Use the Plate Method

Use the Plate Method


Our most important guide to eating healthy while at a Filipino party is the plate method. Think of the plate method as a blueprint for your meal. Make half of your plate vegetables, either a salad or a cooked vegetable dish. Reserve a quarter of the plate for any protein main dishes, and lastly, leave a quarter of the plate for carbs like rice, noodles, or potato-based dishes. One other piece of advice is to make your plate as colorful as possible. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and no, halo halo doesn’t count. Let’s break down the plate method and go into servings, portion control, and serving sizes. First, fill half of your plate with vegetables, this could be salad or cooked leafy vegetables. These are the foods that are highest in fiber and lowest in calories and typically highest in vitamins and minerals. Then, fill a quarter of your plate with your main entree. These typically include the foods highest in protein and fat. Examples would be chicken adobo, menudo, and lumpia. Try to minimize the amount of fried foods as well. Finally, fill only one quarter of your plate with carbohydrates, like rice, noodles, or potatoes. Fruits and starchy vegetables like peas, corn, and cassava are also carbohydrates. It’s harder to get full of carbohydrates, so if you load up on carbohydrates you may end up eating more calories total than if you had a more balanced and healthy plate. Also, don’t forget about liquid calories. Drinks like sodas, juices, and alcohol can be very high in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars. Water or unsweetened tea is a better choice of beverage. Diabetic patients should pay special attention to their carbohydrate intake as too many carbs can cause spikes in blood sugar. A general of thumb is that a man should eat about 60 grams of carbohydrate per main meal and as a woman about 45 grams. That’s about one and a third cup of rice for a man and one cup of rice for a woman. People with high blood pressure should be mindful of how much salt they take in. They should be extra careful with things like soy sauce, fish sauce, or patis, adong and many soups like sinigang.

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