Foods to Avoid While Taking Metformin Foods to Avoid While Taking Metformin

Foods to Avoid While Taking Metformin: What Should You Eat?


In the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Metformin is a common medication. The drug lowers blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity. While taking Metformin, you should not avoid any specific foods.

A healthy diet and lifestyle are also necessary to support healthy blood sugar levels, even though the drug does not work without them. This article aims to help you understand which foods to eat and which foods to avoid while taking Metformin for type 2 diabetes.

Foods to Avoid While Taking Metformin

Alcohol and certain nutrients may decrease Metformin's effectiveness, even though it doesn't interact with many specific foods.


  • Alcohol: Alcohol interacts with Metformin, so do not binge drink or consume alcohol regularly while taking it. Unless you have kidney or liver problems, moderate alcohol consumption is unlikely to be harmful unless infrequently consumed. However, talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol while taking Metformin.


  • Simple and refined carbs: Blood sugar can be reduced with Metformin, but it won't work as effectively if you consume foods that spike blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels can rapidly rise if a person consumes refined or processed carbohydrates. Likewise, sugar-rich foods can be harmful. Reduce your intake of white bread, white rice, white pasta, candy, soda, desserts, and snack foods like chips and crackers. Taking Metformin with foods that can spike your blood sugar won't make it ineffective, but it can make it more difficult to work.


  • Saturated fat: Chronic diseases like diabetes increase the risk of inflammatory disorders like cardiovascular disease. Inflammation in the body and difficulty losing weight or managing diabetes are two results of saturated fats. As a result, imbalanced lipids can occur. Saturated fat is commonly found in red meat and dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, etc.). Select low-fat dairy products instead of full-fat ones. It is also possible for fats to keep glucose levels elevated for a more extended period.


  • Trans fat: Trans fats are often found in store-bought baked goods and fast food restaurants. There is a risk of cardiovascular disease associated with these types of foods because they are inflammatory.


  • Too much sodium: Heart disease and hypertension are associated with diabetes. Many Americans consume too much salt, which can increase their blood pressure. You should consume at most 2,300 mg of sodium per day.


Foods to Consider While Taking Metformin

Blood glucose control can be improved with certain foods in addition to Metformin.


  • Complex carbohydrates: Many whole grains contain fibre, including brown rice, whole-grain oats, bread, and quinoa. The presence of fibre benefits your body's ability to convert carbs into glucose at a slower rate, which leads to a more stable blood glucose level. As well as supporting healthy insulin and glucose levels, it supports gut health and may help you lose weight if you consume it regularly.


  • Healthy fats: The type of fat you consume matters regarding a low-fat diet. Unsaturated fats are found in fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil, which helps to fight inflammation.


  • Fibre: There needs to be more fibre in the diet of most Americans. Nutritional fibre promotes digestive health, blood sugar control, and weight loss. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables should contribute 25-30 grams to your daily diet. In addition to eating enough fibre, you can also take fibre supplements, but check with your doctor first. Take fibre supplements at least two hours before or after Metformin, as they may change how the drug is absorbed.


  • Lean proteins: Many lean protein sources can help control blood sugar and minimise saturated fat intake, including poultry, fish, and tofu.


  • Vegetables: Whenever possible, include several non-starchy vegetables on your plate at every meal, such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, leafy greens, and cauliflower.


  • Low-carb fruits: Even though all fruits contain beneficial nutrients, low-carb fruits are better for maintaining a healthy glucose level. Berries, for instance, contain a lot of fibre and are low in carbohydrates.


When to Take Metformin

Metformin must be taken according to the instructions given to you by your physician or pharmacist.


A typical dosage schedule for immediate-release tablets is twice daily with meals; extended-release tablets are once daily with food.


Should Metformin be taken with food?

Metformin should be taken with food. As a result, there will be fewer cases of diarrhoea, nausea, gas, and bloating due to the medication.

Precaution and Risks

A rare side effect of Metformin is the accumulation of lactic acid in the body. Getting too high can cause lactic acidosis, a potentially fatal condition.

The condition of lactic acidosis requires immediate medical attention. The symptoms of this condition include flushing (sudden reddening of the skin), feelings of warmth over the skin, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, changes in heart rate, and muscle pain, among others. Seek emergency medical attention if you or a loved one experience these signs while taking Metformin.


There are several medical conditions for which Metformin may not be safe, such as:


  • Heart failure

  • Metabolic acidosis

  • Kidney problems or disorders


Before any surgical procedure or radiological test, you will be asked to stop taking Metformin temporarily. Metformin may interact with iodine contrast used in these procedures.


Additionally, Metformin may interact with the following drugs:


  • Sympathomimetics

  • Cimetidine

  • Diuretics

  • Garlic

  • Morphine

  • Phenothiazines

  • Quinidine

  • Phenytoin

  • Green tea

  • Corticosteroids

  • Estrogens

  • Triamterene

  • Procainamide

  • Coenzyme Q10

  • Digoxin

  • Dofetilide

  • Ranitidine

  • Vancomycin

  • Calcium channel blockers

  • Chromium

  • Beta-blockers

  • Oral contraceptives


When to See a doctor?

You can ask your healthcare provider about an appropriate diet if you have diabetes, regardless of whether you take Metformin. Alternatively, they can refer you to a registered dietitian or expert who can help you create a customised diet plan promoting healthy blood glucose levels.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best food to take Metformin with?

Maintain healthy blood sugar levels with Metformin and your usual diet. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.


What is the best time of day to take Metformin?

Metformin should be taken according to your medical provider's instructions. The immediate-release tablets should be taken twice a day. It is recommended to take extended-release tablets at the same time each day.


When should you not take Metformin?

Metformin should not be taken if you have kidney or liver problems or are allergic to any of its ingredients. To prevent side effects, tell your pharmacist and healthcare provider if you take any other medications or supplements.


What is the long-term effect of taking Metformin?

Over time, Metformin may cause people to become deficient in vitamin B12 or anaemic. Please monitor your lab work for changes under your healthcare provider's supervision. Besides vitamin B12, they may recommend iron or calcium supplements or injections, which may deplete Metformin's nutrients.


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