Create a Healthy Plate with More Freedom

Create Your Plate is an interactive tool designed by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). This system was created to help people with diabetes (and others too) manage their blood glucose levels and lose weight. The Create Your Plate program is centered around the goal of filling your plate with mostly non-starchy vegetables and smaller portions of starchy foods and protein.

When you “create your plate,” you can make healthier choices, and since the guidelines are looser than many other dietary plans, you have more freedom. You choose and vary the foods you want for each meal, adjusting portion sizes so your focus is on non-starchy veggies. There are many foods to choose in each main category: protein, non-starchy vegetables, and grains and starchy foods.

Create Your Plate is a plan that’s very easy to visualize on your own. And on the ADA website, you will find an interactive tool that will allow you to fill up a plate with a variety of foods according to their portion recommendations. This tool can help you plan your meal in advance, or once you are familiar with the program, you will be able to start picturing food combinations and their appropriate portions and map out your plate on your own.

Healthy Living's Diabetes Nutrition Placemat

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Similarly, on the Healthy Living Online Store (toward the bottom of the page), you can also check out and order our custom nutrition placemat. It is based on the same food group proportion recommendations as the Create Your Plate plan for the ADA. The placemat gives you visual tips for portion sizes, lists of foods in each group and their serving sizes, and a visual representation of a healthy plate.

7 Steps to Getting Started with a Healthy Plate

  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 three sections on your plate.
  2. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables. See this list of non-starchy vegetables.
  3. Now in one of the small sections, put grains and starchy foods. See this list of grains and starchy foods.
  4. And then in the other small section, put your protein. See this list of protein foods.
  5. Add a serving of fruit, a serving of dairy, or both as your meal plan allows.
  6. Choose healthy fats in small amounts. For cooking, use oils. For salads, some healthy additions are nuts, seeds, avocado and vinaigrettes.
  7. To complete your meal, add a low-calorie drink like water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.

(List recommended by the American Diabetes Association)

Try a new way of creating your meal. Fill you plate according to the Create Your Plate sectioning strategy and see the difference it makes in your health!