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Semaglutide

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What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is an injectable medication used in combination with diet and exercise to help with blood sugar control. It belongs to a class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, which mimic the hormone GLP-1 in your body to lower blood sugar levels after eating. GLP-1, the critical hormone involved, slows down how fast your stomach empties food (called gastric emptying). And in addition to causing your pancreas to release insulin, it also blocks a hormone that causes your liver to release sugar.

How Does Semaglutide work?

As a GLP1 it binds to a receptor in the gut that normally would be set off by ingesting food. This creates a sensation of satiety or fullness in the brain. It also decreases gastric emptying speed- so that food stays in your stomach longer. This increases insulin sensitivity (Insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood by moving it into the cells, where it can be used by the body for energy) and decreases glucose production (glucose is the main type of sugar in the blood and is the major source of energy for the body's cells).

Foods to avoid while taking Semaglutide

There aren’t any specific foods you should avoid while taking Semaglutide. However, to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, it’s recommended to limit or avoid some of the following foods while you’re receiving Semaglutide treatment:

1. Refined grains- Refined grains are stripped of their nutrient- and fiber-rich parts, leaving behind a lower-fiber, lower-nutrient grain. These types of grains are more likely to raise your blood sugar levels. Refined grains can also impact your cholesterol levels and heart health. White bagels, flour tortillas, white bread, and white rice are just a few examples of refined grains to avoid on a Semaglutide diet.

2. Foods with added sugar- Added sugar isn’t always easy to spot. Sugar is added to foods that might otherwise seem healthy, like yogurt, dried fruit, some nutrition bars, and granola. Check the nutrition facts label and try to avoid eating foods with more than five grams of added sugar per serving often, or at least watch your portion sizes. Aim to keep your added sugar intake below 30 grams per day on a Semaglutide diet.

3. Fried foods- Semaglutide may cause nausea and stomach upset, especially as your body is getting used to it. If you experience nausea from taking Semaglutide, you should avoid fried foods. Other things that can help ease nausea include eating bland, dry foods, choosing cold foods, and eating smaller meals throughout the day.

4. Sugary drinks- Sugary beverages are the leading contributor of added sugar in a typical Western diet. Drinks like soda, sweetened teas, sugary coffee drinks, energy drinks, and many more are very high in added sugar. Regularly drinking sugary drinks can make it difficult to manage your blood sugar levels.

5. Alcohol- Alcohol isn’t forbidden on a Semaglutide diet, but you should take caution when drinking alcohol on any diabetes medication. It can lower your blood sugar by reducing the amount of sugar released by your liver. Semaglutide helps lower your blood sugar, so combining the two could lead to low blood sugar. If you choose to include alcohol in your Semaglutide diet, then be sure to eat a meal when you drink and try to avoid having more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men. 

What foods should you eat while taking Semaglutide:

1. Non-starchy vegetables- Most vegetables are low in carbs and rich in fiber, so they don’t raise blood sugar levels significantly. Vegetables are also a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Aim to include plenty of non-starchy vegetables in a Semaglutide diet, such as:

  • Artichoke

  • Cabbage

  • Jicama

  • Onions

  • Salad Greens Tomatoes

  • Asparagus

  • Carrots

  • Kohlrabi

  • Peapods

  • Sprouts Turnips

  • Beans Cauliflower Leeks Peppers Squash

  • Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Mushrooms Radishes Snap Peas

  • Broccoli Green Leafy Veg. Okra Rutabaga Swiss Chard


2. Whole grains- Grains are a type of carbohydrate, which are nutrients that turn into blood sugar. However, whole grains are considered “healthy” carbs to include in your Semaglutide diet. Whole grains are rich in fiber, a type of carbohydrate that doesn’t raise your blood sugar level. The higher the fiber content, the less impact the food will have on your blood sugar. Examples of whole grains are oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, bulgur, barley, and whole-wheat pasta. Whole grains are also richer in protein than refined grains like white rice and white bread.


3. Nuts- Nuts are composed mainly of healthy unsaturated fats as well as protein and fiber. These healthy fats can help improve your heart health as well. Eating a diet rich in heart-healthy fats may help reduce your risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Fats and protein don’t raise your blood sugar, so they can be beneficial in a Semaglutide diet. You should include protein with all meals and snacks to support stable blood sugar levels. Eating protein and fat with carbohydrates can help slow the rise in blood glucose after eating. For example, eating a handful of nuts along with some fresh fruit will likely raise blood sugar less than eating fruit alone. Raw, salted, and unsalted are all acceptable options.