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Portion Control

Making the right food choices is a key step in winning the fight against diabetes. Your personalized diabetes diet should include a plan to control serving and portion sizes. This does not mean you have to stop eating your favorite foods, it does mean eating less. Below are some tips on controlling portions and serving sizes:

To Learn Portion Control

  • See how much you eat
  • Decide how much to eat
  • Cut back on portion size

The Six Secrets of Portion Control

  • Just eat half. You will cut your calories by 50%.
  • Ask for lunch sized portions at your dinner meal.
  • Go mini. Get a small bag of chips, the individual serving size.
  • Never super size.
  • Avoid “all you can eat” buffets.
  • Compare to control. To control portions mentally compare them with common everyday objects, such as 3 ounces of meat is like the size of a deck of cards.

Recommended Serving Sizes and Portion Guidelines

  • Meat, fish, poultry-3 oz. (about the size of the palm of your hand)
  • Cheese-1 oz. (about the size of your thumb)
  • Milk, yogurt, fresh vegetables-1 cup (about the size of a tennis ball)
  • Bread-one slice
  • Rice or cooked pasta-1/3 cup
  • Potato or corn-1/2 cup
  • Dry cereal-3/4 cup

The Healthy Plate

Use the plate method as a simple way to plan your meal. Take a 9-inch dinner plate and divide it into various food groups, it's simple and easy. Follow these tips to design your healthy plate:

  • Non-starchy vegetables should cover 50 percent of the plate for lunch and dinner.
  • The remainder of the plate should be divided between starchy foods, like bread, pasta, grains, corn, rice, barley or potatoes, and a choice from the meat group such as chicken, beef, fish, turkey, pork.
  • A serving of fruit and milk are represented outside the plate.
  • Choose fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruit in juice.
  • Choose skim or 1% milk or 6 ounces of low-fat yogurt.

Personalize Your Eating Plan

One size doesn't fit all. Interactive Web sites, such as eatright.org and Choose My Plate offer personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan and assess your food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Dietary Guidelines for a healthy diet will:

  • Consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and
  • Contain low saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
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