Healthy Eating Guide
For Diabetes Patients
What a Good Diabetic Meal Plan Looks Like
3 simple guidelines can make diabetic meal planning easy:
- Include more non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans.
- Include fewer added sugars and refined grains, such as white bread, rice, and pasta with less than 2 grams of fiber per serving.
- Focus on whole foods instead of highly processed food as much as possible.
Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels, but what you eat with them will determine how fast your blood sugar spikes. Eating carbs with foods that have protein, fat, or fiber will slow down how quickly your blood sugar rises. This is why eating a piece of fruit is better for you than fruit juice.
Regular, balanced meals with the same amount of carbs throughout the day will make it easier to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
The Plate Method
The Plate Method is an easy, visual way to make sure you’re eating the right amount of the right foods. It makes sure you eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables and limits the carbohydrates that have a higher impact on your blood sugar.
Using a 9-inch dinner plate, fill half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, and carrots.
Fill a quarter of the plate with a lean protein, like chicken, turkey, beans, egg, or tofu.
Fill the last quarter with carb foods. These foods include grains, starchy vegetables, rice, pasta, beans, fruit, and sugary foods.
Finally, drink a glass of water or a low-calorie drink.
Determining how much to eat to manage your blood sugar can be confusing, and portion sizes at restaurants are often many times larger than what you actually need! Minding portion sizes is really important to regulate blood sugar, so we recommend following the Hand Guide:
- 3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry
= Palm of hand (no fingers)
- 1 ounce of meat or cheese
= Thumb (tip to base)
- 1 cup or 1 medium fruit
- 1–2 ounces of nuts or pretzels
= Cupped hand
- 1 tablespoon
= Thumb tip (tip to 1st joint)
- 1 teaspoon
= Fingertip (tip to 1st joint)