Foods to Avoid While Taking Metformin

  • People with type 2 diabetes frequently receive the medication metformin as a prescription.
  • Although metformin controls blood sugar levels, it cannot replace a healthy lifestyle.
  • Metformin can have side effects, but not everyone will, like with any medication.
Foods to Avoid While Taking Metformin Stay Away From These!

Are you currently managing your blood sugar levels with the commonly prescribed drug Metformin? If so, it's critical to understand the foods you should stay away from while taking this medication. The medication metformin is frequently used to treat type 2 diabetes and lowers the amount of glucose the liver produces. However, some foods may reduce its effectiveness and even have unintended consequences. We'll look at the top foods to steer clear of while taking Metformin in this article to help you stick to your diet plan and treatment regimen. This information is crucial for maximizing your medication's advantages and ensuring your general wellbeing, regardless of how long you've been taking Metformin for. So let's get started and learn which foods to avoid while taking Metformin!

What is Metformin and what does it do?

People with type 2 diabetes frequently receive the medication metformin as a prescription. It is a member of the biguanide drug family and lessens the amount of sugar (glucose) the liver makes. Metformin assists people with diabetes in lowering blood sugar levels by reducing the liver's capacity to produce glucose. Additionally, this drug enhances insulin sensitivity, making it simpler for the body to efficiently use the insulin that is already present. Metformin comes in a variety of dosage forms, including tablets and extended-release formulations, and is typically taken orally.

Although metformin is useful for controlling blood sugar levels, it's important to remember that it cannot replace a healthy lifestyle. Still essential to managing diabetes are regular exercise, a balanced diet, and weight control. Furthermore, some foods may reduce the effectiveness of metformin or result in undesirable side effects. To achieve the best results, it's crucial to pay attention to your diet and stay away from these foods.

Foods to avoid while taking Metformin

1. Highly processed and sugary foods

While taking Metformin, avoid foods that are high in processed carbohydrates and refined sugars. These include processed foods like white bread, pasta, sugary drinks, candies, and pastries. These foods have the potential to quickly raise blood sugar levels, negating the effects of metformin on regulating glucose production. Additionally, eating too many sugary foods can worsen insulin resistance and cause weight gain.

2. Alcohol

While some people may be able to drink in moderation, it's best to stay away from alcohol entirely while taking metformin. Alcohol can make the liver less effective at controlling blood sugar levels and raise the risk of lactic acidosis, a rare but serious side effect of metformin. It's important to drink alcohol in moderation and with your doctor's approval if you decide to do so.

3. Grapefruit

Several drugs, including Metformin, can interact with grapefruit and its juice. Citrus fruits like this one contain substances that can stop an enzyme from breaking down medications like metformin. The risk of side effects may rise as a result of higher blood levels of the medication. In order to maintain the safety and efficacy of Metformin, it is best to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

4. High-fat foods

While taking Metformin, trans and saturated fat-rich foods should be avoided. These include processed foods made with hydrogenated oils, fried foods, fatty meat cuts, and full-fat dairy products. Foods high in fat can cause Metformin's absorption to take longer and lessen the medication's ability to control blood sugar levels. Additionally, a diet rich in saturated fats raises the risk of heart disease and contributes to insulin resistance.

5. Caffeine

While moderate amounts of caffeine are generally safe, excessive consumption of these products, such as coffee and energy drinks, can reduce the effectiveness of metformin. Caffeine can lower insulin sensitivity and raise blood sugar levels, potentially negating the advantages of metformin. Caffeine should be consumed in moderation, and you should keep an eye on how it affects your blood sugar levels.

Other foods that may interact negatively with Metformin

Various foods, in addition to those already mentioned, can interact poorly with metformin and should be avoided. These consist of:

1. High-fiber foods

While a diet high in fiber is generally advantageous for people with diabetes, eating a lot of high-fiber foods can decrease the absorption of Metformin. This may make controlling blood sugar levels less effective. Strike a balance in your diet by consuming a variety of fiber-rich foods in reasonable amounts, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

2. Dairy products

According to some studies, consuming a lot of dairy products may prevent the body from absorbing metformin. Although the evidence is inconclusive, it is still important to use caution when consuming dairy products while taking this medication. Select dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free, and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels to detect any potential effects.

3. Certain herbal supplements

St. John's Wort, ginseng, and fenugreek are a few examples of herbal supplements that may interact with metformin and lessen its effectiveness. These dietary supplements may have an impact on Metformin metabolism and liver function. To prevent potential interactions, it is crucial to speak with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements while taking Metformin.

Potential side effects of Metformin

Metformin can have side effects, but not everyone will, like with any medication. GI symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort are typical side effects. By beginning with a lower dose and gradually increasing it, one can frequently reduce these side effects, which are typically minor and transient. It's important to speak with your doctor about possible medication changes if you experience severe or persistent side effects.

Lactic acidosis is a serious condition that Metformin can occasionally cause. When lactic acid builds up in the body, a condition known as lactic acidosis occurs that can be fatal. Weakness, pain in the muscles, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeat are all signs of lactic acidosis. Consult a doctor right away if you experience any of these side effects while taking metformin.

Benefits of a balanced diet while taking Metformin

While there are some foods to stay away from while taking Metformin, it's just as crucial to concentrate on a balanced diet that promotes overall health and blood sugar control. The following are some major advantages of continuing a balanced diet while taking Metformin:

Improved blood sugar control

A healthy diet that is balanced and full of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve how well Metformin works. A balanced diet enhances the management of diabetes by offering a steady source of nutrients and preventing sharp blood sugar spikes.

Weight management

An effective diet can help with weight management, which is important for people with type 2 diabetes. Having too much weight can exacerbate insulin resistance and make it harder to control blood sugar levels. You can support weight loss or maintenance goals while taking Metformin by adopting a balanced diet that emphasizes portion control and nutrient-dense foods.

Reduced risk of complications

The risk of complications from diabetes can be decreased by eating a diet that prioritizes whole, unprocessed foods and restricts sugary, high-fat, and processed foods. Heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye issues are a few of these. By providing your body with nutrient-dense foods, you promote your overall health and lessen the negative effects of diabetes.

Increased energy levels

A balanced diet gives your body the energy it needs and can help you fight fatigue, which is a common symptom of diabetes. You can ensure an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—which are necessary for the production of energy and general vitality—by consuming a variety of foods that are high in nutrients.

When is the best time to take Metformin?

The effectiveness and tolerability of Metformin can be affected by the timing of its administration. To reduce gastrointestinal side effects, taking Metformin with food is typically advised. You can lessen the likelihood of stomach upset and help slow down the absorption of the medication by taking it with food. However, it's crucial to adhere to the precise directions given by your doctor or pharmacist regarding the administration schedule and dose of Metformin. They can advise you on the best course of action based on your particular requirements and medication schedule.


1. Can I take Metformin and eggs together?

Yes, you can consume eggs while taking Metformin. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and have little impact on blood sugar levels. However, it's crucial to cook eggs in a healthy way, such as poaching, boiling, or scrambling them without additional fats or oils.

2. Can I eat ice cream while taking Metformin?

The high sugar and fat content of ice cream can reduce the efficacy of metformin. If you're taking this medication, it's best to limit or avoid eating ice cream to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

3. Can I eat sugar while taking Metformin?

While it is advised to limit your sugar intake, Metformin can be taken with a small amount of sugar. To determine the proper amount of sugar you can include in your diet, you should monitor your blood sugar levels and speak with your healthcare provider.

4. Can you eat bananas with Metformin?

Natural sugars and carbs can be found in bananas. Although they can be a part of your diet, it's crucial to eat them in moderation and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. To lessen their effect on blood sugar, choose smaller bananas and combine them with a source of protein or healthy fats.

5. Do I need to check blood sugar while taking metformin?

Yes, while taking Metformin it is crucial to regularly check your blood sugar levels. This will make it easier for you and your healthcare provider to evaluate the medication's efficacy and make any necessary modifications to your treatment plan. A crucial component of managing diabetes is routine blood sugar testing.

6. Can you drink milk while taking metformin?

Yes, you can drink milk while taking Metformin. To reduce the intake of saturated fats, it is crucial to pick low-fat or fat-free options. Since milk contains carbohydrates, you should take into account how it will affect your blood sugar levels and include it in your daily carbohydrate intake.

7. Can you take ginger with metformin?

In general, ginger is thought to be safe to eat while taking metformin. In fact, studies have shown that ginger may help people with diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity and lowering inflammation. Before ingesting any new supplements or drastically altering your diet, it is, however, always advisable to speak with your doctor.

8. Is metformin bad for your liver?

Although metformin is typically thought to be safe for people with liver disease, it is crucial to discuss your unique situation with your doctor. If you have a history of liver disease or severe liver impairment, Metformin may not always be advised. The best course of action will be decided after your healthcare provider evaluates your liver function.

9. Can I take Metformin without food?

In order to reduce gastrointestinal side effects, metformin is typically taken with meals. Some extended-release medications can, however, be taken without food. It's best to adhere to your doctor's advice regarding how much Metformin to take and whether to take it with or without food.

10. Can I eat chocolate while on Metformin?

For people taking Metformin, moderate consumption of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more) is usually safe. But it's crucial to watch your portion sizes and pay attention to how chocolate affects your blood sugar levels. As a treat, choose small servings of premium dark chocolate.

11. Can you take Metformin 2 hours after eating?

To ensure proper absorption, metformin is typically taken with meals or shortly after. While there isn't a set period of time that must pass exactly two hours after eating, it's crucial to adhere to your doctor's recommendations for taking Metformin in order to get the most benefit from it.

12. Is Metformin bad for you?

For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, metformin is typically regarded as secure and efficient. But some people might experience side effects, just like with any medication. It's crucial to talk to your healthcare provider about any worries or potential risks so they can evaluate your unique situation and recommend the best course of action.

Conclusion and final thoughts

While Metformin is an effective drug for controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, it's important to pay attention to your diet to maximize its advantages. You can make sure that Metformin functions as intended and supports your general health by avoiding specific foods that can reduce its efficacy and result in side effects. To maximize the effects of the medication and reduce the risk of complications related to diabetes, it's also crucial to maintain a balanced diet that includes foods high in nutrients. Remember to discuss any concerns or questions you may have regarding your diet with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian. You can take control of your diabetes and lead an enjoyable, well-balanced life by combining the effectiveness of metformin with a healthy lifestyle.


  1. Nasri, H., & Rafieian-Kopaei, M. (2014). Metformin: Current knowledge. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 19(7), 658–664. ‌
  2. Kim, J., Ahn, C. W., Fang, S., Lee, H. S., & Park, J. S. (2019). Association between metformin dose and vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with type 2 diabetes. Medicine, 98(46), e17918. ‌
  3. Riera-Borrull, M., García-Heredia, A., Fernández-Arroyo, S., Hernández-Aguilera, A., Noemí Cabré, Elisabet Cuyàs, Fedra Luciano-Mateo, Camps, J., J. Fernandez Menendez, & Joven, J. (2017). Metformin Potentiates the Benefits of Dietary Restraint: A Metabolomic Study. 18(11), 2263–2263. ‌
  4. Mohammed, I., Hollenberg, M. D., Ding, H., & Triggle, C. R. (2021). A Critical Review of the Evidence That Metformin Is a Putative Anti-Aging Drug That Enhances Healthspan and Extends Lifespan. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 12. ‌
  5. Rajabi, S., Mazloom, Z., Zamani, A., & Tabatabaee, H. R. (2015). Effect of Low Glycemic Index Diet Versus Metformin on Metabolic Syndrome. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 13(4). ‌


All the content on this blog, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, are solely to provide information only. Any information/statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should NOT be a substitute for health and medical advice that can be provided by your own physician/medical doctor.  We at Nano Singapore Shop, encourage you to consult a doctor before making any health or diet changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.