Foods to avoid while taking metformin are the common question of every diabetic patient. This is because although metformin is a medication that can help you control your blood sugar, it cannot give you the complete freedom to eat anything you want.

Therefore, doctors and dieticians recommend patients choose not to eat some food products to keep their blood levels in check. 

What Is Metformin?

Metformin is a type of drug that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. This is because people with this type of diabetes cannot take insulin properly.

After all, their body develops resistance against insulin. It leads to decreased insulin sensitivity which means they have a hard time controlling sugar levels in their body.

Therefore, they use metformin to stop their liver from producing glucose. It works to lower the amount of glucose in the body extracted from food and increase insulin sensitivity.

Metformin is only consumed on a doctor’s prescription and as it is given to a diabetic patient diet taken with it is of prime importance.

So they need to know about foods to avoid while taking metformin to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Is There A Diet That Needs To Be Followed While Taking Metformin? 

However, there is no fixed diet that needs to be followed while taking metformin. But if you are a diabetic patient, you need to be extra careful with what you eat and get an idea of foods to avoid while taking metformin

The primary goal here is to make your digestion and metabolism effective. Foods that contain carbohydrates are broken down in the body to produce glucose, providing energy to the body i.e our cells.

But in some cases, the body couldn’t use all the glucose and the excess gets stored in the liver. This is either used by muscles later or gets turned into fat. 

Therefore, most of the foods to avoid while taking metformin are carbohydrate-containing foods such as – 

  • Bread
  • Grains 
  • Cereals
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Fruits
  • Juices
  • Vegetables containing starch such as potatoes, corn

This does not mean that you have to exclude all these foods from your diet. You need to cut down on their consumption and ensure that you do not overeat these food products. 

Foods To Avoid While Taking Metformin 

The list of food doesn’t end with the one containing carbohydrates. Here are more foods to avoid while taking metformin.

1. Fats:

If you are consuming healthy fat then it’s okay. However, if you are eating something that contains saturated or trans fat then you should avoid it while taking metformin.


2. Sodium:

Sodium is also one of the things that one should avoid while taking metformin. Maintain your sodium consumption under 2300 milligrams a day. This will help your body take metformin well and is one of the foods to avoid while taking metformin.

3. Simple And Refined Carbs:

As discussed earlier, carbohydrates should be avoided by a person who is taking metformin. You should also avoid foods such as candy, soda, and desserts that have simple carbs.

Moreover, you also need to cut down on the consumption of refined carbs which are found in foods like pasta, white bread, and white rice.

4. Alcohol:

Alcohol is not a good choice for any person who is consuming metformin. It increases the risk of lactic acidosis and low blood sugar level. Also, it prevents the liver from releasing and storing glucose.

Specifically, it should not be drunk on an empty stomach by people who are on insulin or any other diabetic medications. 

Alcohol is one of the very important foods to avoid while taking metformin, as these both together can increase the lactic acid level in the blood, which may end up causing lactic acidosis. 


5. Foods With High fiber: 

Fiber is known to absorb some drugs in your body and thus lower their concentration. So if you eat large volumes of fiber then the amount of metformin level in your body will fall and it won’t be very effective. So you should try to keep the fiber intake up to 30 grams a day. 

6. Grapefruit: 

Another foods to avoid while taking metformin is Grapefruit. It has been studied in research that some may not digest metformin and grapefruit products.

If you consume both grapefruit items and metformin together, it will increase the lactic acid level in the body. It also causes weight gain. 

Foods To Avoid While Taking Metformin If You Have PCOS

People who suffer from PCOS need to give more attention to their diet while taking Metformin. And the list of foods to avoid while taking metformin is actually longer for people suffering from PCOS. 

1. Sugary Drinks: 

Sugary drinks contain high sugar, so if you consume such drinks it will increase your blood sugar level. Soda, flavored coffee drinks, or sweetened teas are the drinks that you must avoid if you have PCOS and are consuming metformin.

Sugary Drinks

2. Alcohol: 

As mentioned earlier, alcohol is not an appropriate choice for people on metformin. It lowers blood sugar levels especially if you have PCOS. Even if you drink alcohol, you must limit it to only one drink in a day. 

3. Sugary Foods: 

Just like sugary drinks, sugary foods must also be avoided in PCOS. These food items harm the insulin medication. You must limit these food items to not more than 25 grams per day. 

4. Refined Grains: 

Refined grains are grains that do not have much nutrition and fiber. So, its consumption may lower the amount of nutrition and fiber in your body.

Furthermore, these grains increase the amount of blood sugar in your body, and thus it is on the list of foods to avoid while taking metformin

5. Fried Foods:

If you face any stomachaches while taking metformin, it is probably due to the consumption of fried foods. Therefore, you should avoid all kinds of fried food while taking metformin as it will not only help you increase sensitivity to insulin but also help you lose weight. 

So these were some of the foods to avoid while taking metformin. Do remember this list of food if you are a diabetic patient and are taking metformin as a regular medication. 

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