What Is Your Best Meal Plan?

What Is Your Best Meal Plan?

Healthy eating should be something you enjoy and makes you feel satisfied. A meal plan helps you eat healthy. For those with type 2 diabetes, the meal plan is designed to:

  • Keep your body weight on track.
  • Keep your blood glucose levels on target.
  • Get the nutrients you need.
  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Lower your cholesterol.
  • Work with your schedule.

Below you will find two different ways to create a meal plan: using the “create your plate” plan or the “glycemic index” meal plan. Talk with your healthcare provider to see if one of these is good for you.

best-meal-plan-1“CREATE YOUR PLATE”

Here is a plan that may help you to keep your diabetes under control and lose weight. “Creating your plate” lets you choose the foods you want, but changes the portion sizes. You eat a larger portion of non-starchy vegetables and a smaller portion of starchy foods with this plan.

1 Using your dinner plate, put a line down the middle of the plate. Then on one side cut it again so you will have 3 sections on your plate.

2 Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables such as: spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, okra, mushrooms, peppers, or turnips.

3 Now in one of the small sections, put starchy foods such as: whole grain breads, whole wheat or rye, oatmeal, grits, rice, pasta, tortillas, cooked beans or peas, potatoes, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash, low-fat crackers, snack chips, pretzels, or fat-free popcorn

4 And then, on the other small section, put your proteins such as: chicken or turkey without the skin, tuna, salmon, cod, shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, mussels, lean beef, lean pork, tofu, eggs, or low-fat cheese.

5 Add an 8 oz. glass of non-fat or low-fat milk. If you don’t drink milk, you can add another small serving of carb such as a 6 oz. container of light yogurt.

6 Add a piece of fruit or a ½ cup fruit salad. Examples are fruits that are fresh, frozen, canned in juice, or frozen in light syrup.
best-meal-plan-2

GLYCEMIC INDEX PLAN

What is the glycemic index? The glycemic index, or GI, measures how foods that contain carbohydrates increase blood glucose. A food with a high GI increases blood glucose more than a food with a low or medium GI. If you try the GI plan, choose foods that have a low or medium GI.

FOODS WITH A LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX

Examples of carbohydrate-containing foods with a low GI include:

  • Oatmeal, peanuts, peas, carrots, kidney beans, hummus, skim milk.
  • Most fruit — not watermelon, bananas, grapes, or raisins.
  • Many whole grain breads and cereals (like barley, whole wheat bread, rye bread, and all-bran cereal).
  • Meats and fats don’t have a GI because they do not contain carbohydrate.
FOODS WITH A MEDIUM GLYCEMIC INDEX
  • Bananas, grapes, spaghetti, ice cream, raisins, corn on the cob.
FOODS WITH A HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX

Avoid or balance with a low glycemic food

  • White rice, white bread, pretzels, white bagels, white baked potatoes, crackers, sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Watermelon.

 

By Fran Daniel, MPH

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