Eating healthy food

The Plate Method for Diabetes

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. August 25, 2022
The Plate Method for Diabetes

We have never had so many options when it comes to food. While such variety can mean we have more options for the type of food we might enjoy, it can also make maintaining a balanced diet very difficult. For people with underlying health conditions which further complicate our nutrition, we need to find tactics to help ensure we eat healthily. For those of us with diabetes, selecting the right ingredients in the right amounts is not only the way to help us look good and feel healthy, it is essential for our survival.

At oneHOWTO, we explain the plate method for diabetes. We understand how the plate method works and provide helpful recipes so you can plan your diet with the plate method.

You may also be interested in: How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate
  1. What is the plate method for diabetes?
  2. Plate method recipes
  3. Weekly plate method food plan

What is the plate method for diabetes?

Eating correctly comes easier to some than others. Some of us need a little help to understand what is best for us, especially if we have an underlying health condition directly affected by diet. Our doctors and nutritionists uses various examples and models to help us reach our nutritional ideals.

The plate method is a visual tool to help you eat a healthy and balanced diet. This resource was developed in 2014 by the US Department of Public Health at Harvard University[1]. It is based on recent scientific research and evidence. This method indicates that following the plate diet based on healthy fats, vegetables, proteins and whole grains reduces the risk of weight gain and chronic diseases.

In practice, the Harvard Healthy Plate Method consists of dividing the dishes we eat for our main meals, in the following way:

  1. Half of the plate (50%) should be made up of vegetables, both raw and cooked. The former may be in a salad, while the latter may be sautéed, boiled or mashed into purees.
  2. You should make up 25% with foods rich in carbohydrates. These can include cereals, such as rice or pasta (preferably whole grains), tubers or legumes.
  3. In the remaining 25% of the plate, you should add protein foods. These include fish, eggs or white meat, as well as vegetarian options (tofu, seitan or tempeh).

Plate method recipes

As you can see, the plate method is an easy way to look at our diet and the food we eat. However, we don't want to lose neither variety in our diet, nor the joy of eating food. This is why oneHOWTO has prepared the following recipes to help us use the plate method without having a boring diet.

Rice with artichokes and cuttlefish

To make this plate method recipe, you will need about 1 hour of cooking and the following ingredients:

  • Rice (preferably brown)
  • Artichokes
  • Cuttlefish
  • Green peas
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Leek
  • Vegetable broth or water
  • Onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Cut the cuttlefish into several rings. After drying it well with kitchen paper, sauté in a pan with a little olive oil.
  2. Cut the onion into small slices and fry together with the cuttlefish rings. When the onion begins to brown, add the previously diced artichoke along with the sliced mushrooms.
  3. Add the peas to the pan.
  4. Add water or vegetable broth when the vegetables start to soften.
  5. Finally, add the rice and let it cook along with the rest of the ingredients. When everything is cooked and the broth has been absorbed, you can serve it on the plate. Add more broth or water if the rice needs to cook for longer.

Chicken pasta salad

The preparation time for this recipe is also approximately one hour and required the following ingredients:

  • Wholewheat pasta
  • Chicken
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the whole wheat pasta to cook for as long as instructed.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add a little olive oil in a pan to sauté the chicken with the cherry tomatoes.
  3. After cooking, wait for the pasta, chicken and cherry tomatoes to cool to room temperature.
  4. In a bowl, add all the ingredients when they are warm.
  5. Finally, dress the salad with a pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Stir the dressing with the rest of the ingredients and you can now serve the salad.

Other recipes for the plate method

There are more interesting recipes with which you can follow the plate method, such as the following:

  • Fried sweet potato with egg and chard
  • Quinoa wok with prawns
  • Zucchini and tuna cannelloni
  • Zucchini stuffed with textured soy
  • Stewed beans with rabbit
  • Buckwheat with poached egg
  • Hake Steamed
  • Sautéed spinach with bread and egg

We have not listed the amounts for each plate method dish as it will depend on how much you are making. The key is to follow the ratios as instructed by the plate method, i.e. 2:1:1 for vegetables:carbs:protein.

If you want to know more about how your diet can be adapted to your specific needs, take a look at our article on the best diet for a mesomorphic body type.

The Plate Method for Diabetes - Plate method recipes

Weekly plate method food plan

To apply the healthy plate method for diabetes, we provide you an example of a healthy male plan using the plate method:


  • Lunch: broccoli with onion and sautéed pumpkin + brown rice and grilled pork loin.
  • Dinner: kale salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes, fresh cheese, hard-boiled egg, carrot, and toasted bread.


  • Lunch: cucumber and tomato salad with fresh basil + chicken with garlic and parsley and baked potatoes.
  • Dinner: grilled eggplant and zucchini + grilled chopped cuttlefish with lemon and garlic and a side of boiled couscous.


  • Lunch: vegetable stew and boiled potato + grilled cod with parsley.
  • Dinner: salad of lettuce sprouts, a can of tuna and onions with boiled whole-grain pasta.


  • Lunch: spinach salad with red pepper, carrot and radish with boiled wholewheat pasta + grilled tuna with parsley and garlic.
  • Dinner: baked Brussels sprouts and carrots with a fried egg and boiled quinoa.


  • Lunch: chicken stew with boiled potatoes and vegetables (green pepper, carrot, onion, natural tomato and zucchini).
  • Dinner: potato salad with tomato and green pepper + grilled hake with garlic and parsley.


  • Lunch: lamb's lettuce salad, boiled lentils, baked cucumber with tomato and a grilled steak.
  • Dinner: scrambled eggs with prawns, sautéed mushrooms and onions, spring garlic and toasted bread.


  • Lunch: zucchini noodles with carrot and tomato + baked chicken with boiled chickpeas.
  • Dinner: baked sole with baked potatoes and roasted vegetables.

As you can see, the plate method for diabetes works best for lunch and dinner, but you will need to respect portion control for other meals as well. If we eat too much animal fat, sugar and other unhealthy food outside of our plate method meals, it will counteract the benefits of the plate method itself.

Learn more about what to eat for your other meals with our article on soft food diet breakfast ideas.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to The Plate Method for Diabetes, we recommend you visit our Healthy living category.


1. Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. (2011). The Healthy Eating Plate. Retrieved from:

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The Plate Method for Diabetes