The Plate Method

“The Plate Method” is a simple, more visual way to help manage your blood sugars and control portion sizes. Start by filling half of your nine-inch lunch or dinner plate with non-starchy vegetables and a quarter each with starchy foods and protein-rich foods. No counting required! But here’s the catch: The starch section of your plate shouldn’t be much thicker than a deck of cards.

Let’s Do the Math:

One cup of most cooked whole grains and starchy foods, two slices of whole wheat bread or two, six-inch tortillas each contribute around 25-35 grams of carbohydrates. The protein-rich lean meat or fish entree generally won’t add to this total but the half-a-plate of non-starchy vegetables will add roughly 10 grams. In many cases, this will bring you to about 40 grams before

adding fruit or dairy. If your target meal is 45 grams, try saving your side of fruit or dairy for a snack.

What About Mixed Dishes?

Let’s be honest: Many of our favorite meals are mixed dishes. How do we use the plate method for these? For entrees like lasagna, about one cup will count as your meat and starch servings, according to the American Diabetes Association. For a hamburger, your whole wheat bun will count toward the starch section of your plate while your lean burger will count toward the protein section. The trick with mixed meals is to remember that each plate is made up of individual components, and these components contribute toward your overall daily intake of nutrients.

Balancing Act

Create a balanced, diabetes-friendly meal by including three of the following: Protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and fresh or frozen fruit.

Turkey Provolone Pesto Wrap

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes


2 whole wheat
flour tortillas
2 tablespoons basil pesto 3 ounces thinly sliced roasted turkey breast
4 thin slices 2% reduced fat provolone cheese
1 cup fresh baby spinach

1. Place tortillas on cutting board (microwave briefly if tortilla needs to be softened) and spread pesto evenly over the top of each. Place turkey breast evenly over pesto and top each with two slices of cheese down the center of the tortilla. Place spinach leaves evenly over the tops of the entire tortilla.
2. Roll up from the side without the cheese. Cut each in half and wrap in plastic wrap or serve with a toothpick to keep them rolled up.
3. Add a side of fruit to complete your plate.

Greek Yogurt Power Bowl

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes


3⁄4 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey or 1. Teaspoons strawberry jam
1⁄2 banana, diced
1/3 cup fresh or frozen berries of choice
1⁄4 cup whole grain granola of choice

1. Add yogurt to a large, 1-serving bowl and stir in vanilla and honey or jam.
2. Top with diced banana and berries. If you are making this ahead, cover and keep in refrigerator until needed. Sprinkle granola over the top right before eating.

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