Six Easy Steps to Create Your Plate
It's simple and effective for both managing diabetes and losing weight. Creating your plate let's you still choose the foods you want, but changes the portion sizes so you are getting larger portions of non-starchy vegetables and a smaller portion of starchy foods. When you are ready, you can try new foods within each food category.
Try these six simple steps to get started:
Using your dinner plate, put a line down the middle of the plate.
- Then on one side, cut it again so you will have 3 sections on your plate.
- Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables such as:
- spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, bok choy
- green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes,
- vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, okra,
- mushrooms, peppers, turnip
- Now in one of the small sections, put starchy foods such as:
- whole grain breads, such as whole wheat or rye
- whole grain, high-fiber cereal
- cooked cereal such as oatmeal, grits, hominy, or cream of wheat
- rice, pasta, dal, tortillas
- cooked beans and peas, such as pinto beans or black-eyed peas
- potatoes, green peas, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash
- low-fat crackers and snack chips, pretzels, and fat-free popcorn
- And then on the other small section, put your meat or meat substitutes such as:
- chicken or turkey without the skin
- fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, or catfish
- other seafood such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, or mussels
- lean cuts of beef and pork such as sirloin or pork loin
- tofu, eggs, low-fat cheese
- Add an 8 oz glass of non-fat or low-fat milk. If you don’t drink milk, you can add another small serving of carb such as a 6 oz. container of light yogurt or a small roll.
- And a piece of fruit or a 1/2 cup fruit salad and you have your meal planned. Examples are fresh, frozen, or canned in juice or frozen in light syrup or freshfruit.
Your plate will look different at breakfast but the idea is the same. If you use a plate or bowl for breakfast, keep your portions small. Use half your plate for starchy foods. You can ad fruit in the small part and a meat or meat substitute in the other.
Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan for Pregnant WomenFor dinner:
Useful Tips and Facts About a Diabetic Diet Meal Plan
Tips for Managing Your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan
"Your best meal choices are a balance of lean protein, carbohydrates, and a small amount of fat. We recommend that about 50 percent of your total calories come from carbohydrates," says Kelly O'Connor, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. You should try to limit your calories from fats to fewer than 30 percent of your total daily calories from your gestational diabetes meal plan. Examples of healthy between-meal snacks would be a small amount of carbohydrate with some lean protein, such as crackers with low-fat cheese, low-fat cottage cheese with half a cup of fruit, or a slice of whole-grain bread with some peanut butter.
"The American Dietetic Association's exchange lists are a good reference for serving sizes, carbohydrate counts, protein counts, and fat grams," adds McDonald.
Other tips include:
If you have gestational diabetes, when you eat is also important. "I often use the example of a wood stove," says O'Connor. "If you want to have nice, steady heat throughout the day, you would put in a few logs every hour. You don't want the fire to go out or to have huge flames. The same holds true for your blood sugars. You want to put in the same amount of carbohydrate fuel every few hours. This also helps a pregnant woman feel less fatigued during the day."