Diabetes: Sample Plate Format

A plate format (also called the plate method) can be used to help you manage how you eat. Use these pictures to help you visualize your next balanced meal.

Sample lunch or dinner plate

Sample lunch or dinner plate format for people with diabetes
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slide 1 of 2, Sample lunch or dinner plate,

Use a plate that is about 20 cm (8 in.). Depending on how much carbohydrate you are supposed to eat at a meal, follow these guidelines for lunch and dinner:

  • Half the plate is at least two kinds of non-starchy vegetables. Examples are broccoli, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, peppers, and salad greens.
  • One-fourth of the plate is grain products and starches. Examples are bread, rolls, rice, crackers, cooked grains, cereal, tortillas, and starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and winter squash.
  • One-fourth is meat and alternatives. This is about the size of a deck of cards. Examples are lean beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, tofu, eggs, beans, and lentils.
  • Add a small piece of fruit. Or choose ½ cup (125 mL) of frozen, cooked, or canned fruit.
  • Enjoy a serving of milk or an alternative. A serving is 1 cup of low-fat or skim milk, ¾ cup no-sugar-added yogurt, or 1 cup of fortified soy beverage.

Sample breakfast plate

Sample breakfast plate format for people with diabetes
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slide 2 of 2, Sample breakfast plate,

For breakfast, the concept is similar.

  • One-fourth of the plate is a grain product or starch.
  • One-fourth of the plate is a meat or alternative.
  • Add a small piece of fresh fruit or ½ cup (125 mL) of frozen, cooked, or canned fruit.
  • Include a serving of milk or an alternative. A serving is 1 cup of low-fat or skim milk, ¾ cup no-sugar-added yogurt, or 1 cup of fortified soy beverage.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017

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