Healthy Eating Plate Method for Diabetes

Healthy eating plate method is one of the best and simple practical way of meal planning, especially when you are suffering from diabetes. Healthy eating plate method helps you understand and simplify the process of choosing the right food in the right amount.

Obtaining all 7 essential food nutrients is very important for everyone. And healthy eating plate method ensures that you get all the essential food nutrients from the plate.

Healthy eating plate method is not just for diabetics, everyone can get benefits from it. You must give this plate method a try, especially if you are one of the following people:

1.  You have Type 2 diabetes
2.  You are overweight
3.  You feel overwhelmed by a lot of information
4.  You don’t like complicated instructions and plans
5.  You have problems memorizing sometimes
6.  You are stressed and nervous by recent diagnosis
7.  You have a busy lifestyle
8.  You want to follow a simple and practical diet plan

So, if any of the above points matches your problems, then it’s time to take the right step and give a try to ‘healthy eating plate method’. As this method will help you solve these above mentioned problems in simple easier way.

Now, i am sure, you have a big question here. So, let’s find out the answer together of this question.

What is Healthy Eating Plate Method?

Healthy eating plate method is a very easy, simple to follow, practical way to plate up healthy balanced meals for you and your family. The best things about this method is you don’t need to carry all sorts of measuring tools nor you need expensive food ingredients to create healthy meals.

Your Healthy Eating Plate is a typically 9 inch plate with a cup and bowl of 180 ml or 6 oz.

Let’s understand how you should plate up your food.


Healthy Eating Plate Method


Common Measurements:  1 oz = 28 grams,  1 oz = 30 ml,  3 oz = 1/2 cup

Now, let’s explore more about each portion on your plate.

Vegetables: Vegetables are an important part of healthy meal. It can be as delicious fresh salad or cooked vegetables. with cooked vegetables, it doesn’t mean you just have to eat boiled veggies, with right choice you can have beautifully caramelized glazing vegetables, delicious salad too. So, no need to be sad if eating more vegetables idea made you little less excited previously.

But you must make sure that in the vegetable portion you should only choose Non-starchy vegetables such as: broccoli, carrots, spinach, green beans etc.

Theses vegetable will balance your meals by adding fiber, vitamins and minerals, you normally miss when not eating healthy food. Eating fresh non-starchy vegetables helps you control your blood sugar levels significantly.

So, fill your 1/2 half plate with non-starchy vegetables as shown above. But remember, you should not fill your half plate with just a single vegetable only. Try 2 – 3 vegetables combination to make it healthy as well as interesting. For this, you can create a beautiful salad or cook mix vegetables too.

Macronutrients and Calories per serving:

Carbohydrates : 5 gm, Protein : up to 2 gm and 25 Calories.

Vegetables, Serving Size: 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw
Amaranth or Chinese spinachColeslaw, no dressingPeppers (all varieties)
Artichoke and Artichoke heartsCucumberRadishes
Baby cornGourds (bitter, bottle, luffa)Sauerkraut
Bamboo shootsGreens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)Soybean sprouts
Green beansGreen onions or scallionsSpinach
Bean sproutsHearts of palmSummer squash
BeetsJicamaSugar snap peas
Bok choyKohlrabiSwiss chard
BorschtLeeksTomato (fresh or canned)
BroccoliMixed vegetables (without corn, peas, lima, potato)Tomato sauce
Brussels sproutsMung bean sproutsTomato/vegetable juice
CarrotsOkraWater chestnuts
CauliflowerOnionsYard-long beans
CeleryOriental radish or daikonZucchini
ChayotePea pods (snow peas)

Protein: Protein is an essential food nutrient for our body. It helps keeping it in good shape and repairs any damage to our body cells. So, 1/4th portion of your plate must be full of protein rich food.

For this, you can use meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, tofu etc. But remember some meats and poultry can have huge amount of body fat with them which is not good at all especially if you have heart problems, overweight or obesity. So, it’s better to choose lean meats for the portion with less fat in cooking. You can choose different cooking methods such as boiled, broiled and baked to cut on fats in the food.

However, if you are vegetarian or prefer vegan diet, you can eat following options such as lentils, black beans, soybean, edamame (green young soybean), green peas, artichokes, spinach, black eyed peas, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, chickpeas are great source of protein.

Macronutrients and Calories per serving:

Carbohydrates : 0 gm, Protein : 7 gm, Fat :  upto 3 gm and 45 Calories.

ProteinServing Size
Beef, Beef jerky1 oz
Egg substitute, plain1/4 cup
Egg whites2
Fish (all types)1 oz
Game meat1 oz
Hot dog with 0-3 g fat per oz1
Lamb: chop, leg, roast1 oz
Organ meats: heart, kidney, liver1 oz
Oysters, fresh or frozen medium6
Pork (all types)1 oz
Poultry (all types)1 oz
Salmon, canned1 oz
Sardines, canned medium2
Sausage with 0-3 g fat per oz1 oz
Shellfish: clams, crab, lobster, scallops1 oz
Shrimp and squid (high cholesterol)1 oz
Tuna, canned1 oz
Veal, lean chop, roast1 oz
Vegan ProteinsServing Size
Beans, baked1/3 cup
Beans, cooked1/2 cup
Edamame1/2 cup
Falafel (spiced chickpea and wheat patties)3
Hummus1/3 cup
Lentils (brown, green, yellow)1/2 cup
Nut spreads1 tbsp
Peas, cooked1/2 cup
Refried beans, canned1/2 cup
Soy nuts, unsalted3/4 oz
Tempeh1/4 cup
Tofu4 oz
Cheeses blue, cheddar, goat1 oz
Cottage cheese1/4 cup
Feta cheese1 oz
Mozzarella1 oz
Ricotta cheese1/4 cup

Bread, Grains, Starchy Vegetables

Next 1/4th portion should contain grains which includes breads too and starchy vegetables. This portion helps you obtain fiber, vitamin and minerals as well. Rice, noodles, pasta, cereal, whole wheat breads, chapattis, tortillas fulfill grains portion. If you like having potato, sweet potato, corn, yams, you can add these in this portion too.

Macronutrients and Calories per serving:

Carbohydrates : 15 gm, Protein : upto 3 gm, Fat :  upto 1 gm and 80 Calories.

BreadServing Size
Bagel, large (4 oz)1/4th
Biscuit ( 2 ½ inches)1
Bread (whole wheat, white, or rye)1 slice
Bun (hotdog or hamburger) (1oz)1/2 bun
Chapatti, small - 6 inches1
Cornbread (1 ¾-inch cube or 1 ½ oz)1
English muffinhalf
Hot dog or hamburger bun (1 oz)half
Naan bread Small1/2 half
Pancake 4 inches1
Pita pocket (6 inches across)half
Roll (plain, small, 1 oz)1
Taco crisp Shell2
Tortilla, corn or flour1
Waffle (4-inch)1
Cereals and GrainsServing Size
Barley, cooked1/3 cup
Oat bran, dry1/4 cup
Wheat bran, dry1/2 cup
Bulgur, cooked1/2 cup
Cereals, cooked (oatmeal)1/2 cup
Cereals, unsweetened3/4 cup
Couscous1/3 cup
Granola (low-fat)1/4 cup
Pasta, cooked1/3 cup
Polenta, cooked1/3 cup
Quinoa, cooked1/3 cup
Rice, cooked (white or brown)1/3 cup
Starchy VegetablesServing Size
Cassava1/3 cup
Corn1/2 cup
Corn on cob (large, 5 oz)1/2 cob
Hominy, canned3/4 cup
Parsnips1/2 cup
Peas, green1/2 cup
Plantain, ripe1/3 cup
Potato - Baked with skin (3 oz)1
Potato - Boiled, all kinds (3 oz)1/2 cup
Potato - French fried (2 oz)1 cup
Potato - Mashed with milk and fat1/2 cup
Pumpkin1 cup
Spaghetti/red pasta sauce1/2 cup
Squash, winter1 cup
Yam, sweet potato, plain1/2 cup
Beans (Count as 1 Starch + 1 Lean Meat)Serving Size
Baked beans1/3 cup
Beans, cooked (all varieties)1/2 cup
Lentils, cooked (all varieties)1/2 cup
Peas, cooked (black-eyed, split)1/2 cup
Crackers and SnacksServing Size
Crackers - Round, butter-type6
Crackers - Saltines6
Crackers - Graham cracker (2 ½-inch)3
Oyster crackers20
Popcorn - With butter3 cups
Popcorn - Lower fat or no fat added3 cups
Pretzels3/4 oz
Rice cakes, 4 inches2
Snack chips - Fat-free or baked (3/4 oz)15-18 chips
Snack chips - Regular (3/4 oz)10-12 chips

Fruits: Fruits are great source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin and minerals. And most ripe fruits contain a lot of sugar and starch. So fruits are very important in our healthy meal. But to maintain blood glucose levels in diabetes, we should have eat controlled serving of fruits. By controlled serving means, a small fruit of its size such as small apple, small banana, small orange etc. For plating fruits, use the bowl or the cup and fill it only half. So, it’s a half cup of fruits.

Eating whole fruit is much better than drinking only the juice of it. Because whole fruit will make you feel full easily as it has fiber as well rather than only juice. For example: eat a small orange rather than orange juice.

You can eat some non starchy fruits a little more but a little means only a little, such as berries, watermelon, pineapple etc.

Macronutrients and Calories per serving:

Carbohydrates : 15 gm, Protein : 0 gm, Fat :  0 gm and 60 Calories.

FruitServing SizeFruitServing SizeFruitServing Size
Apple, unpeeled, small (4 oz)1Grapefruit, Sections, canned3/4 cupPlums, Fresh small (5 oz)2
Apples, dried rings4Grapes, small (3 oz)17Prunes3
Applesauce, unsweetened1/2 cupHoneydew, cubed (10 oz)1 cupRaisins2 tbsp
Apricots, fresh (5 1/2 oz)4Kiwi (3 1/2 oz)1Raspberries1 cup
Apricot, dried8 halvesMandarin oranges, canned3/4 cupStrawberries, whole berries1 cup
Banana, Large/Small (4oz)1/2 or 1Mango, small (5 1/2 oz)1/2 cupTangerines, small (8 oz)2
Blackberries3/4 cupNectarine, small (5 oz)1Watermelon, cubes (13 1/2 oz)1 1/4 cup
Blueberries3/4 cupOrange, small (6 1/2 oz)1
Cantaloupe, cubed (11 oz)1 cupPapaya, cubed (8 oz)1 cupFruit JuiceServing Size
Cherries Sweet, canned1/2 cupPeach, Canned1/2 cupApple juice1/2 cup
Cherries Sweet, fresh (3 oz)12Peach, Fresh, medium (6 oz)1Apple cider1/2 cup
Dates3Pear, Canned1/2 cupGrape juice1/3 cup
Dried fruits2 TbspPear, Fresh, large (4 oz)42371Grapefruit juice1/2 cup
Figs, medium (3 1/2 oz)2Pineapple, Canned1/2 cupOrange juice1/2 cup
Fruit cocktail1/2 cupPineapple, Fresh3/4 cupPineapple juice1/2 cup
Grapefruit, Large (11 oz)1/2 halfPlums, Canned1/2 cupPrune juice1/3 cup

Dairy: Dairy is an important portion as well. it contains protein, vitamins and minerals which are essential for our body. The other cup or bowl can be used for dairy option for the meal.

Fill 1/2 cup of milk or yogurt for this section. It is imperative to use fat free milk, 1% milk and lite yogurt to cut on fat, especially if you are overweight.

Do not use added sugar in the milk or yogurt. Milk and yogurt have plenty of natural sugars already in them.

However, if you can’t drink milk due to lactose intolerance, ask your doctor or dietitian for a good substitute. Because, milk contains essential calcium and other minerals for our body and must be obtained through other food sources to prevent deficiency.

Macronutrients and Calories per serving:

Carbohydrates : 12 gm, Protein : 8 gm, Fat :  upto 3 gm and 100 Calories.

Dairy ProductsServing Size
Fat-free or low-fat buttermilk1 cup
Fat-free milk1 cup
Low-fat, 1 % milk1 cup
Evaporated fat-free milk1/2 cup
Fat-free dry milk powder1/3 cup
Soy milk1 cup
Yogurt, Fat-free Plain2/3 cup

Now, there are a few points, you should always keep in mind for better digestion and health benefits.

1.  If you are overweight or have heart problems, keep the fat amount (oils) in cooking very little as much as you can.

2.  Eat lean meats and avoid high fat meats.

3.  Do not eat acidic food when taking milk and vice-versa.

4.  Sometimes, instead of fried snacks or crackers, eat healthy dry fruits.

5.  Eat your fruits at least 1/2 hour prior to the meal for better digestion and to prevent blood sugar spikes after the meal.

6.  Do not drink a lot of water right after finishing meal. Wait at least 30-45 minutes before drinking water. However, you can take 2-3 sips of water in between the meal.

So, that’s how you should follow this healthy eating plate method. Please, consult with your doctor or dietitian first for better results, based on your health condition. Do you like the article? Have any questions or thoughts? Feel free to drop a comment & let us know!

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