Diabetes Create My Plate Method

The diabetes Create My Plate Method for controlling diabetes was only recently introduced, but has rapidly caught fire. The old diabetes food pyramid is out, and this method is in.

But — What is it? Who created it? And, how can it help you? Well, let’s take a look and see what the big deal is.

In January 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture issued its 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Don’t ask me why they released a 2010 guide in 2011, your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, the new eating guidelines were a radical departure from previous eating recommendations.

Gone was the food pyramid and in was the plate method. Personally, I say good riddance. Even with two graduate degrees, I never really understood how to put together a meal plan using the pyramid system. The USDA apparently agreed since practically no one was following it and the majority of the people in this country are overweight. Time for a change.

The USDA plate guidelines have been adopted and altered somewhat by the American Diabetes Association. As this is a site on diabetes, we will focus on the ADA version.

What is the Choose My Plate Method?

For those of you who like videos, here is a quick overview from the ADA.

First, you need to do is choose a plate. Sounds easy, but plate sizes have grown along with your waist line over the years. Your plate should be 9 inches wide, no wider.

Second, half your plate should be filled with Non-Starchy Vegetables. Examples of this type of vegetable include:

Broccoli Greens (lettuce, etc.)
Bok ChoyGreen Beans
Carrotts Cauliflower
Tomatoes Peppers
MushroomsVegetable Juice

Third, in one quarter of the plate you can add Starchy foods. When choosing these foods, you should make a supreme effort to make them whole grains, if applicable. Examples Include:

Rice Cereal
PotatoesBeans (black, pinto, etc.)
Green PeasSquash
Quinoa Yams

Fourth, in the last quarter of the plate, you will have Protein. Appropriate Examples:

TurkeyLean Beef
Lean PorkTofu
EggsLow-Fat Cheese

Fifth, moving off of the plate, you have two more items. First, is a small (8 oz.) glass of low fat or skim milk or small (6 oz.) yogurt. Next is a small piece of fruit.

But What About Breakfast??!!

Basically, it is the same, although you can have more starchy foods. For example, you can have cereal or oatmeal (starchy food), but it should still be small, no more than half of your plate. Obviously, you eat cereal in a bowl so you will have to estimate this a bit. Next, you should eat the equivalent of one quarter of a plate for protein and one quarter for fruit.

What Other Plate Method Guidelines are Important?

  •     Avoid Sugary Drinks (and maybe diet soda too!)
  •     Avoid Added Sugar (e.g., honey, brown and white sugar)(Use Artificial Sweeteners)
  •     Avoid High Fat Cooking Methods (i.e., shortening, butter, hydrogenated oil, margarine)
  •     Use Lower Fat Oils (e.g., olive, canola, Safflower, etc.)
  •     Eat Less Salt
  •     Eat Lean Cuts of Meat
  •     Eat Three Meals