Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Diabetes: Using a Plate Format to Plan Meals

Diabetes: Using a Plate Format to Plan Meals

Overview

The diabetes plate method is a simple way to plan meals and manage the amount of carbohydrate you eat. Put non-starchy vegetables on half your plate. Add protein foods, like meat or meat substitutes, on a fourth of the plate. Put carbohydrate foods, like grains, starchy vegetables, beans, fruit, and milk and yogurt, on the final fourth of the plate. Choose water or another low-calorie beverage to drink with your meal.

How to use a plate format

How to use a plate format

Here is a simple way to manage the amount of carbohydrate you eat at meals.

Sample lunch or dinner plate

Sample plate method for diabetes, showing plate with one-half plate of non-starchy vegetables, one-fourth plate of protein foods, and one-fourth plate of carbohydrate foods.
slide 1 of 2
slide 1 of 2, Sample lunch or dinner plate,

Follow these guidelines for lunch and dinner. Use a plate that measures 9 inches (23 cm) across.

  • Half the plate is non-starchy vegetables. Some examples are broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers, and salad greens.
  • A fourth of the plate is protein foods. These include chicken, turkey, lean beef and pork, fish, tofu, nuts, eggs, and cheese.
  • A fourth of the plate is carbohydrate foods. These include grains, fruit, yogurt and milk, and starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and beans.
  • Choose water or another low-calorie drink. Water is a good choice with meals. Other examples of low-calorie drinks include sparkling water or unsweetened tea or coffee.

Sample breakfast plate

slide 2 of 2
slide 2 of 2, Sample breakfast plate,

For breakfast, the concept is similar.

  • Half the plate is non-starchy vegetables. You can leave this section of your plate empty if you don't usually eat vegetables at breakfast.
  • A fourth of the plate is protein foods.
  • A fourth of the plate is carbohydrate foods.
  • Choose water or another low-calorie drink.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Quick Tips: Smart Snacking When You Have Diabetes Diabetes in Children: Counting Carbs Carbohydrate Foods Counting Carbohydrate Grams or Servings Diabetes: Coping With Your Feelings About Your Diet Food List for Diabetes Diabetes: Counting Carbs

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details