Health Tip of the Week (#DiabetesMonth): The Healthy Plate Method

November 25, 2015

Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, our final #DiabetesMonth “Health Tip of the Week” offers some advice about portion control.

The Institute created a series of cultural “Healthy Plates” to depict a simple and effective way to help patients lose weight and manage diabetes and other conditions. With this method, you fill your plate with more non-starchy veggies and smaller portions of carb-rich foods and protein—no special tools or counting required!

Along with creating a healthy plate understanding portion sizes are important in healthy eating. Eating the correct portion sizes helps maintaining healthy blood glucose levels as well as maintaining a healthy weight. Some practical tips for knowing the correct portion sizes are below.

= 2 or more cups. This should be your non-starchy vegetables. Foods include lettuce; collard greens; broccoli and carrots.
= 4 oz. This should be your protein. Foods include chicken; pork; beef and eggs
= 1 cup. This should be your carbohydrate. Foods include rice; beans; apple or low-fat milk
= 1 Tablespoon. This should be your low-fat sauce or dip. Foods include peanut butter; olive oil; ketchup.


Putting it all together:

  1. Focus on the size of your plate; make sure it’s 9” or less.
  2. Place your favorite foods in the appropriate categories; yes this means putting the rice in the ¼ portion of the plate not the ½.
  3. Familiarize yourself with healthy portions by practicing with measuring cups; try not to serve yourself double or triple portions!
  4. If you have diabetes watch your portions of carb-rich foods.

Talk to your health care team if your blood sugars are higher than you anticipate. You might just need to make small tweaks to your portions!

Check out our cultural healthy plates and catch up on the other “health tips of the week.” Happy Thanksgiving!

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