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Create Your Plate with the Plate Method

Diet Tips - Plate Method

These 5 simple steps will get you started eating healthy and feeling better. Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. You don't need any special tools or have to do any counting.

It's simple and effective—draw an imaginary line on your plate, select your foods, and enjoy your meal! Once you’ve changed your portion sizes, you can work on making healthier food choices from each food group. Apply a similar method at breakfast.

Five Easy Steps to Create Your Plate

It's simple and effective for both managing diabetes and losing weight. Creating your plate let's you still choose the foods you want, but changes the portion sizes so you are getting larger portions of non-starchy vegetables and a smaller portion of starchy foods. When you are ready, you can try new foods within each food category.

Try these five simple steps to get started:

Using your dinner plate, put a line down the middle of the plate.

1. Then on one side, cut it again so you will have 3 sections on your plate.

2. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables, such as:

  • spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, bok choy
  • green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes
  • vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, okra
  • mushrooms, peppers, turnip

3. Now in one of the small sections, put starchy foods, such as:

  • whole grain breads, such as whole wheat or rye
  • whole grain, high-fiber cereal
  • cooked cereal such as oatmeal, grits, hominy, or cream of wheat
  • rice, pasta, dal, tortillas
  • cooked beans and peas, such as pinto beans or black-eyed peas
  • potatoes, green peas, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash
  • low-fat crackers and snack chips, pretzels, and fat-free popcorn

4. And then on the other small section, put your meat or meat substitutes, such as:

  • chicken or turkey without the skin
  • fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, or catfish
  • other seafood such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, or mussels
  • lean cuts of beef and pork such as sirloin or pork loin
  • tofu, eggs, low-fat cheese

5. Add an 8 oz glass of non-fat or low-fat milk. If you don’t drink milk, you can add another small serving of carb such as a 6 oz. container of light yogurt or a small roll.

  • And a piece of fruit or a 1/2 cup fruit salad and you have your meal planned. Examples are fresh, frozen, or canned in juice or frozen in light syrup or fresh fruit.


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