When you have diabetes, nutrition and physical activity are critical components of a healthy lifestyle. Following a nutritious food plan and staying active will help you keep your blood glucose level (blood sugar) within your goal range, among other benefits. To control your blood glucose levels, you must balance what you eat and drink with physical exercise and, if necessary, diabetic medication. What you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all essential factors in keeping your blood glucose level within the range recommended by your health care provider.
A meal plan serves as a guide for when, what, and how much to eat to acquire the nourishment you require while keeping your blood sugar levels within your target range. A smart meal plan will consider your goals, tastes, and lifestyle, as well as any medications you’re taking.
It’s simple to consume more than you need without even realizing it. The 9-inch plate method is a straightforward, visual way to ensure that you obtain enough non-starchy greens and lean protein while reducing your intake of higher-carb meals that increase your blood sugar.
Start with a 9-inch plate:
- Half of the plate should be non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, mushrooms, cucumber, broccoli, and cabbage
- Fill one-quarter of the plate with lean protein foods, such as chicken, salmon, shrimp, cheese, and beans
- A quarter of the plate should be carbohydrates. Grain, starchy vegetables (such as potatoes and peas), rice, pasta, beans, fruit, and yogurt are high in carbohydrates. A cup of milk is also a carbohydrate food.
Then, choose plain water or a low-calorie drink, such as unsweetened iced tea to accompany your meal.
CDC. (2021, March 11). Meal Planning. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well/meal-plan-method.html
American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Eating Well | ADA. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/eating-well