Connect with us

Health

Ozempic: What To Eat, What Not To Eat

montreal-ca-16-november-2023-ozempic

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Victoza, are Type 2 diabetes medications that help improve blood sugar levels and can also lead to weight loss. These drugs mimic GLP-1, a hormone produced by the intestines, which regulates blood sugar and reduces appetite by binding to GLP-1 receptor sites in the body. They stimulate the production of insulin after meals, curbing appetite and slowing the movement of food into the small intestine, signaling fullness and leading to reduced food intake and weight loss.

While GLP-1 receptor agonists offer significant benefits, including weight loss, some users may experience side effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Losing weight too quickly can also lead to loss of lean muscle along with fat. Complementing these medications with appropriate dietary choices can enhance their efficacy and reduce side effects. Here are some recommendations on the best foods to eat and avoid when taking GLP-1 medications.

Best Foods to Eat with GLP-1 Medications

Best-high-protein-foods

Lean Proteins

Protein is vital for muscle repair, satiety, and metabolic function. Opt for lean sources such as poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, eggs, and low-fat dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese. These foods help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you full for longer periods. Increasing protein intake can prevent the loss of lean muscle associated with rapid weight loss.

Fiber-Rich Foods

Incorporating fiber into your diet helps regulate blood sugar, promotes satiety, and aids digestion. Choose whole grains (oats, quinoa, and brown rice), legumes (beans and pulses), fruits, and vegetables. Fiber-rich foods are an essential part of any diet as they help to maintain a healthy digestive system, as well as support weight loss.

Healthy Fats

Focus on healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These fats contribute to feelings of fullness after meals, support heart health, and aid in nutrient absorption.

Non-Starchy Fruits and Vegetables

Load up on non-starchy fruits such as melons, apples, pears, and berries, and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, peppers, and cauliflower. These nutrient-dense options are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them excellent for managing weight and blood sugar levels. Prioritizing these antioxidant-rich foods is crucial as your overall food intake decreases.

Balanced Meals

Aim for balanced portions of nutrient-dense foods, ensuring you get essential nutrients from your meals. Half your plate should consist of non-starchy vegetables (no carrots or potatoes), a quarter of it with lean protein (chicken is the best), and a quarter with fiber-rich whole grains (brown rice or whole grain pasta or similar). This approach supports weight loss efforts and helps maintain weight loss if you stop taking the medication.

Foods to Limit with GLP-1 Medications

#image_title

Fried Foods

While healthy fats are encouraged, limit high-fat, fried, or greasy foods. These can exacerbate gastrointestinal side effects like bloating and nausea and are calorie-dense, hindering weight loss efforts when consumed in large quantities.

Ultra-Processed Foods Low in Nutrients

Avoid foods high in refined sugars, saturated fats, and sodium, such as sugary snacks, baked goods, fried foods, and processed meats (e.g., cookies, muffins, donuts, salami, and bologna). These provide empty calories and can spike blood sugar levels, negatively affecting diabetes management.

Sugary Beverages

Beverages like soda, sweetened iced tea, fruit juices, and energy drinks are high in added sugars and offer little nutritional value. Opt for water, herbal tea, or sparkling water with a splash of citrus for a hydrating alternative. Staying hydrated is crucial while on these medications.

Excessive Carbohydrates

Limit refined carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar spikes, especially if you have diabetes. Avoid white bread, pasta, sugary cereals, and pastries, and choose whole-grain alternatives instead. Eating too many refined carbs can also prevent you from consuming essential protein-rich foods.

Alcohol

Moderate alcohol consumption may be acceptable for some, but be mindful of its effects when combined with GLP-1 medication. Alcohol can interfere with blood sugar regulation, so limit intake to one drink per day for women and two for men.

A balanced approach to nutrition is essential for individuals taking GLP-1 medications. Embracing nutrient-dense foods while limiting fried, highly processed, and sugary foods can support the effectiveness of your medication and help you achieve your health and weight management goals. Mindful eating and listening to your body’s signals of fullness are crucial for optimal outcomes.

What do you eat when you’re on weight-loss drugs? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.