Building Your Best Plate | NYC Health + Hospitals

Building Your Best Plate

If you have diabetes, eating healthy foods and being careful with portions sizes can help you manage your blood sugar levels. But what does a healthy plate look like?

You can use this simple method to build a healthy meal any time:

  • Fill ½ of your plate with vegetables (like broccoli or salad)
  • Fill ¼ of your plate with a starchy food (like rice or sweet potatoes)
  • Fill ¼ of your plate with lean protein (like chicken, fish, or eggs)

“The plate guideline can make healthier eating easier for anyone trying to improve their health. It shows how all foods can fit into a nutritious meal plan, emphasizing that the largest part of the meal should be vegetables,” explains Samantha Pyser, RD, CDN, CDE, Ambulatory Care Registered Dietitian and the Diabetes Education Program Coordinator at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “We work with patients to educate them about nutrition and diabetes, and help them to develop healthier habits that fit their personal preferences and lifestyle,” she says.

Below are six examples of healthy plates you can put together using this method. You can print out your favorite plate, put it on your refrigerator, and use it as a guide for your next meal. The second page accompanying each plate also has space for you to write in your individual goals for managing your diabetes. Your care team can help you fill this page out:

  • Plate 1: Chicken with black beans, tortilla, salad, and avocado
  • Plate 2: Pork with yams and mixed vegetables
  • Plate 3: Chicken with sweet potatoes and mixed vegetables
  • Plate 4: Grilled fish with brown rice and sautéed vegetables
  • Plate 5: Chicken with yellow rice and pigeon peas and mixed vegetables
  • Plate 6: Curry chicken with whole wheat roti and sautéed mixed vegetables

Additional diabetes resources
Ask Our Expert: 5 Simple Tips to Help Manage Your Diabetes
3 Delicious Recipes for Managing Diabetes
Expert Diabetes Care at NYC Health + Hospitals