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Food Groups

The Healthy Diabetes Plate (HDP) and USDA MyPlate both include five food groups. The HDP method uses guidelines from the American Diabetes Association to assign foods to a food group based on their carbohydrate and protein contents. Therefore, some of the foods in the HDP food groups differ from those in the MyPlate food groups.

For example, starchy vegetables—such as potatoes, corn, peas, and lima beans—are in the HDP’s Starch Group but in MyPlate's Vegetable Group. Also, cheese is in the HDP Protein Group but in the MyPlate Dairy Group.

Information you will find at each food group page

To plan meals using the HDP method, make your selections from the HDP food groups below. On each food-group page, you'll find:

  • which foods are included
  • a visual approach to serving sizes
  • nutritional and health benefits
  • cooking or shopping tips


protein food group


starch food group


vegetable food group


fruit food group


dairy food group




  • "There are so many foods to choose from that I am never bored following the Healthy Diabetes Plate"
    - A Healthy Diabetes Plate class participant