Metformin is a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes. It is used alone or in combination with other diabetic medications. It works to lower blood glucose levels and allows the glucose to enter your body to produce energy. Type 2 diabetes may lead to blood vessel damage in the eyes, heart, kidney and nerves. Diet, exercise and weight loss may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Metformin is available in many forms such as tablet, liquid version and two long acting forms. Here is a list of foods you can eat while taking metformin. Always consult your health care provider first.
Healthy diet plan for metformin:
Metformin is used with a proper diet, exercise and also with other medications to control high blood sugar. You must take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to check the glucose level several times even when you taking this medication.
- Eat a consistent amount of food every day.
- Take medications same time every day as directed by your doctor. This might improve blood sugar level and lower the risk of diabetes.
- Exercise for half an hour. Ask your doctor first.
Brand names for metformin include: Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet and Fortamet.
List of foods you can eat while taking metformin:
1. Carbohydrates: There are two types of carbohydrates which includes simple and complex. Simple carbs are found in refined sugar, flour and fruits. Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains, beans, nuts and vegetables. It contains good amounts of fiber. It is easily digestible by the body and also provides steady source of energy. For adults, you can have 4 carbs servings at each meal and 1 to 2 carbs servings as snack.
Muffins and cereals: You can eat oroweat double fiber English muffins and oroweat bread . It has no high fructose corn syrup and 0 grams fat. You can find lot of hidden HFCS in prepackaged foods. So better you check the label before you can buy any foods. Glucerna cereal is also good for diabetes.
2. Breakfast foods and snack bars: You can have granola bars and Atkins bar for breakfast. Atkins bar has the right balance of protein, fiber and carbs. Also snacks include graham crackers, whole wheat bread with peanut butter.
3. Fiber rich foods: One of the best foods you can eat while taking metformin is fiber. Fiber is found in many foods such as cooked dried beans, peas, brown rice, bran products, whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, crackers, legumes, green leafy vegetables, oats, lentils and whole wheat pasta.
Bean varieties are high in fiber such as kidney beans, chick beans, soy beans and sproued beans. These beans may lower the cholesterol level and also great food for diabetics and insulin resistant individuals.
4. Vegetables and fruits: You can eat fresh veggies such as carrot, radish, cauliflower, onions, zucchini, beets, lettuce, tomato, garlic and ginger. Fresh fruits such as apple, papaya, pomegranate and oranges. Limit the fruits that are high in sugar such as banana, strawberry and cantaloupe. Another veggie is bitter gourd. You can have stir fry gitter gourd or bitter gourd juice in your diet.
5. Non fat dairy products: You can choose low fat milk, non fat cottage cheeses and dairy products while taking metformin. You can get the low fat yogurt sweetened with splenda. Don't buy the yogurt sweetened with aspartame.
Type 2 diabetes and Metformin:
More foods to eat with Metformin:
6. Herbs: Another best food you can eat with metformin is herbs. Garlic, bilberry and fenugreek are some of the best herbs to lower the cholesterol. Garlic helps to reduce the cholesterol level and also lower the risk of heart disease. You can take equal amounts of bilberry and fenugreek. It is best to take prior to meals.
7. Meat: Choose the lean meat such as skinless chicken and fish in your diet. Avoid the red meat such as beef and pork. Chicken and fish is healthier than beef and pork. Great choices of fish include cod, tuna and halibut. Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. It helps to lower the triglyceride levels.
8. Phytoestrogen rich foods: Foods that are rich in phytoestrogens include soy beans, soy products, flax seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts Brazil, chick peas, oilve oil and mungbean sprouts. These foods helps to keep the body healthy.
9. Tea: You can have tea such as peppermint tea and chamomile tea.
10. Nuts: Walnuts and almonds are low in monosaturated content and it helps to lower the cholesterol level.
11. Oils: You can choose oils such as canola and olive oil that are low in monosaturated content.
12. Other foods: Other foods you can eat while taking metformin includes fenugreek seeds, broccoli, winter squash, dried prunes, green beans, collard greens, egg whites and cinnamon.
Note: Alcohol should be avoided while taking metformin. It may lower the sugar level and increase the risk of lactic acidosis.
Metformin for diabetes:
Glenn on March 08, 2014:
I take metformin (500 mg) 2x a day.
On two separate occasions, I've eaten cooked chicken breast after taking metformin, and within 45-hour after eating, I've gotten very light-headed and sweaty. I checked my blood-sugar and found it to be far below what it should be (the first incident, my blood sugar dropped to 37, the second time it dropped to 49),
So, I guess I'm wondering if I shouldn't take metformin if I know I'm going to be eating chicken? Or maybe I'm not eating enough during that meal for the metformin to work properly.
Amy A. on November 23, 2013:
I believe that peppermint tea is contraindicated for people taking metformin because it can interfere with the drug and cause hypoglycemia .....
TDAPharm from Massachusetts on April 30, 2012:
The foods you recommend are good for any diabetic and I think that is the key thing. Diet is a big step to control glucose levels in the management of diabetes. One thing to mention is Caution with chromium, garlic, gymnema, due to chance of causing hypoglycemia in large amounts. Overall good article and thank you.