Create Your Plate

Often, when people are diagnosed with diabetes, they don't know where to begin. One way is to change the amount of food you are already eating. Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats.

Creating your plate is an easy way to get started with managing blood glucose levels.

You don't need any special tools or have to do any counting. It's simple and effective—draw an imaginary line on your plate, select your foods, and enjoy your meal!

Once you've changed your portion sizes, you can work on making healthier food choices from each food group.

Seven Simple Steps to Create Your Plate

It's simple and effective for both managing diabetes and losing weight. Creating your plate lets you still choose the foods you want, but changes the portion sizes so you are getting larger portions of non-starchy vegetables and a smaller portion of starchy foods. When you are ready, you can try new foods within each food category.

Try these seven steps to get started:

  1. Using your dinner plate, put a line down the middle of the plate. Then on one side, cut it again so you will have three sections on your plate.
  2. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables such as:
    • spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, bok choy
    • green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes,
    • vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, okra,
    • mushrooms, peppers, turnips
  3. Now in one of the small sections, put grains and starchy foods such as:
    • whole grain breads, such as whole wheat or rye
    • whole grain, high-fiber cereal
    • cooked cereal such as oatmeal, grits, hominy or cream of wheat
    • rice, pasta, dal, tortillas
    • cooked beans and peas, such as pinto beans or black-eyed peas
    • potatoes, green peas, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash
    • low-fat crackers, snack chips, pretzels and light popcorn
  4. And then in the other small section, put your protein such as:
    • chicken or turkey without the skin
    • fish such as tuna, salmon, cod or catfish
    • other seafood such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab or mussels
    • lean cuts of beef and pork such as sirloin or pork loin
    • tofu, eggs, low-fat cheese
  5. Add a serving of fruit, a serving of dairy or both as your meal plan allows.
  6. Choose healthy fats in small amounts. For cooking, use oils. For salads, some healthy additions are nuts, seeds, avocado and vinaigrettes.
  7. To complete your meal, add a low-calorie drink like water, unsweetened tea or coffee.

Featured Product

Precise Portions® Go Healthy Travel Pack (4/Box)

Go Healthy Travel Pack

Taking the guesswork out of portion control has never been easier. It can be a challenge to manage portion control wherever you are. Now, our best-selling, sectioned to-go plate with easy-sealing lid is offered in a 4-pack. Whether you’re at home, the office, or somewhere in between, you have an easy portion control solution that works.

  • Last Reviewed: August 1, 2013
  • Last Edited: December 16, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast