Diabetic Meal Planning
A meal plan is your guide that will help to decide when, what and how much to eat to get the nutrition you need while keeping your blood sugar levels in your target range. A good meal plan will consider your goals, tastes and lifestyle and alsoany medicinesthat you are taking.A good meal plan should:
- Include more non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach and green beans
- Include fewer added sugars and refined grains, such as white bread and rice with less than 2 g of fiber per serving
- Focus on whole foods instead of highly processed foods as much as possible
It is better to plan for regular balanced meals to avoid high or low blood sugar levels. Eating about the same amount of carbs at each meal can be helpful. There are different methods/tools which can help in planning meals.
Counting carbs: Keeping track of how many carbs you eat and setting a limit for each meal can help keep your blood sugar levels in your target range. Consult your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out how many carbs you can eat each day and at each meal.
Plate method: The plate method is a simple visual way to make sure you get enough nonstarchy vegetables and lean protein while limiting the amount of higher-carb foods. Consider a 9-inch dinner plate.
- Fill half with nonstarchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and carrots
- Fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, tofu or eggs
- Fill one quarter with carb foods like grains, potatoes, peas, rice, pasta, beans, fruit and yogurt
- Drink water or a low-calorie drink such as unsweetened iced tea to go with your meal
Portion size: Portion size and serving size aren’t always the same. A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat at one time, while a serving is a specific amount of food, such as one slice of bread or a cup of milk. Here is a handy guide to estimate portion size at your fingertips:
- 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry; palm of hand (no fingers)
- 1 ounce of meat or cheese; thumb (tip to base)
- 1 cup or 1 medium fruit; fist
- 1–2 ounces of nuts or pretzels; cupped hand
- 1 tablespoon; thumb tip (tip to first joint)
- 1 teaspoon; Fingertip (tip to first joint)
Weekly meal plan
- Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well/meal-plan-method.html. Accessed on November 10, 2021.