Diabetics – Eat Better with MyPlate

Over my career as a dietitian many people have asked me about the type of foods they should be eating. This can be challenging to answer. People that have diabetes are used to following a strict diet. There is not always a wide variety of foods to choose from. There are new and improve meal planning tips for people with diabetes. There is no magic diet. There are different types of eating patterns to help people manage their diabetes while having more food options.

Plate Method

This is a new approach to meal planning. The USDA release what they called MyPlate and this replaced the Food Pyramid. The plate is divided into four areas that are unequal. The areas are for fruits, vegetables, gains, and protein. The dairy group is one the side. These are the groups needed for a balanced diet. Information on MyPlate can be found on and there are tools for men, women, elders, pregnant women, and children to find foods to help them meet healthy goals.

Create Your Plate

Critics say this is not diabetic friendly. It is said to be too heavy in carbohydrates. While some cards are needed too many can hurt blood sugar levels. There is a MyPlate plan for people with diabetes.
Control Your Plate was developed by the American Diabetes Association and includes non starchy vegetables and a larger portion of them. Grains such as brown rice and peas fill up a quarter of the plate and lean protein such as chicken and seafood take up another quarter. There is room for a small serving of fruits and a serving of dairy such as low fat milk. Healthy fats such as oil, nuts, and avocados are allowed.

Another version of MyPlate can be found on the Joslin Diabetes Center website. There are interactive tools to help a person build their own plate.

This many seem simple to some people but it can help anyone eat better. Diabetic people have to watch their carbohydrate intake and this plan allows them to eat a variety of low carb foods. No foods are forbidden either. There is room for an occasional treat. This tool can help the family eat better and teach portion control as well.


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