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The healthy plate method and carb counting are two leading ways to help you choose the right foods.
Learn about both and talk with your health care provider about which method may be right for you.
Divide and conquer: See the healthy plate
The healthy plate method is a way to see and remember what foods you should be eating and in what amounts. To create a healthy plate, start with a 9-inch plate. Then choose the foods you want to eat. Be sure you’re following the suggestions for the proper serving size of each food. First, learn about the method. Then check out some examples of healthy meals.
1 Low-calorie drink (8 oz.)
2 Grains and starchy food.
Fill 1/4 of your plate with:
Fill 1/4 of your plate with:
4 Non-starchy vegetables.
Fill 1/2 of your plate with:
5 Fruit and/or dairy.
Check out our sample healthy plates
1/2 plate of sliced peaches (1 medium)
1/4 plate of whole grain toast (1 slice)
1/4 plate of 2 scrambled eggs
1/2 plate of salad
1/4 plate of whole wheat roll (1 small)
1/4 plate of sliced chicken breast
1/2 plate of carrots and broccoli
1/4 plate of rice pilaf
1/4 plate of salmon steak/tofu steak
Carbohydrates are important because they have a big effect on blood sugar. Carb counting is another smart diabetes meal planning method. Here’s how it works: You become aware of the number of carbs in different foods by counting how many grams in a serving size. Often, you can do this by just reading food nutrition labels. Since the amount you should have each day is limited, counting carbs helps you figure out the right amount to eat.
How many carbs per meal?
Though the answer can be different from person to person, the ADA recommends a general amount of carbs for each meal should be 45–60 grams, based on 3 meals per day. Depending on a number of individual factors (height/weight, physical activity, medications, etc.), you may need more or fewer carbs at mealtime.
Your healthcare provider and you can work together to decide what’s right for you. Once you determine the right number of carbs, choose your food and the portion size to match. Remember, pay attention to your portion size. What you think is a serving may not match what the packaging says.
|What are higher-carb foods?|
|Some breads, bagels, crackers, biscuits, tortillas||Grits, pasta, rice, couscous||Milk, yogurt, soy milk|
|Pancakes, muffins, cereal, cooked cereal||Potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, corn, peas, plantains||Sweets, including candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, jelly, pie, and syrup|
|Popcorn, chips, pretzels, rice cakes||Beans (black kidney, pinto, lima) and peas (black eyed, split)||Fruit and fruit juice|
To find out how many carbs are in each serving of food, look at the Nutrition Facts on the package. Use a resource such as MyFoodAdvisor from the American Diabetes Association.
Watch a TeamingUp Champion show you how to read food labels.
You now know two leading meal plan options: the healthy plate method and carb counting. Take these steps toward healthy eating: