Meal planning with the plate method is a simple way for people with diabetes to plan meals. This method can help you eat the right amount of carbohydrates and keep your blood sugar levels under control. Carbohydrates naturally raise your blood sugar level. Your blood sugar level can rise too high if you eat too much carbohydrate at one time. Carbohydrates are found in starches (bread, cereal, starchy vegetables, and beans), fruit, milk, yoghurt, and sweets.
Plate Method of Meal Planning - A Stepwise Breakdown
While using the plate method to plan your meals, there are ways to plan your plate:
- Draw an imaginary line down the middle of a 9-inch dinner plate. On one side, draw another line to divide that section in half. Your plate will have three sections.
- Fill the largest section of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. These include broccoli, spinach, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower, and tomatoes.
- Add a starch to 1 of the small sections of your plate. Starches include pasta, rice, whole-grain bread, tortillas, corn, potatoes, and beans.
- Add meat or another source of protein to the other small section of your plate. Examples include chicken or turkey without skin, fish, lean beef or pork, low-fat cheese, tofu, or eggs.
- Add dairy or fruit next to your plate if your meal plan allows. If you do not drink milk, you may be able to add another serving of starchy food instead.
- Add a low-calorie or calorie-free drink such as water or unsweetened tea, or coffee.
Plate Method - Cheat Sheet
Choose and prepare foods and drinks with less salt and added sugars. Use the nutrition information on food labels to help you make healthy choices. The percent daily value listed on the food label tells you whether a food is low or high in certain nutrients. Choose healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in place of unhealthy fats. Healthy fats are found in vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, canola, olive, and sunflower oil. Unhealthy fats are saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Unhealthy fats are found in shortening, butter, stick margarine, and animal fat. If you choose to drink alcohol, drink it with meals. When you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, your blood sugar may fall to a low level.
The Plate Method of Meal planning though, is the simplest, it is also the most effective way for healthy eating allowing the right proportion of all nutrient components. In fact, it even allows you to occasionally indulge your sweet tooth or that extra cheese pizza. For more detailed help with planning your meal consult an expert nutrition specialist at any popular wellness clinic.