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Foods to Avoid While on Rybelsus

Foods to Avoid While on Rybelsus
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 5 min read

When it comes to diabetes drugs, it helps to know your options. Some drugs are injections. Some drugs are pills. But many of these drugs require you to avoid certain foods. Rybelsus is no exception.

According to experts, consuming certain foods while taking Rybelsus can cause problems. As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, Rybelsus works by improving blood glucose levels. It does this by increasing the body’s secretion of insulin. It also reduces the body’s glucagon secretion. Glucagon “raises your blood sugar levels” and is a peptide hormone produced by the pancreas.   

Rybelsus slows the rate at which your body digests food. This can make you feel full for an extended period of time. Because food stays in your system longer than it normally would, you won’t feel as hungry. As a result, you may not feel like eating and may actually lose weight. This is likely a welcome side effect for those with diabetes who are looking to lose weight. Rybelsus suppresses your appetite.

So, what foods should you avoid if you take Rybelsus? As with many other diabetes drugs, it is important to avoid high-fat foods if you take Rybelsus. Foods that are high in fat take longer to move through your system. This can worsen some of Rybelsus’ side effects, such as nausea and vomiting. 

High-fat foods include the following:

  • Greasy and fried food

  • Fatty meats

  • Large quantities of shortening, oil, and butter

  • Full-fat dairy products, such as cheese

Those who take Rybelsus typically have high blood sugar. Sugary drinks can elevate blood sugar, so it’s best to avoid these while you’re on this medication. If you want Rybelsus to have a positive effect on your blood sugar levels, you should eliminate sugary drinks from your diet. Examples of these include sweetened tea, milkshakes, sweetened coffee, soda, and energy drinks. Many fruit juices contain added sugar as well, so you may want to keep consumption to a minimum. 

Sweetened water is another sugary drink that you should avoid.  

Experts also recommend eliminating refined carbohydrates from your diet. These contain fat and protein. Carbs have a huge effect on your blood sugar. Once ingested, carbs are broken down into blood glucose. 

Grains should be avoided as well, because they lose their fiber and nutrient-rich components when they are manufactured. The result is a low-nutrient and low-fiber version of grain. This type of grain can cause blood sugar spikes, which can cause heart issues and raise cholesterol levels.

 Constipation is a side effect of Rybelsus. If you experience this side effect, it may be the result of consuming refined carbohydrates. Eating refined carbs with this medication can make constipation worse. That’s why it is important to remove these foods from your diet. Because refined carbohydrates have added sugars, they have a higher potential to raise blood sugar levels. 

 Refined carbohydrates include the following:

  • Foods made from white flour

  • Cookies and muffins

  • Pancake mixes

  • Noodles and pasta made from refined flour

  • Breads and biscuits

Rybelsus lowers blood sugar levels, but it can cause extremely low blood sugar levels if it is taken with other medications. Combining alcohol with Rybelsus can result in hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. You also face the possibility of developing hyperglycemia or high blood sugar, according to You do not necessarily need to remove alcohol from your diet. However, it may be wise to limit your intake, if you are going to drink.  

Drinking large amounts of alcohol while on this medication can cause low blood sugar. Symptoms of low blood sugar include fast heartbeat, shaking, sweating, and dizziness. Semaglutide is associated with low blood sugar when it is taken with alcohol. Experts recommend discussing your alcohol intake with your doctor before you begin taking Rybelsus. Rybelsus and alcohol affect neurotransmitters in the brain, often leading to a strain on the body. 

The best thing you can do is to cut out alcohol, if you want to make sure Rybelsus works properly. According to experts, mixing alcohol with Rybelsus can lead to a number of side effects, including:

  • Drowsiness

  • Heart palpitations

  • Hives

  • Itching

  • Cardiac arrest

According to Ben’s Natural Health, spicy foods can cause problems if you take Rybelsus. Spicy food can make stomach pain and nausea worse when you take this medication. This is especially true if you have a sensitive stomach. You are most likely to experience nausea and vomiting when you start taking this medication. Nausea may be worse if you have an empty stomach. 

To counteract this problem, it is advisable to eat snacks throughout the day and eat small meals. You can also eat foods that help with nausea. These include applesauce, crackers, and toast. 

While it’s important to know what foods to avoid while taking Rybelsus, it also helps to know what foods are allowed. Experts recommend eating high-fiber foods. Although fiber is a carbohydrate, it cannot be absorbed into the body. The good thing about fiber is that it doesn’t raise blood sugar. High-fiber foods cause blood sugar levels to remain steady and help relieve constipation. 

 If you take Rybelsus, it is important to eat foods that are high in magnesium. Magnesium-rich foods improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes tend to have lower levels of magnesium than individuals without diabetes. Low magnesium levels encourage insulin resistance, which contributes to the development of diabetes. 

Nutrient deficiencies can make it hard to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. People with diabetes typically have lower levels of magnesium. Because of this, it may help to load up on foods that are rich in magnesium. There are a number of magnesium-rich foods that can help you attain healthy blood sugar. These include such foods as pumpkin seeds, peanuts, edamame, black beans, and soymilk.

If you take Rybelsus, it is a good idea to eat a lot of foods that are high in protein. High-protein foods do not raise your blood sugar, like other carbohydrates do. Foods that are high in protein are beneficial if you are trying to lose weight. These make you feel full longer, and you may be less inclined to eat unhealthy carbohydrates.

 Foods that are high in protein include eggs, fish, turkey, and chicken. Beans and legumes are also high in protein. One half cup of beans contains roughly seven grams of protein, which is the equivalent of an ounce of meat, according to the Cleveland Clinic

So, what are the best sources of protein? Most people think of meat when they hear the word, protein. However, for vegetarians and vegans, there are many options that are not meat. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein. It contains a whopping 15 grams of protein, which is much higher than the amount of protein found in other yogurts. Greek yogurt has more protein than two ounces of meat can provide.

Greek yogurt also has more protein than two eggs. A high protein diet results in lower blood pressure.  

It is not advisable to drink liquid or eat food for 30 minutes after taking Rybelsus. Doctors typically recommend that you take Rybelsus on an empty stomach, with several sips of water. It is best to avoid drinking coffee before you take Rybelsus. According to research, there are not any foods that interact with Rybelsus. However, your body absorbs a lower amount of the medication, if it is taken with food.

Rybelsus should be taken 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. As with many other Semaglutide medications, it is helpful to eat bland foods while you take Rybelsus. Bland foods, such as saltine crackers and bread, can ease nausea. Ice-cold drinks are also good for easing nausea and stomach issues. According to PubMed, Semaglutide is a selective GLP-1 receptor agonist. 

However, there is another thing to be aware of. Taking Rybelsus increases your chances of developing thyroid cancer, however it is not known if Rybelsus will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.

Also bear in mind that a number of foods and drinks help manage blood sugar. In addition to avoiding certain foods while taking Rybelsus, it may help to increase your intake of some foods and drinks. Beans of any kind are a low-glycemic food. The carbohydrates in beans are released slowly. Because of this, they are unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes. They are a great food for those on diabetic medications. 

One study found that eating one cup of beans per day for three months helped lower HbA1c by one half of a percentage point. Apples are another great food option for those who want to stay healthy and manage their blood sugar. Studies show that eating low-glycemic foods, like apples, can help you manage blood sugar levels. 

It is important to eat a lot of healthy fats, if you take Rybelsus. Experts recommend loading up on foods with healthy fats. Such foods include flaxseed, chia seeds, avocados, salmon, and herring. Mackerel is another great source of healthy fat. 

You should eat non-starchy vegetables, if you take Rybelsus. Examples of non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, artichokes, beets, and broccoli. Additionally, turnips, kale, zucchini, and onions are excellent non-starchy vegetables.  



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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.