A healthy eating plan for a diabetic patient focuses on controlling portion sizes and including a wide variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lean meats, according to the American Diabetes Association. Meal planning tools include the plate method, counting carbohydrates and using the glycemic index.
The plate method involves placing an imaginary line directly down the middle of a dinner plate and then dividing one side into two sections, explains the American Diabetes Association. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables, such as carrots, greens, broccoli and tomatoes. Place grains, including whole wheat bread, rice or cooked peas or beans, in one of the smaller sections. Place a protein, such as chicken, salmon, lean beef or eggs, in the other smaller section. Include a serving of fruit or dairy if appropriate.
When using the glycemic index as a guideline for creating healthy meal plans, diabetics select foods that have a low-glycemic index because these foods do not cause sharp increases in blood sugar. Keeping the timing and amount of carbohydrates consistent each day is also important in a diabetic eating plan, especially if the patient takes insulin or other diabetes medication, notes Mayo Clinic.