carbohydrate foods.
Examples: Whole grains, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, bulgar, whole-grain pasta, polenta, quinoa, corn tortillas, fruit or starchy vegetables (potatoes, green peas, corn, beans, acorn squash, butternut squash, plantain, sweet potato/yam), beans and legumes. One cup of milk also counts as a food that contains carbohydrates.
Beverage: Choose water or a low-calorie drink for your beverage.
Examples: Unsweetened tea, coffee, or flavored or sparkling water without added sugar.
Learn more about the diabetes plate method in this Blue Cross Virtual Well-Being℠ webinar, The Diabetes Plate Method Explained by a Registered Dietician. You can also sign up for future employer- or individual-focused webinars and guided meditations here.
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