Plate method for effective meal planning

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A plate method is a simple method that can be used to help you manage how you eat. It helps you plan your meals in a better fashion and see how much space different foods take on your plate.

Using a plate format will help you spread carbs throughout the day, which will help keep your blood sugar level from going way up and way down.

The plate method can be used along with other meal planning ways.

This is how you can follow the plate method:

  1. Separate plate into 2 halves and separate one of the halves in half again
  2. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables: spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, turnips, cucumber, tomato, peppers etc.
  3. In one small section, put starchy foods: whole grain breads or cereal, rice, pasta, cooked beans, potatoes, peas, crackers, etc.
  4. In the other small section, put protein: Cottage cheese, tofu, eggs, chicken, fish, yoghurt, legumes or low-fat cheese

Add a piece of fruit or ½ cup fruit salad – fresh or frozen.

The plate method helps you to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet and can be a good way to keep your blood sugar in check. You can further combine this method along with other meal planning methods like glycaemic index & carb counting.

The glycaemic index will rate the carbs according to how quickly they will raise the blood sugar levels.

A low-GI food will cause blood glucose levels to increase more slowly and steadily, which leads to lower postprandial (after meal) blood glucose readings.

Glycemic index (GI) values range from 0 to 100 with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food.

Foods in the high GI category can be swapped with foods in the medium and/or low GI category to lower GI.

Read more about glycaemic index here: https://mydailysugar.info/2019/09/04/glycaemic-index-and-how-can-it-help-in-the-management-of-diabetes/

Carb Counting (also called Carbohydrate counting) is another meal planning method which is quite helpful for people living with diabetes. It involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day.

Read more about carb counting here: https://mydailysugar.info/carb-counting-2/

Helpful hints to better plan your meals:

  • Drink a glass of water a few minutes before your meal
  • Keep meat portions to about 80-90 g or the palm of your hand
  • Use small plates and bowls
  • Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that it is full.
  • Listen to music while you eat rather than watch TV. People eat more while watching TV
  • Compare food labels on packages
  • Choose foods lower in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, calories, salt and added sugars
  • Use a food diary to plan your meals

Download a free food diary from the link here: https://mydailysugar.info/food-diary/

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