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How to Meal Plan with Diabetes

There is no one-size-fits-all meal plan if you have diabetes. However, here are some tips to help you enjoy good food while living a diabetes lifestyle. 

The Plate Method 

Do you recall the food pyramid taught in grade school? Well, there’s now a new way to visualize what and how much you should eat: the plate method [1]. Imagine that half of a 9-inch dinner plate is filled with veggies, a quarter protein, and quarter carbs.   

If this method is new to you, don’t worry. While visualizing the plate method for your weekly meals, try thinking about where you’d like to start. For example, add in another quarter if you’re only filling a quarter of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Once that change becomes a habit, add another adjustment until you’re close to the recommendations and find what’s best for you. 

Prioritize Produce 

Prioritizing produce shouldn’t surprise, with the above method showcasing that half of your plate should be coming from non-starchy vegetables. Produce gives us a lot of bang for our buck, both on the wallet and in the body. All of the micronutrients they deliver are wonderful for your body’s processes. 

You probably know how great fruit and vegetables are, so let’s not spend a lot of time there. Instead, let’s start with a myth, “fruit has too much sugar.” While fruit has naturally occurring sugar, fiber content is another benefit. Carbohydrates (a.k.a. sugar) are a necessary macronutrient for the body to do its job of living. With that said, carbohydrates help regulate blood sugar throughout the day, which is the goal when living with diabetes. So consuming a diet that incorporates 2-4 servings of fruit daily is a nutritious way to eat part of your suggested daily carbohydrates. 

Plan Ahead 

Start with 1-2 meals per week and add more based on your goals and needs when you become confident. By planning, you are setting yourself and your family up for greater success.  



The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied on as medical advice. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, evaluation, or treatment of a qualified health-care provider. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition, or if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You should consult a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and before starting a new diet or health program. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate. If you have or suspect you may have allergies or medical issues which may be affected by certain foods, find you may have or be experiencing side effects, you should promptly contact your health care provider. Statements within this article have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.<br />