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Ozempic Diet Plan: Foods to Eat & Avoid When Taking Ozempic

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Ozempic (semaglutide) is a GLP-1 medication for treating type 2 diabetes and can be prescribed off-label for weight management. 
  • The best foods to eat while taking Ozempic include a balance of protein-rich foods, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. 
  • To minimize common digestive symptoms, like nausea, avoid greasy foods and instead focus on soft, bland, dry foods.

Updated By: Jennifer Huddy, MS, RD

Ozempic is a GLP-1 medication prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes to help maintain their blood sugar levels in a healthy range. It can also be prescribed off-label for weight management. 

Eating a balanced diet helps support the actions of this medication. However, if you’re taking Ozempic, you may notice that certain foods don’t agree with you. This can leave you wondering which foods are best to eat when taking Ozempic.

This article discusses how Ozempic works and which foods will help you reach your health goals.

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What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a medication that helps manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

It belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, along with Wegovy and Saxenda

Ozempic is a once-weekly injectable medication. The FDA first approved it for use in type 2 diabetes in 2017. 

More recently, GLP-1 medications have gained traction for weight management.

Though Ozempic can be prescribed off-label for this purpose, it’s not currently FDA-approved for weight loss. 

How Ozempic Works

The active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide, works by imitating the actions of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). 

Your intestines naturally release GLP-1 when you eat, which causes the pancreas to release insulin.

GLP-1 also decreases the release of glucose (sugar) from the liver and slows the rate at which food leaves the stomach. 

Ozempic binds to the same receptors as GLP-1 and enhances the actions of this hormone.

By doing this, Ozempic helps keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range and may help you reach your weight management goals.

Best Foods to Eat While Taking Ozempic

While taking Ozempic, experts recommend eating a balanced diet to support the actions of the medication. 

An eating pattern containing a balance of the following food groups can help you manage your diabetes and support your health goals: 

  • Lean proteins.
  • Whole grains.
  • Healthy fats.
  • Fruits.
  • Vegetables.

Certain foods are especially beneficial while taking Ozempic, like high protein foods, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

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Protein-Rich Foods

While taking Ozempic, it’s important to eat foods rich in protein.

Protein is an essential nutrient that supports optimal immune function, helps muscle growth and repair, and enhances satiety after eating. 

Foods high in protein include:

  • Poultry.
  • Fish.
  • Soy.
  • Beans.
  • Lentils.
  • Eggs.
  • Beef.
  • Pork.
  • Greek yogurt.

Choose a variety of protein sources throughout the week to fulfill your body’s nutritional needs and support the health benefits of Ozempic

Whole Grains

Whole grains help stabilize blood sugar levels due to their slower release of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream. This makes them a great food to eat while taking Ozempic. 

Whole grains retain their nutritional value, whereas refined grains lose part of their nutrition during processing.

Whole grains are great sources of fiber, B vitamins, complex carbohydrates, several minerals, and iron. 

Whole grain foods include:

  • Brown rice.
  • Whole wheat bread.
  • Quinoa.
  • Barley.
  • Whole wheat pasta.
  • Oats.
  • Whole cornmeal.
  • Farro.

Nuts

Eating nuts while taking Ozempic is beneficial for several reasons.

Nuts may improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

This is because nuts are low in carbohydrates and are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar levels. 

Nuts are a good source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.

They are also linked to a lower risk of heart disease. 

The fiber and healthy fats in nuts can also help promote feelings of fullness and help you avoid mindless snacking throughout the day. 

Nuts you can incorporate into your eating plan include:

  • Almonds.
  • Brazil nuts.
  • Cashews.
  • Hazel nuts.
  • Macadamia nuts.
  • Pecans.
  • Pine nuts.
  • Pistachios.
  • Walnuts.
  • Peanuts.

Legumes

Legumes have several nutritional qualities you can benefit from while taking Ozempic.

Research shows that legumes can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. 

Legumes are a great source of plant protein, fiber, potassium, and folate. They also provide you with zinc and iron. 

The fiber and protein in legumes will help you feel satisfied after meals and help reduce your appetite. 

Legumes you can add to your meals include:

  • Kidney beans.
  • Pinto beans.
  • White beans.
  • Black beans.
  • Lima beans.
  • Fava beans
  • Dried peas.
  • Lentils.
  • Edamame.

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Are There Foods to Avoid on Ozempic?

There may be certain foods you don’t tolerate while taking Ozempic.

In general, foods that are fried, greasy, or sugary may worsen your digestive symptoms.

Consider keeping a food and symptom log to track what you ate when your symptoms were the worst.

You can bring this to your doctor or dietitian to help you understand your individual food triggers.  

Additionally, experts recommend limiting your intake of foods that spike your blood sugar when taking Ozempic to manage diabetes.

These include:

  • Desserts, like ice cream and baked goods. 
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and juice. 
  • Refined grains, including white bread.

Side Effects of Ozempic

You may notice gastrointestinal side effects when you start taking Ozempic or when you increase your dose.

The most common side effects of Ozempic include:

Ozempic does not typically cause serious side effects, but they can occur in rare cases.

Talk to your doctor beforehand about warning symptoms to be aware of, and seek medical attention if you experience any of the following: 

  • Serious allergic reaction.
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar.)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas.).
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Kidney failure. 
  • Blurred vision.
  • Thyroid tumor. 

Can Some Foods Help with Ozempic Side Effects?

Gastrointestinal symptoms can sometimes make it difficult to eat a balanced diet while on Ozempic.

Focusing on certain foods and lifestyle changes may help you manage these side effects. 

Firstly, ensure you are eating small, frequent meals throughout the day.

Ozempic can cause nausea and suppress your appetite, making it easy to skip or delay eating. However, this can worsen your nausea

If you have an upset stomach but know you need to eat, focus on bland, soft, and easy-to-digest foods like: 

  • Crackers. 
  • Toast. 
  • Rice. 
  • Broth-based soup. 
  • Yogurt. 

You may also benefit from eating slowly and staying upright after a meal. 

If your Ozempic side effects begin to significantly impact your ability to eat a balanced diet, talk to a registered dietitian for support. 

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Takeaway

Ozempic is a GLP-1 medication for treating type 2 diabetes. It is also prescribed off-label for weight management. 

It’s best to eat a balanced diet, including lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, while taking Ozempic to support healthy blood sugar levels and weight management. 

Digestive symptoms, like nausea, are common with Ozempic.

Try to avoid fried, greasy, and sugary foods and focus on eating small, frequent meals. 

How a Dietitian Can Help

A registered dietitian can help you learn the best foods to eat while on Ozempic and create a personalized plan to reach your goals. 

In addition, your dietitian can help you troubleshoot and identify diet and lifestyle strategies for managing Ozempic side effects. 

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