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Semaglutide: Good and Bad Foods to Eat While Taking Weight Loss Medications

February 23, 20244 min read

Discovering the right diet while on medications like Ozempic and Wegovy can make a world of difference in managing uncomfortable side effects.

Many individuals on GLP-1 drugs have noticed that certain foods can worsen symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Common culprits include high-fat, processed, and sugary foods like red meat, soda, and alcohol. Even high-fiber options like starchy vegetables can heighten these side effects. On the flip side, sticking to bland foods and plain water is less likely to cause discomfort.

Semaglutide, popularly known as Ozempic and Wegovy, has gained immense popularity for its dual benefits in weight loss and diabetes management. Experts hail it as a valuable tool for patients seeking improved health.

Dr. Lauren Donnangelo, an expert in gastroenterology and obesity medicine, explains that semaglutide works wonders by regulating blood sugar, slowing stomach emptying, and curbing hunger signals in the brain. However, these mechanisms can also trigger unwelcome side effects like bloating and loss of appetite.

The silver lining? Dr. Florence Comite emphasizes that with some experimentation, individuals can identify which foods are best tolerated, ensuring they still receive vital nutrients. While acknowledging the uniqueness of each person's food tolerance, experts offer insights and tips on mitigating side effects through dietary adjustments.

Some foods might cause more problems for people who take semaglutide.

 Semaglutide makes your stomach take longer to digest food.

Dr. Patricia Pinto-Garcia, who works at GoodRx, says this slower digestion makes people feel full for a longer time.

Semaglutide can make it harder for some foods to be digested. Foods that are high in fat and grease can already make digestion slow and cause stomach upset, even for people who don't take semaglutide.

"Semaglutide slows down how quickly your stomach moves," says Pinto-Garcia. "This means those foods stick around longer and can cause symptoms. They can also give you heartburn, which many people on semaglutide experience."

Pinto-Garcia also says the longer digestion time can make people constipated.

Foods that might cause discomfort while taking Ozempic, Wegovy, and similar drugs

To ease stomach problems, experts recommend cutting back on certain foods. Although everyone is different, experts have noticed that many patients report side effects when taking semaglutide.

"Two important groups to steer clear of are high-fat foods—like fried or greasy foods—and alcohol," says Pinto-Garcia. "It's also wise to avoid foods with a high glycemic index, heavily processed foods, and those high in sugar because they can raise blood sugar levels."

Examples of these foods include:

  • Fried chicken

  • Hamburgers and other types of red meat

  • Wine, beer, and spirits

  • Cheese

  • Peanut butter

  • Nuts

  • Kale

  • Cauliflower

  • Broccoli

  • Beans

  • Butter

  • Oil

  • Carbonated drinks like soda

  • Sugary beverages such as juice

Pinto-Garcia also notes that caffeine and spicy foods can make heartburn worse.

Foods and Beverages Least Likely to Trigger Side Effects on Weight Loss Medications

Just as experts refrain from advising patients to eliminate specific foods from their diet, they emphasize that there's no one-size-fits-all "Ozempic diet."

"I strongly believe that people shouldn't follow strict diets," says Dr. Comite. "Different diets don't work the same for everyone since each person is unique. What works for one person might not work for another, even if they're identical twins."

As a result, healthcare providers are cautious about providing many specific examples and prefer to speak more generally.

"Foods least likely to cause side effects are typically lower in fiber, protein, and fat," explains Dr. Donnangelo. "These foods don't further slow stomach emptying and are easier to digest."

Dr. Pinto-Garcia adds that opting for foods lower on the glycemic index can help maintain steady blood sugar levels.

According to Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, recommended options include:

  • Foods with high water content, such as soup

  • Clear, ice-cold beverages

Takeaway

Certain foods consumed while taking semaglutide may exacerbate or cause gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, bloating, and diarrhea. The medication slows digestion, prolonging the feeling of fullness. However, this also increases the likelihood of discomfort as food remains in the stomach for longer periods.

Common culprits for triggering side effects include high-fat, heavily processed, and sugary foods and drinks like red meat, soda, and alcohol. Additionally, high-fiber foods such as starchy vegetables can contribute to side effects.

While bland foods and plain water are less likely to cause discomfort, experts stress that there's no universal diet suitable for all patients taking these medications. It's essential to consult with a prescribing healthcare provider and dietitian to create a personalized plan that meets your nutritional needs and preferences.

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CONTACT US

Monday - Friday:

9am - 5pm EST

10475 Gandy Blvd N Saint Petersburg FL 33702 United States

&

400 North Tampa St 15th Floor Tampa FL 33602

LINKS

©2024 REWAKEN LIFE | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy

Refund Policy

All sales are final and non-refundable, including sign-on fees. All treatments/prescriptions are prepaid and cannot be returned or exchanged, refunded, credited, or transferred. Monthly Maintenance and/or Memberships must be canceled within 10 days before a new charge, or it will not be refunded.