What Is The Plate Method?

adult woman holding plate of food
A doctor-approved meal plan will provide you with a great variety of food choices, and will control the distribution of calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat throughout the day, so that your food and your insulin will balance.

The balance is what gives you “good” blood glucose control.

What is the Plate Method?

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Many dieticians recommend the use of the plate method to help people with diabetes control their portion sizes while being able to chose the foods that you like. It’s simple and effective for both managing diabetes and losing weight.

There are six simple steps to the plate method:

empty plate, surrounded by raw vegetables

Step 1. Take one of your smaller dinner plates and draw a line down the middle of the plate

Step 2. Fill the largest section of the plate with non-starchy vegetables like spinach, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, turnips, etc.

Step 3. In one of the smaller sections of the plate, put your meats like chicken, turkey, fish, or lean cuts of beef or pork.

Step 4. In the second smaller section of the plate, place your starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, etc.

Step 5. Add an 8 oz glass of low fat or non-fat milk. If you don’t drink milk you can try adding a container of light yogurt.

Step 6. Add a piece of fruit for dessert.

By Dr. James R. Gavin, BDO Diabetes Expert

Dr. Gavin is Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA and at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN. He also served as President and CEO for MicroIslet, Inc. of San Diego, CA. Dr. Gavin is the past president of the American Diabetes Association and past chairman of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences.

Dr. Gavin graduated from Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., in 1966 with a degree in chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Emory University in 1970 and his M.D. degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1975, following a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. He was president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA from 2002-2004.

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