Create-Your-Plate Meal Planning for Diabetes
Understanding how food affects your blood glucose levels is fundamental to managing your diabetes. Carbohydrates in the food you eat raise blood sugar levels; however, different types of carbohydrates or what you eat with it can raise your blood sugar faster or slower. For example, eating an apple will raise your blood sugar slower than drinking apple juice.
Keeping your blood glucose levels balanced requires planning and minimal meal prep. A good meal plan includes non-starchy vegetables, whole foods prepared at home, and foods with no added sugar or refined ingredients. The Plate Method is a simple, visual way to make sure you limit higher-carb foods that have the greatest impact on your blood sugar. Simply grab a 9-inch diameter plate and be conscious of portion sizes. Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Examples of these include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, or cucumbers. Next, fill one quarter of your plate with a lean protein. This can include chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, lean beef or pork, cheese, or beans. The remaining quarter of the plate can contain foods that are higher in carbohydrates, such as grains, starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, or squash), fruit, or dairy. The final component of your balanced plate includes water or a low-calorie drink.
Keeping track of how many carbs you eat can help keep your blood sugar levels in your target range. Working with a dietitian or your doctor can help you determine how many carbs you can safely eat per day and at each meal without your glucose spiking or falling. Here are also some great resources for additional information:
· American Diabetes Association: https://diabetes.org/food-nutrition/meal-planning
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Living with Diabetes: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well.html