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Plan D by Sherri Shepherd (2013): What to eat and foods to avoid

Plan D - diabetes diet book by Sherri Shepherd of The ViewPlan D (2013) is a book on losing weight and beating diabetes. Food guidelines include:

  • High fiber, low fat, low glycemic
  • Eat your veggies, lots of water
  • Portion control and plate proportions; eat every 3 hours
  • Occasional indulgences are allowed

Below is a description of the food recommendations in the book.  Guidelines  |   What to eat  |  Foods to limit or avoid.  There’s a lot more in the book.

Get a copy of Plan D for information on the “Sherri Steps” to taking control of your eating choices, how to overcome emotional eating, forgiving yourself, an exercise plan, glycemic indexes and glycemic loads of popular foods, and the causes of diabetes and prediabetes.

The reasoning behind Plan D

This book states that you can get prediabetes and diabetes because of weight (especially being apple-shaped), poor diet, lack of exercise, age, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; also that genetics are a cause.

Plan D diet – food list

What to eat  |  Foods to limit or avoid

Keep an eye on the glycemic index and glycemic load for foods, use portion control, and be aware of the caloric value of foods.


  • For the first 2 weeks, concentrate your eating on the low end of the glycemic scale and on eating lean protein with every meal. Avoid sugars and starches completely
  • For one week after this (week 3), add a single serving of carbohydrates and starches
  • The following week (week 4), have two servings of carbohydrates a day
  • The following week and afterwards, (week 5 and for life), have 3 servings of carbohydrates a day

Foods to eat in Plan D

  • Always, eat lots of veggies, beans, and grains, lean protein and healthy fats
  • Plate proportions and meal frequency
    • Fill half of your plate with low-starch, low-glycemic vegetables; one quarter with whole grains, beans, or moderately starchy vegetables (after the initial weeks of the diet where carbs are limited); one quarter with lean protein; and a small amount of healthy fat; add a piece of fruit (when carbs are reintroduced) and a tall glass of water
    • Carbohydrates should make up 40-60% of your diet – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans
    • Lean protein will make up 20-30% of your diet – dairy, animal proteins
    • Eat frequent, regular meals – eat every 3 hours – start with a blood-sugar-balancing breakfast and follow it up with a midmorning protein-rich snack; after lunch have another snack to tide you over until dinner
  • Food combining
    • Don’t eat simple carbohydrates by themselves – combine them with protein and high-fiber, low-glycemic foods
    • Meal combining with the glycemic index and the glycemic load – anchor your meal with low-glycemic foods; use middle-range glycemic foods and lean protein in moderate amounts; use high-fat and high-glycemic foods in small amounts
  • Vegetables
    • All colors, fresh or frozen
    • Superstar veggies to include daily in your diet include: bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dark greens like kale, collards, chard, and bok choy, green beans, leafy greens / lettuces for salad, mushrooms, onions, spinach
    • Avocado (in small quantities), collard greens, cucumber, garlic, tomatoes (including canned)
    • Serving size: cooked vegetables ½ cup; raw, leafy, and other nonstarchy vegetables 1-2 cups per serving; vegetable juice ½ cup
  • Fruit
    • Eat moderate amounts, as it contains sugars. Mostly eat low-glycemic fruits
    • Berries – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
    • Citrus – clementines, grapefruits, oranges, tangerines
    • Other – 100% fruit juice (in small quantities), apples, melons including cantaloupe, kiwi, low-sugar jams or preserves (in small quantities), no-sugar-added applesauce, pears, peaches
    • Lemons and limes for flavor in cooking and to add to water and tea
    • Serving sizes: Cooked or canned fruit ½ cup (avoid added sugar), dried fruit ¼ cup, fresh fruit 1 medium-sized piece, fruit juice ½ cup
  • Whole grains
    • Amaranth, barley, bran, bulgur wheat, oats/oatmeal, quinoa
    • Whole grain bread made from oats, rye, spelt, and whole wheat flours
    • Note that all rice has a high glycemic index, even though long-grain brown rice is the lowest in the category – eat only moderate amounts of rice on the D Plan
    • Serving sizes: bread 1 slice, cooked cereal ½ cup
  • Lean protein
    • Dairy – 1% and skim milk (or try lactose-free milk or almond milk), low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt (no sugar added), nonfat half-and-half
    • Serving sizes: cheese 2 ounces, cottage cheese ¾ cup, milk 8 ounces (1 cup), yogurt 1 cup
    • Meat and animal proteins – Chicken and poultry (without the skin), turkey bacon, lean pork, fish, shellfish, eggs
    • Serving sizes: canned tuna ½ cup, 1 egg, fish 2-3 ounces, pork 2-3 ounces, poultry 2-3 ounces, red meat 2-3 ounces
  • Beans and other legumes
    • Black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans and soybean products including tofu and vegetarian sausages, split peas
    • Serving sizes: cooked beans ½ cup or more if you are suing beans as a protein substitute; nuts ¼ cup; peanut butter and other nut butters 2 tablespoons; tofu 4 ounces
  • Herbs and spices
  • Healthy fats
    • Include a small serving at every meal
    • Light salad dressing (watch out for added sugar)
    • Olive oil
    • Nuts and seeds – almonds, natural peanut butter (no sugar added), pecans, pistachios, seeds including pumpkin and sunflower, walnuts; also nut butters
    • Vegetable oils – coconut oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil
    • Serving sizes: butter 1-2 teaspoons, cream cheese 1 tablespoon, prepared salad dressing 1 tablespoon, vegetable oils 1-2 teaspoons
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Watch the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of foods
    • The book doesn’t give guidance on exactly what’s considered low-glycemic
    • Eat heartily from the low-glycemic end of the food scale – paying attention to both GI and GL
    • Eat carefully from the middle range of the glycemic index and foods with a mid-range glycemic load
    • Eat sparingly from foods that are high on the glycemic index and have a high glycemic load
    • When you eat from the high end of the glycemic scale, make sure you eat protein as well
    • Find what your body is sensitive to, as everybody is different – note how a higher-glycemic food makes you feel. E.g. Sherri is super-sensitive to pasta, it makes her blood sugar rise
  • Make sure you include plenty of raw and minimally processed foods in your daily diet. When you do this, you give yourself the license to also include smaller and less frequent servings of more heavily processed foods

Foods to avoid or limit with Plan D

Clean your cupboards and spend a couple of weeks avoiding sugar, fat, and empty carbs to help you stop the cycle of cravings. After that:

  • Limit starchy carbs, that don’t contain much fiber (check to see how your blood sugar reacts to each of them) – beets, cooked carrots, parsnips, peas, potatoes, squash (yellow squash, zucchini, acorn squash, spaghetti squash), sweet potatoes, yams. Serving size: peas, corn ½ cup cooked, potatoes 1 small or ½ cup
  • Limit high-sugar fruits (and check how your blood sugar reacts to them; also eat them with protein) – pineapple, bananas, papaya, mangoes, other tropical fruits
  • Limit red meat
  • Limit fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats
    • Meats – bacon, beef (especially high-fat cuts like ribs, brisket, hamburger), lamb, high-fat cuts of pork, sausage, skin-on poultry
    • Dairy – cream, full-fat cheese, full-fat cottage cheese, full-fat sour cream, full-fat yogurt, half-and-half, ice cream, whole milk
    • Fried foods – deep-fried anything, french fries, fried fish, fried meat
    • High-fat snack foods, aka junk food – potato chips, tortilla chips, other chips, high-fat dip, popcorn, snack mixes, anything in a package with fat on the list of ingredients
    • Fats for cooking – butter, canola oil, Crisco / shortening, palm oil, peanut oil
    • Fats in processed foods – coconut oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm kernel oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
    • Heavily-processed meats, including bacon, sausage, and corned beef
  • Avoid sugar and processed carbs most of the time
    • Drinks – alcohol (occasional is okay, stick to only one, sip it, and eat while you drink, make sure it’s not sugary), coffee drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice with added sugar, fruit punch, Hi-C and other fruit-substitute drinks, soda including diet soda
    • “Fruity” foods – canned fruit in syrup, fruit rolls/fruit leather, jam, jelly preserves, sweetened applesauce
    • Sweets – cakes, candy, hard candy, chocolate, candy bars, cookies, donuts and pastries, ice cream, pies, sweet breads like banana bread and zucchini bread, syrup
    • Condiments containing sugars, such as salad dressing and ketchup
    • Packaged TV dinners
    • Breakfast cereals
    • Starchy carbohydrates – baked goods made with white flour – bagels, bread, cakes, cookies, crackers, muffins, pie crusts, rice (brown or white), white flour tortillas
    • Serving sizes for starchy carbohydrates: bagel ½ small, bread 1 slice, cooked cereal ½ cup, 4-6 crackers, dry cereal ¾ cup, ½ English muffin, pasta 1/3 cup, pita ½ large or 1 small, rice 1/3 cup, one 6-inch tortilla
    • Serving sizes for sweets and desserts: cake or pastry 1 small slice or 1 small, cookies 2 small or medium or 1 large, ice cream ½ cup. Limit sweets to 1-3 times a week
  • Avoid soda, including diet soda
  • Plan for your indulgences, set the portion before you start eating, don’t keep your worst temptations on hand (or on your cheat list), make your cheats count by being high quality, and don’t beat yourself up when these tips don’t work

Health benefits claimed in Plan D

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: diabetes, prediabetes, and other chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, clots, heart attack, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, inflammation, stroke

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, and does not endorse it.

Get a copy of Plan D for information on the “Sherri Steps” to taking control of your eating choices, how to overcome emotional eating, forgiving yourself, an exercise plan, glycemic indexes and glycemic loads of popular foods, and the causes of diabetes and prediabetes.

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