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Eating Healthy with Diabetes

Learning to eat properly as a diabetic can be challenging but it’s on eof the most important things you can do to ensure the disease remains under control.  Make sure you are eating a variety of foods that promote good health and also fit with your diabetes meal plan.  The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends creating a meal plan that will do the following:

  • work with your schedule
  • keep your weight on track
  • improve your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers.

Plate Method for Diabetics

The Plate Method is an easy way for people with diabetes to start meal planning. It can help with both weight loss and blood glucose control.  Portion control is very important when using the Plate Method.  An increased consumption of non-starchy vegetables is also important, i.e. spinach, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, beets, mushrooms, peppers.

Using your plate, imagine your plate is divided into three parts, ½, ¼, and ¼.  Half of your plate should consist of non-starchy vegetables and the other quarters should equally consist of protein and starches.  See the diagram below:

diabetes plate

The ADA also recommends adding an 8 oz glass of non-fat or low-fat milk. In place of milk, you can add either a 6 oz. container of light yogurt or a small whole grain roll. In addition, add a piece of fruit or a 1/2 cup fruit salad to your meal.

The following ADA video shows you how to “Create your Plate.”


Your plate will look different at breakfast but the idea is the same. Use half of your plate for starchy foods or whole grains. You can add fruit in one small part and a source of protein such as, eggs, meat or meat substitute in the other. 

breakfast diabetes plates

The diabetes section of is made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from NovoNordisk.