Creating a diabetic meal plan can be confusing. Between the carbohydrate counting approach, the low glycemic index model or the plate plan—it can be difficult to know which direction and what plan to incorporate. For those seeking an easy to follow plan that does not require constant counting of carbohydrates, the plate plan may be the ideal model. It will be important, however, to ensure that your loved one keep a close eye on their blood sugar levels in order to determine if it is working for them.
The Basics of the Plate Plan
This plan, as with most diabetic models, revolves around whole foods. Prepackaged and prepared foods should be kept to a minimum as most contain simple carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and an abundance of sodium.
- The size of the plate matters. Make sure your parent’s plate is not bigger than 9” in diameter. In addition, portion control means that food is not overflowing and contained within each of the following areas of the plate.
- Fill half of their plate with non-starchy vegetables. Leafy greens are a great addition to their diet. Most grocery stores now carry containers of a variety of mixed greens. Other vegetables to include are broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, celery, cucumber, peppers, asparagus and tomatoes.
- Fill one-quarter of their plate with starchy vegetables or whole grains. This can include sweet potatoes, peas, corn, winter squash, beans, brown and wild rice, quinoa, whole grain bread, corn tortillas and whole grain cereals.
- Fill the other quarter with a lean protein. This can include fish, chicken, beef that is low in fat, eggs, pork, turkey and tofu. Turkey and chicken should be skin-free. Salmon is a good choice in the seafood department as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids—an important nutrient that contributes to the health of your eyes, brain, and heart.
- Add one to three servings of fruit per day. Check with your parent’s primary health care provider to determine the recommended dose. Fruits that are low in carbohydrates include strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and raspberries.
- One serving of dairy at each meal is also allowed. Low or fat-free varieties are recommended.
- Healthy fats should take the place of saturated fats and used sparingly. These include olive oil, nuts and natural nut butters as well as avocados.
Home Care Provider
Making lifestyle changes can feel overwhelming, particularly when one has spent most of their life eating a certain way. If your loved one needs help incorporating this plan and assistance with the other everyday activities of living, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider. They can do the grocery shopping, prepare diabetic-friendly meals and accompany your parent on daily walks. Sometimes a little support and encouragement makes all the difference when undertaking lifestyle changes.
If you are considering hiring professional home care in Lexington, Ohio, call the caring staff at Central Star Home Health at (419) 610-2161. Providing services for families in Mansfield, Lexington, Bellville, Mt. Gilead, Loudonville, Crestline, Galion, Shelby, Ashland, Wooster, and the surrounding areas.