Healthy Eating
With Ozempic

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When taking Ozempic or another semaglutide, you may notice some changes to how your body feels when eating certain foods. Alternatively, you may also notice eating certain foods is giving you greater results. While no matter what the situation, everyone should pay at least a little bit of attention to what they eat daily, this is increasingly true for people taking Ozempic for type 2 diabetes or weight loss.

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What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) medication used for treating type 2 diabetes. Ozempic’s purpose is to bind to the same receptors GLP-1 would and enhance the effects. GLP-1 is usually naturally released when eating, causing the pancreas to release insulin. GLP-1 is also responsible for decreasing glucose – or sugar from the liver – in the body, slowing the rate of food leaving the stomach.

It can also be prescribed off-label for weight management and is very similar to other drugs such as Wegovy and Saxenda. The medication is used for maintaining blood sugar levels in a healthy range and related weight loss. Ozempic was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 for use as a type 2 diabetes treatment but has not yet been approved for strictly weight loss.

One quality of the medication is a quicker feeling of fullness and less hunger. This is responsible for weight loss, however, there are additional factors that could make these results even further.

Dieting With Ozempic

While the medication does most of the work on its own, those taking semaglutide should follow a particular balanced diet to support and maximize results. Additionally, while taking the medication, you might find that certain foods no longer agree with you.

There are certain foods to keep in mind when developing an eating pattern. Developing this pattern is important for the management of both diabetes and supporting other health goals. The five main food groups to focus on include lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.

Some foods are more important than others when taking Ozempic. Highly beneficial foods include food high in protein, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

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Protein

Protein is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Foods high in protein support the functions of the immune system, promote muscle growth/repair and increase feelings of fullness. Some examples of these foods include poultry, fish, soy, beans, lentils, eggs, beef, pork, and Greek yogurt. Choosing to incorporate many of these into your weekly diet will support the health benefits of Ozempic and meet the body’s nutritional needs.

In addition to supporting body functions, protein is also believed by some to improve blood sugar levels. According to Medical News Today, there was a study done in 2003 researching the effects of a high-protein diet on blood sugar spikes. During the 5-week study, people who followed a high-protein diet had lower glucose levels after meals.

Whole Grains

The function of incorporating whole grains into your diet when taking Ozempic is to support the stabilization of blood sugar levels. Whole grains contain bran and fiber, which slow the breakdown of starch into glucose. This helps maintain a steady blood sugar instead of causing sharp spikes and makes them great foods to eat while taking Ozempic.

Unlike refined grains, whole grains do not lose their nutrition during any processing, making them retain their nutritional value. They in turn are great sources of fiber, B vitamins, complex carbohydrates, several minerals,
and iron.

Some good examples of whole grains for an Ozempic-friendly diet plan are brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, barley, whole wheat pasta, oats, whole cornmeal, and farro.

Whole Grains

The function of incorporating whole grains into your diet when taking Ozempic is to support the stabilization of blood sugar levels. Whole grains contain bran and fiber, which slow the breakdown of starch into glucose. This helps maintain a steady blood sugar instead of causing sharp spikes and makes them great foods to eat while taking Ozempic.

Unlike refined grains, whole grains do not lose their nutrition during any processing, making them retain their nutritional value. They in turn are great sources of fiber, B vitamins, complex carbohydrates, several minerals,
and iron.

Some good examples of whole grains for an Ozempic-friendly diet plan are brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, barley, whole wheat pasta, oats, whole cornmeal, and farro.

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Nuts

Nuts are a great choice when taking Ozempic. Because nuts are low in carbohydrates, they are less likely to spike blood sugar levels. Nuts also contain many other health benefits to the body including lowering the risk of heart disease and being a source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.

As for promoting weight loss, nuts are made up of fiber and healthy fats which cause you to feel full more quickly. Eating nuts can in turn alleviate the need for snacking later in the day. Some examples of nuts to incorporate into the diet include almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts.

Although nuts can be very beneficial to the diet and can make a great snack throughout the day, remember to try to avoid salt if possible. Limiting salt or sodium intake may help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.

Legumes

The legumes category includes beans, peas, and lentils. These are also high in fiber and will lead to greater feelings of fullness. This is another food group that is also known to stabilize blood sugar levels while providing various other benefits to the body including increasing zinc and iron levels. Legumes are also a great source of plant protein, fiber, potassium, and folate.

Some examples of legumes that can be added to an Ozempic-friendly diet are kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, black beans, lima beans, fava beans, dried peas, lentils, and edamame.

Legumes

The legumes category includes beans, peas, and lentils. These are also high in fiber and will lead to greater feelings of fullness. This is another food group that is also known to stabilize blood sugar levels while providing various other benefits to the body including increasing zinc and iron levels. Legumes are also a great source of plant protein, fiber, potassium, and folate.

Some examples of legumes that can be added to an Ozempic-friendly diet are kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, black beans, lima beans, fava beans, dried peas, lentils, and edamame.

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Vegetables

According to Lisa La Nasa on Diabetes Daily, vegetarian diets can help with insulin resistance and protein spikes caused by gluconeogenesis – the metabolism of protein foods and the delayed rise in blood sugar levels that are produced. She also says that some people who have chosen to start a vegan diet, or a diet consisting of only plant-based foods, sometimes experience better insulin sensitivity.

While veganism and vegetarianism may not be for everyone, non-starchy vegetables are still great for adding to the diet because they are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, and fiber. They also are typically very low in calories.

Some examples of non-starchy vegetables to eat are green leafy vegetables, onions, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, cauliflower, tomatoes, and asparagus.
An additional tip is to try to add a variety of colored vegetables to your diet. Different colors mean different nutrients. Orange vegetables for example, such as carrots, contain carotene. This is what produces the orange pigment and converts it to vitamin A by the body.

Legumes

The legumes category includes beans, peas, and lentils. These are also high in fiber and will lead to greater feelings of fullness. This is another food group that is also known to stabilize blood sugar levels while providing various other benefits to the body including increasing zinc and iron levels. Legumes are also a great source of plant protein, fiber, potassium, and folate.

Some examples of legumes that can be added to an Ozempic-friendly diet are kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, black beans, lima beans, fava beans, dried peas, lentils, and edamame.

Legumes

The legumes category includes beans, peas, and lentils. These are also high in fiber and will lead to greater feelings of fullness. This is another food group that is also known to stabilize blood sugar levels while providing various other benefits to the body including increasing zinc and iron levels. Legumes are also a great source of plant protein, fiber, potassium, and folate.

Some examples of legumes that can be added to an Ozempic-friendly diet are kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, black beans, lima beans, fava beans, dried peas, lentils, and edamame.

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Foods To Avoid On Ozempic

Just like all other diets, while there is a long list of what you should include when planning out your meal, there is also a list of what not to include. Some may argue that what to avoid eating is even more important than focusing on what to eat. Medications have side effects, making it harder for the body to digest certain foods.

According to Lisa Moskovitz, CEO of Virtual Nutrition Experts and the author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan, adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes a healthier diet with mostly whole and plant-based foods is necessary for maximizing long-term success and results of this Ozempic.

“Ultra-processed foods, especially those higher in added sugar, sodium, and inflammatory fats can diminish
the effectiveness of Ozempic and contribute to unwanted digestive distress,”

For the best digestion, avoid foods that are fried, greasy, or contain a lot of sugar. Experts also suggest avoiding foods that are high in sodium, sweets, and beverages with added sugars.
For drinks, it is safest to try to stick with tea or coffee using only sweetener substitutes or plain water.

You may also notice that due to the slowed stomach emptying effect of the medication, you may feel extra uncomfortable side effects when eating certain foods. This could include nausea, vomiting, bloating, heartburn, and loss of appetite altogether. Every person is different, so if you notice certain foods seem to worsen any of these issues, try to avoid those, as well.

More specific examples of foods that are commonly associated with these issues are fried chicken, hamburgers, and other forms of red meat, wine, beer, liquor, cheese, peanut butter, nuts, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, butter, oil, and carbonated beverages (such as soda), and sugar-sweetened beverages like juice. While not all of these are inherently bad for the diet itself, if any of them seem to be aligned with any of the uncomfortable side effects listed above, avoid incorporating them into your diet.

Putting Together a Plate

Now that we have gone over what foods you should and shouldn’t eat while taking Ozempic, here are some tips for meal planning and plating the food.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) suggests using a plating method is an effective way of helping with portion control. They suggest using a 9-inch dinner plate and dividing the food into three sections. The first section should be filled with non-starchy fruits or vegetables and should make up half of the plate. The other should be divided into two sections – one for meat and protein, and the other for grains and starchy foods.

Some snacks may also be eaten in between meals.

The NIDDK says one easy way of measuring out portions is by using your hand to judge portion sizes. A serving of meat or poultry should be about the size of your palm or a deck of cards and a ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta should be roughly the size of a rounded handful.

Putting Together a Plate

Now that we have gone over what foods you should and shouldn’t eat while taking Ozempic, here are some tips for meal planning and plating the food.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) suggests using a plating method is an effective way of helping with portion control. They suggest using a 9-inch dinner plate and dividing the food into three sections. The first section should be filled with non-starchy fruits or vegetables and should make up half of the plate. The other should be divided into two sections – one for meat and protein, and the other for grains and starchy foods.

Some snacks may also be eaten in between meals.

The NIDDK says one easy way of measuring out portions is by using your hand to judge portion sizes. A serving of meat or
poultry should be about the size of your palm or a deck of cards and a ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta should be roughly the size of a rounded handful.

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Conclusion

When taking Ozempic, it is important to make sure your new medication is also accompanied by a new healthy lifestyle. Participating in a healthy Ozempic-friendly diet will maximize your results and help you steer away from possible negative side effects.

The five main food groups to focus on include lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.
Each category has its list of recommendations for which foods are best, what to look for when choosing which
of those foods to add to your plate, and how much of those foods should make up daily meals. Making use of
these foods could improve blood sugar levels, support the functions of the immune system, promote muscle
growth/repair, increase feelings of fullness, and help meet other dietary goals.

While there is a long list of foods to eat while taking Ozempic, it is just as important to remember what foods
to stay clear of. Everybody is different, so the same foods may not affect everyone the same. It is important
to listen to your own body, and if a certain food seems to be repeatedly causing side effects, remove it
from your diet.

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Conclusion

When taking Ozempic, it is important to make sure your new medication is also accompanied by a new healthy lifestyle. Participating in a healthy Ozempic-friendly diet will maximize your results and help you steer away from possible negative side effects.

The five main food groups to focus on include lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Each category has its list of recommendations for which foods are best, what to look for when choosing which of those foods to add to your plate, and how much of those foods should make up daily meals. Making use of
these foods could improve blood sugar levels, support the functions of the immune system, promote muscle growth/repair, increase feelings of fullness, and help meet other dietary goals.

While there is a long list of foods to eat while taking Ozempic, it is just as important to remember what foods to stay clear of. Everybody is different, so the same foods may not affect everyone the same. It is important to listen to your own body, and if a certain food seems to be repeatedly causing side effects, remove it  from your diet.

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