Family Health




15 + Foods to Avoid on Ozempic (and What to Eat Instead)

Binge eating disorder concept with woman eating fast food burger, fired chicken , donuts and desserts

15 + Foods to Avoid on Ozempic (and What to Eat Instead)

There is always some new health trend telling you what foods are in and out of the health world. For most people, it is as simple as changing what protein they use or which starch they cut out of their diet. However, for people with health issues or those who take prescription medications, it can be a bit more challenging. Sometimes, foods will interact with certain medications causing adverse reactions or ineffectivity of that medication. In this article, we will be discussing which foods to avoid on Ozempic. Additionally, we will provide you with better alternatives so that you can still feel like you're enjoying these delicious foods. Let's dive in!

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic Insulin injection pen or insulin cartridge pen for diabetics. Medical equipment for diabetes parients.
Ozempic is a weekly injection for individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes.

©Caroline Ruda/Shutterstock.com

Before diving into foods to avoid on Ozempic we should first discuss what Ozempic is and how it functions in the body. Ozepmic is a weekly injection for individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. This injection helps lower blood sugar by assisting the pancreas in creating more insulin. It works by mimicking a naturally occurring hormone.

What Does Food Have to Do With Medication?

Oftentimes, if you are encouraged to avoid food while taking a particular medication it is because it can either cause an adverse reaction or can lessen the effectiveness of the drug you are taking. According to the Oman Medical Journal, “Such interactions are frequently caused by chelation with components in food. In addition, the physiological response to food intake, in particular, gastric acid secretion, may reduce or increase the bioavailability of certain drugs.”

15 + Foods to Avoid on Ozempic

In general, you will want to avoid the following food groups and types of food while taking Ozempic. High-fat foods, greasy or fried foods, alcohol, high glycemic index foods, ultra-processed foods, and foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Below we will cover some common examples of each category as well as things you can substitute for them.

1. Fried Chicken

Woman hand taking the fried chicken wings by hands over dark background with copy space.
High-fat and greasy foods may trigger stomach pain, cramping, and diarrhea.

©Mallika Home Studio/Shutterstock.com

The most common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, diarrhea, stomach or abdominal pain, vomiting, and constipation. Fried chicken and other fried foods are high in fat. Foods that are high in fat can lead to stomach upset and all of the side effects of Ozempic on their own. So, when eaten in conjunction with Ozempic the chances of developing those unpleasant side effects increases. Additionally, if you were already experiencing those side effects, eating high-fat food like fried chicken could worsen them.

What to Eat Instead: Grilled or Baked Chicken

If you are craving that chicken, you can still have it just cook it a different way. You can eat a nice grilled chicken, which is low in fat or you can get creative at home. You can buy chicken breasts or cutlets and bread them yourself. Try to find the healthiest options, perhaps gluten-free or with less seasoning. Then you can bake your chicken with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, herbs of your choosing, and a little Dijon mustard. Now you have the same crispy chicken feeling but with fewer of the unwanted health negatives.

2. French Fries

French fries
One serving of french fries, which is about three ounces, contains 13 grams of fat.


Similar to fried chicken, french fries should be at the top of your do-not-eat list when taking Ozempic. French fries are notoriously greasy and are high in fat. Besides worsening side effects from the medicine, high-fat and greasy foods are bad for people suffering from type 2 diabetes in general. These foods spike blood sugar levels and leave them high over time because the fat takes longer to digest.

What to Eat Instead: Sweet Potato Fries

If you feel like you are missing out on the deliciousness of french fries, try to make the healthier alternative at home. Sweet potato fries! Clean and slice your sweet potatoes. Then, throw them in the oven with some salt, pepper, paprika, and a little olive oil. Bake them until they become your desired consistency. Making them at home allows you to control the amount of oil, so you can ensure that these fries are as healthy as can be.

3. Pizza

fresh italian classic original pepperoni pizza isolated on white background
One slice of plain cheese pizza can have around 400 calories.


Pizza is not the healthiest food option for anyone, but especially not for someone who is taking Ozempic. The amount of grease on a typical pie is enough to cause stomach upset for anyone. A typical large pepperoni pizza contains about 13 grams of fat per slice. Also, out of the 324 calories you get in a slice of pizza, 117 of those are from fat. Not a good combination for someone who needs to be wary of creating stomach issues.

What to Eat Instead: Portobello Mushroom Pizza

This low-calorie and low-fat option is a great substitute for traditional pizza. Season your portabella mushroom cap and use it as the base for your pizza. Then create the pizza of your choosing, tomato sauce or pesto, with cheese and meats. Bake your vegetable pizza and enjoy its flavor and health benefits.

4. Potato Chips

Crinkle cut potato chips in bowl isolated on a white background
Fresh vegetables and hummus make an excellent substitute for potato chips and dip.

©Tarasyuk Igor/Shutterstock.com

Potato chips are highly processed foods that contain large amounts of sodium and sugar. Despite not having a sweet flavor, your body converts this starchy food into sugar in the body. This can lead to a rise in blood sugar levels and can increase inflammation in the body.

What to Eat Instead: Vegetables and Hummus

Feel like you're still eating chips and dip but without all of the unhealthy additives. Grab some raw cucumber, celery, and other veggies and pair them with a delicious hummus. This substitute is not only type 2 diabetes-friendly but should be easier on your gut, lessening the likelihood of unwanted side effects from the Ozempic.

5. Cheeseburger and Red Meats

double cheeseburger with american cheese and fries on petezel bun
Cheeseburgers should be avoided for someone taking Ozempic as they contain high-fat meats, cheeses, and white bread.

©Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.com

A nice juicy cheeseburger is juicy because of its high-fat content and grease. Additionally, red meats are also one of the fattier meats available. As previously discussed greasy and high-fat foods are not ideal for someone with type 2 diabetes or someone on Ozempic. If you are going to eat red meat, opt for low-fat options.

What to Eat Instead: Chicken Burgers or Bison Patties

If you are still craving a burger but want to limit some of the fat of the red meat, opt for a chicken burger. Just ensure that your chicken is cooked healthily. For example, a fried chicken sandwich would not be a proper substitute. However, a baked chicken sandwich would be better. Also, if you still want the flavor of red meat but want less fat opt for bison, it is leaner than beef.

6. Doughnuts

Woman prepares fresh donuts with jam in home kitchen. Cooking traditional Jewish Hanukkah sufganiyot. Hands sprinkle Berliners with powdered sugar.
High-sugar foods like doughnuts can lead to weight gain which can be problematic for people with type 2 diabetes.


When taking Ozempic, you want to avoid foods that contain added sugars. That is because foods with a lot of sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike and can work against your Ozempic medication. Think of eating sugary foods as counteracting what your medication is trying to do for you. Additionally, sugary foods can lead to weight gain which can be problematic for people with type 2 diabetes.

What to Eat Instead: Overnight Oats

If you can't curb that sugar craving try to make some overnight oats. Add oats, fresh fruit of your choice, and garnishes such as honey and seeds. The natural sugars in this are a much better alternative to the ultra-processed and added sugars in the doughnut but should still curb your sweet tooth.

7. Ice Cream

A bowl of French vanilla ice cream with gourmet caramel butter toffee wafers
Try substituting homemade sorbet for high-fat ice cream.


Ice cream is a food to avoid on Ozempic for many reasons. Firstly, it is high in sugar which we have already mentioned is bad for those taking Ozempic. Additionally, ice cream is considered a high-fat dairy product. High-fat dairy products can cause additional gastrointestinal upset for someone taking Ozempic.

What to Eat Instead: Sorbet

If you have a hankering for ice cream that you just can't shake, try substituting it with sorbet. If purchasing one from the store, be sure to select one that has little sugar so that it fits with the health guidelines recommended for the diet of type 2 diabetes. Or you could do one better and make your own at home. You can make your own lemon sorbet but peeling 3 lemons and adding them to a blender. Add 1/4 cup maple syrup and a can of coconut milk to the blender as well. Blend thoroughly and pour into an ice cube tray. Once those freeze blend them again and you now have homemade sorbet.

8. Cake, Cookies, Candy, and Other Sweets

Coconut cookies in chocolate on a black plate.
Sweets are not a good food choice for someone with type 2 diabetes as they raise blood sugar levels.


The list of sweets that you shouldn't eat can go on and on, but cake, cookies, and candy are top of the list. All delicious but very high in their sugar content these goods are not so good for your body. Weight gain, gastrointestinal upset, and blood sugar spikes are some of the negative side effects of enjoying these treats.

What to Eat Instead: Sweet Berry Bowl

All of the above things have one thing in common, they are sweet. Instead of indulging in those foods that make your tongue happy but your body sad, why not indulge in something delicious and nutritious? Grab some strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and throw them in a bowl. Squeeze half of a lemon onto them and drizzle honey on top. You now have a delicious sweet bowl that tastes like dessert with none of the harmful ingredients.

9. Soda or Sweetened Drinks

Soft drinks and fruit juice mixed with soda high in sugar have a negative effect on physical health
One can of Cola has 39 grams of sugar.


Sweets are not only things you eat but also things you drink. Similar to the cookies and cake, soda and sweetened drinks are on the avoid list as well. Drinks like soda, sports drinks, iced teas, and even flavored waters are packed full of added sugar and negative consequences.

What to Drink Instead: Coconut Water or Herbal Teas

Coconut water is a great option if plain water is not your favorite. It is a naturally sweeter option but without any harmful added sugars. Additionally, herbal teas are a great substitute as well. If you are ever unsure, always contact your doctor to ensure that no specific herbs would interact with your medication.

10. White Refined Carbohydrates

White rice in bowl
Brown rice is more nutrient-dense than white rice.


Examples of this food to avoid on Ozempic include white bread, white rice, and white flour. While carbohydrates can be beneficial for you, ultra-processed carbohydrates are not. They often lack fiber and many vitamins that your body needs. Additionally, they will raise your blood sugar, making it difficult for Ozempic to do its job properly.

What to Eat Instead: Healthy Carbohydrates

If you want to still include carbohydrates in your diet, try to substitute the ultra-processed, white refined ones for healthier options. For example, sourdough bread, brown rice, or whole wheat flour.

11. Starchy Vegetables

baked potatoes with rosemary
Potatoes and other starchy vegetables have a high glycemic index.

©Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock.com

Another food to avoid on Ozempic is starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables include things such as potatoes, corn, carrots, peas, parsnips, and beets. Similar to a lot of foods on this list, starchy vegetables are not the best for those taking Ozempic because they have a high glycemic index. This means they raise your blood sugar quickly.

What to Eat Instead: Non-Starchy Vegetables

When you get a craving for a vegetable, try one of these instead: Spinach, asparagus, bean sprouts, cucumber, leeks, or heart of palm.

12. Peanut Butter

Creamy and smooth peanut butter in jar on wood table. Natural nutrition and organic food. Selective focus.
Although peanut butter is on the list of foods to avoid on Ozempic, you can still consume it in small quantities.


Although this is a great choice for a small snack, too much peanut butter could be an issue for someone taking Ozempic. That is because of peanut butter's high-fat content. The high-fat content could cause people to have stomach upset. This happens because high-fat foods are slower to digest and stay in the stomach longer. The longer food remains in the stomach, the more likely the person is to experience nausea or discomfort.

What to Eat Instead: Cut Back on Dose

You don't need to substitute this out of your diet, you just need to limit the dose in which you consume it. Instead of having a heavy peanut butter and jelly sandwich try dipping your celery into it instead.

13. Cruciferous Veggies

Freshly steamed green broccoli in skimmer pot with steam
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are known to produce gas.

©Leszek Glasner/Shutterstock.com

In addition to limiting your starchy vegetables, you will also want to limit your cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and more. The reason for this is that cruciferous vegetables are gas-producing and can cause GI side effects. Couple that with the side effects that Ozempic may cause and it just further aggravates the situation.

What to Eat Instead: Non-Cruciferous Veggies

Try swapping out your cruciferous veggies for some that are non-cruciferous. Non-curiferous veggies include vegetables like spinach, lettuce, green beans, and zucchini.

15. Spicy Foods

Chili sauce on wood background.Spicy sauce for meat food
Spicy foods delay gastric emptying which can contribute to acid reflux.


Spicy foods should be limited when taking Ozempic because of their connection with acid reflux. If you already have a predisposition to acid reflux then you should avoid spicy foods entirely. If you do not have acid reflux, you may consume spice in limited doses but be aware that they can delay gastric emptying and can cause GI disturbances.

What to Eat Instead: Swap the Spice

Oftentimes people crave spice because they want flavor. Instead of adding spice, focus on adding flavor to your dishes. You can add fresh or dried herbs or flavored oils and seasonings that don't have spicy bases. Examples can include basil, thyme, herb olive oils, and more.

16. Processed Foods

Plastic pulled back to expose a hot turkey dinner
Processed foods usually contain high amounts of hidden sugars.

©Charles Knowles/Shutterstock.com

It is best to avoid any processed foods when taking Ozempic. Processed foods include but are not limited to, frozen meals, bottled salad dressings, and snack bars. Processed foods often contain hidden sugars, fats, and other nutritional issues that can cause gastric upset when consuming them.

What to Eat Instead: Foods From the Earth

A great way to think about it is if man made it don't eat it. If it came from the Earth eat it. Substitute processed foods with natural alternatives. For example, instead of a bottled salad dressing, try dressing your salad with citrus and salt or with fresh vinegar and oil.

17. Alcohol

Milano spritzer alcoholic cocktail with red bitter, dry white wine, soda, zest and ice. Dark blue background, bar tools, selective focus
Alcohol causes inflammation and irritates the stomach.


As is the case with many other medications, it is best to avoid alcohol when taking Ozempic. Alcohol causes inflammation and irritates the stomach. Additionally, Ozempic gives alcohol more time to linger in your stomach. Thus providing it more chance to cause upset. Also, combining alcohol and your medication increases your chances of developing low blood sugar.

What to Drink Instead: Mocktails

If you want to feel like you're cheating with a delicious treat, but don't want the negative side effects try a mocktail. Opt for 100% natural fruit juice, some seltzer water, and some fresh fruit. Combine them in a fancy wine glass with some ice and you now have a naturally sweetened mocktail!

Summary of Foods to Avoid When Taking Ozempic

Food TypeReason to AvoidFood Examples
Fried FoodsFried foods are high in fat which can lead to stomach upset.Fried chicken, french fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, etc.
Greasy FoodsGreasy foods cause stomach upset and slow digestion.Pizza, hamburgers, potato chips, etc.
High-Fat FoodsSimilar to fried and greasy foods, they can cause digestion and stomach upset.Red meat, full-fat dairy, peanut butter, fast foods, etc.
Sugary FoodsThey can cause a spike in blood sugar which can counteract the effect of Ozempic. Also can cause weight gain.Cakes, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, candy, etc.
White Refined CarbohydratesLack the fiber and vitamins you need while raising your blood sugar.White bread, white rice, white flour, etc.
Starchy VegetablesHave a high glycemic index, and raise your blood sugar quickly.Potatoes, corn, carrots, peas, parsnips, beets, etc.
Cruciferous VegetablesKnown to produce gas and cause stomach upsetCauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, etc.
Spicy FoodsConnection to acid reflux and stomach upset.Hot sauces, jalepaños, chile peppers, etc.
Processed FoodsOften contain high amounts of hidden sugars.Frozen meals, snack bars, salad dressings, etc.
AlcoholCauses inflammation and irritates the stomach.Wine, beer, liquor.
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