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Taking Ozempic: What foods should you avoid?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Oct 7, 2022.

Official answer


There are no specific foods you must avoid when taking Ozempic (generic name: semaglutide). You should avoid regular consumption of foods high in fat, sugar and calories. Ozempic works best if you combine it with a healthy diet and exercise plan as recommended by your healthcare provider for treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic can commonly cause stomach side effects, especially when you first start treatment. If you experience nausea or other stomach side effects while taking Ozempic, try:

  • eating smaller meals and avoiding fatty foods, fried foods, unhealthy "fast-foods" and foods high in sugar
  • cutting back on spicy foods, if they bother you
  • eating more slowly
  • avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption (no more than one serving per day for women or two servings per day for men)
  • drinking plenty of fresh water
  • limiting excess sugar intake.

Some of these items may also worsen your blood sugar control and slow down weight loss.

Side effects with Ozempic like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or constipation are common. In most people, these effects usually lessen over time.

  • In studies, 33% to 36% of patients receiving Ozempic experienced stomach side effects, compared to 15% taking a placebo (an inactive treatment).
  • These side effects are typically mild to moderate, but may lower your appetite at the outset.

Your doctor may slowly increase your dose to help avoid these side effects. Higher doses of Ozempic may worsen stomach side effects.

Do you have to take Ozempic with food?

Ozempic can be taken with or without food. It is injected once per week subcutaneously (under the skin) of your stomach (abdomen), thigh, or upper arm, on the same day each week. You can inject at any time on that day.

Learn more: What is Ozempic used for and how does it work?

Related Questions

What can I eat while taking Ozempic?

Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves following a healthy diet plan. Follow the specific diet plan given to you by your doctor or dietician. In general:

  • Include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low- or non-fat dairy products. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages (including fruit juice, sodas, teas and coffee drinks). Drink fresh water as a replacement.
  • Low fat, low carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or vegetarian diets may be acceptable. Very low carbohydrate diets or keto-diets may be harmful and you should talk to your doctor before following this type of diet.
  • Avoid trans fats and saturated fats (whole milk, butter, cream, cheese, ice cream, red meats). Replace with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (fish, olive oil, nuts). Trans fats are now prohibited from processed foods in the U.S.
  • Limit the amount of red meat you consume, which can be high in fat content. In general, get your protein from lean meats (lean chicken, lean turkey, fish, eggs, beans, soy, and nuts).
  • Increase fiber in your diet by eating whole grains; avoid highly processed (refined) white bread, pastas and rice that can lead to blood sugar spikes.
  • Eat on a regular schedule, manage your portion size and limit snacking in-between meals.
  • Avoid excessive salt (sodium) in your diet. Ask your doctor if you should follow a low-sodium diet.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, only do so with a meal, and drink in moderation (no more than one serving per day for women or two servings per day for men). Check your blood sugar levels frequently after drinking.
  • Monitor your carbohydrate intake and blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor.

Your doctor may suggest that you see a registered dietitian to help learn about healthful food choices and meal planning, and address any poor food habits. Review the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website which may be useful for recipe and meal planning.


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