8 Foods to avoid while taking Metformin

We all have heard about the interaction of medications with other medicines and supplements. But the efficacy of medicine also changes when they interact with food substances. Many diabetic patients consume metformin. Metformin is no exception to interaction with other medicines, food, and supplements.

It is important to make some adjustments in the diet especially when you are consuming metformin. You must be curious to know about the food that one should avoid while consuming metformin. This article is a complete detailed guideline about metformin usage and the 8 foods to avoid while taking metformin. Before we tell you about the 8 foods to avoid while taking metformin let us first give you some information about it.

What is Metformin?

Metformin is a medicine that works efficiently against type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is the number one preference for type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes have insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance, therefore they cannot intake insulin properly. It is difficult for such patients to control their blood sugar levels.

Metformin increases the lactate level of the blood by converting the lactic acid into lactate. Metformin belongs to the drug class biguanides. This medication restricts the liver from producing glucose. Due to this medication, your body does not absorb glucose from the food you consume. Metformin improves the response of your body toward insulin.
The physician recommends metformin alone or with a combination of insulin treatments. Metformin lies in the prescription drug category.

How Metformin work?

Metformin is used for type two diabetic patients and it also helps in the prevention of diabetes. Type 1 diabetic patients cannot take metformin as they cannot produce insulin from their pancreas. Metformin is also used in the treatment of PCOS. In Polycystic ovarian syndrome, the hormone imbalance in the female body occurs due to which they produce more androgen hormone and their ovulation is delayed.

Due to PCOS, a woman can develop obesity, infertility, depression, and type two diabetes therefore metformin is recommended by FDA as a secondary treatment for Polycystic ovarian syndrome. The patient who is suffering from infertility is recommended metformin as it helps in ovulation and conception. Metformin is also useful in reducing weight and waist as it acts on the adipose tissue which is known as the fat tissues of the body.

Foods to avoid while taking metformin

The following are the 8 food to avoid while taking metformin


When you are on metformin you should avoid taking excessive sodium in your food. Your sodium consumption should be under 2300 mg per day.


There are majorly two types of fats one is healthy and the other is an unhealthy fat. There is no problem in consuming healthy fats but if you are consuming high amounts of saturated and trans fat then you should avoid them while taking met for metformin.


Everyone should quit alcohol whether they are diabetic or not as it is much harmful to their health. It causes Lactic acidosis and low blood sugar levels. Alcohol also impacts the storage and release of glucose from the liver.

People who are suffering from diabetes already find it difficult to manage their blood sugar level therefore Alcohol consumption should be reduced to overcome risk factors. Alcohol on empty stomach can lead to low blood sugar levels and it also impacts the insulin level of the body.

Metformin acts on the lactic acid in the blood and converts it into lactate. If you will consume alcohol along with metformin both of them can increase the lactic acid level in the blood leading to lactic acidosis which is a very severe condition.

Simple carbs

When you are consuming a higher amount of carbohydrates in your diet it can lead to increased glucose levels in your blood. Therefore, if you are diabetic, you should avoid consuming soda, dessert, candies, and chocolate. You should also consume less refined carbs such as pasta, white rice, and white bread.

High fiber food

Food can impact certain medicine by decreasing their level in the blood. Similar is the reaction of high-fiber food on metformin. If you will consume a highly fibrous diet it will decrease the metformin level in the blood. Therefore, your daily fiber quantity should be less than 30 grams.

Grapefruit food

The research was performed to notice the effects of grapefruit on metformin in rats. Half of the rats were given grapefruit along with metformin while the rest were given only the medicine. The rats that consumed the combination of metformin and grapefruit had a higher amount of lactic acid in their blood as compared to the other group of rats. Therefore, to prevent chances of lactic acidosis grapefruit should be avoided while using metformin.

Fried food

Women who use metformin to treat PCOS often suffer from stomach issues. The main culprit for their stomach problem is fried food. If you want to lose weight and control your hormones then you should get rid of fried food as it does not have a good impact while consumed with metformin.

Sugary drinks

When you are taking metformin to control the blood sugar level due to diabetes. It is important that you should avoid drinking sugary drinks such as coffee, soft drinks, sugary juices, and soda as they contain a high amount of sugar in them which can increase your blood sugar level. When your blood sugar level is excessively increased it disturbs the effect of metformin.

Food to take while taking metformin

Following are some of the foods which you should consume while taking metformin

⦁ vegetables
⦁ Healthy fat
⦁ moderate fibers
⦁ Complex carbohydrate
⦁ Lean protein.

When to take metformin

You can consume metformin on an empty stomach but it is better that you take this medicine with meals to avoid undesirable stomach side effects. There are two types of metformin available
⦁ Regular metformin
⦁ Extended-release metformin.
You can consume regular metformin with your meals 2-3 times a day. You can take the extended-release metformin with your mean once a day. To avoid Gastrointestinal problems you should consume metformin with your meals or just after your meal.

The side effect of metformin

The most common side effects of metformin include

⦁ Vomiting
⦁ nausea
⦁ diarrhea
⦁ gas
abdominal pain
⦁ vitamin B12 deficiency
⦁ lactic acidosis
⦁ kidney disfunctioning
⦁ impaired liver
⦁ ketoacidosis
⦁ congestive heart failure due to lactic acidosis.

How to reduce the side effects of metformin

The most famous side effects of metformin include gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea. This situation mostly happens if you are consuming metformin without food. So the best solution is that you intake metformin with a meal.

If you are consuming metformin to treat PCOS then you should also have a look at your diet and workout routine. If you will maintain a good fitness level along with a disciplined diet only then you can lose weight by using this medicine.

Bottom line

If you are taking metformin to treat your diabetes type 2 then the above mention 8 foods to avoid while taking metformin should be on your precaution list. Since diabetes is a disease that is related to blood sugar levels, hence it is very important to take care of your diet throughout the treatment.