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Planning your meals

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Last week we talked about what counted as “a starch,” a concept that is very important in regard to blood sugar control. Remember that starches are what make blood sugars rise; so, knowing what those are when you chose (or do not chose) to eat them is critical.{{more}}

This week we will talk a bit broader, because many people had questions about planning their meals.

The big question is always the same: how much starch should you have? For adults, we often recommend about 60 grams of starch per meal (at most 90) and 15-30 grams per snack. The trick here is knowing how MUCH that amounts to! You can find out the amount of starch in prepared foods, because this is usually in the nutrition label-look for “sugars” or “carbohydrates” and that is the amount in one serving/portion. But what about food when there is no label? How do you plan that?

The easy way is to picture your plate as a circle (preferably not a huge circle!), or even better, take one out of your cupboard and look at it. Draw an imaginary line down the center of it. Then on one side draw another line to divide that side into two. You will have one larger side of the plate, then two smaller sections (one half and two quarters). When you head to a table to take your rice, potatoes, dasheen etc, whatever starch, guess where that goes on your plate? RIGHT–into one of those quarter sections. That’s how much starch you should have.

The rest of that plate?
 
Look at it again: you have one quarter section left and a big half section. Your protein goes into that other quarter–so your fish, chicken, lean pork etc should fit there. The half section? That’s where your non-starchy vegetables go.

This plate method is something we have been recommending to our patients for years, but this year the US Department made it their new version of the recommendation for diet instead of the food pyramid. That plate division is a general recommendation for everyone, aimed at maximizing your vegetables and keeping both your starches and proteins to a moderate size. Don’t try to cheat and HEAP a bunch of rice etc in that starch section!!!! You are only cheating your own health!

At first when you do this, you will look at the plate and say “this is not enough food.” But it is. And one of the important parts of this plate is controlling the amount of starch you eat at one time.

Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD endodocs@endocrinehelp.com
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
www.endocrinehelp.com
Tel: 843-798-4227

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