5 Foods to Avoid While Taking Mounjaro [According to a Dietitian]
Mounjaro has taken the medical world by storm as a breakthrough treatment for type 2 diabetes. But that’s not all — it’s also on the verge of being approved as a game-changer for weight loss management.
For even greater and long-lasting success, it’s crucial to team it up with a healthy diet. The key advantage of healthy eating in this context is to maximize the benefits of the medication and help you cope with any unpleasant side effects.
Some common side effects of this medication include upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, and decreased appetite. Awareness of these potential effects is important, but individual experiences may vary.
An important part of managing this is to know which foods are best minimized or avoided altogether while taking Mounjaro.
Disclaimer: This is my expert opinion as a registered dietitian and doctor in clinical nutrition. My opinion is based on extensive research and experience.
What is Mounjaro?
Mounjaro is the brand name for a drug called tirzepatide. It’s part of a new class of diabetes medications called GLP-1 agonists, and the FDA has approved it as an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes.
This medication works by enhancing insulin secretion, improving insulin sensitivity, and decreasing how much food you eat.
One of the most welcomed side effects is weight loss. This medication is expected to be soon approved for weight loss in non-diabetics.
Common Side Effects
As with any medication, potential side effects can occur when taking Mounjaro. The most common side effects include:
- Stomach pain
- Decreased appetite
Mounjaro: Foods to Avoid
The goal of minimizing or avoiding certain foods is to optimize the management of blood glucose and reduce the risk of potential side effects. Here are some foods that should be minimized or avoided while taking Mounjaro:
It’s recommended to minimize sugary drinks, like sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices. These are high in calories and can raise blood sugar levels quickly.
Sugary drinks are absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream, causing a spike in the blood sugar level.
This is in contrast to complex carbohydrates and proteins, which take longer to digest and provide a feeling of fullness.
The reason for this difference is primarily the lack of fiber and protein content in these beverages. As a result, even after consuming a high-calorie sugary drink, individuals may still feel hungry and be inclined to consume additional calories, potentially leading to weight gain and poor blood sugar control.
Sugary drinks include:
- Energy drinks
- Fruit juices
- Sweetened coffee/tea
- Sports drinks
Snacks like candy and pastries should also be avoided while taking Mounjaro. Like sugary drinks, these sugar-laden foods can quickly raise blood sugar and are not generally considered to provide any nutritional value.
Also, like drinks containing sugar, these sugary foods lack fiber and other nutrients. Typically they are high in calories with only a few — if any — nutrients.
Too much sugar can also upset your stomach.
Examples of sugary foods include:
- Ice cream
- Chocolate bars
- Sugary cereals
Limiting the amount of high-fat food you eat while taking Moujaro is also advisable.
Fatty foods can impact the digestive tract by slowing down the emptying of the stomach. This may worsen constipation or speed up movement, potentially leading to or worsening diarrhea.
In addition, high-fat foods can also be very calorically dense, meaning they contain a relatively large number of calories per volume of food. This can contribute to weight gain, which makes blood glucose control more difficult.
High-fat foods include:
- Fried items
- Creamy sauces
- High-fat meats (like bacon)
You can eat nutritious high-fat foods daily in small portions.
- Oils (olive, avocado, etc.)
Fast food is typically high in sugar, fat, and calories. It combines all the types of food to limit.
Fast foods also tend to lack fiber, which is important for your overall health and helps keep you feeling full longer.
You should treat these meals as an occasional treat rather than a regular part of your diet.
Examples of fast foods include:
- Hot dogs
- Fried chicken
It’s best to limit or avoid alcohol when taking Moujaro. Drinking alcohol can increase dizziness, nausea, and headaches, thereby exacerbating the side effects of the medication.
What’s more, alcoholic beverages are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain.
If you do choose to drink, it’s best to consume only low amounts of alcohol and have a healthy snack with your drink. Avoid consuming more than one or two drinks in the evening.
Foods to Eat
Eating a balanced diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables will help optimize the effects of your medication. These foods are chock full of essential vitamins and minerals and contribute to a feeling of fullness, helping curb any tendency to overeat tendencies.
Drinking plenty of fluids —especially water — is also crucial to avoid dehydration.
Lastly, while treats are fine in moderation, remember the goal is to nourish your body. With these tips in mind, you can still enjoy eating without compromising your health while taking Moujaro.
Get your meal plan
The Bottom Line
Moujaro is designed to help manage blood glucose levels, with weight loss as a welcome side effect.
It’s important to avoid or limit the consumption of processed or high-fat food, fast food, and alcohol when using Moujaro. Replacing these with whole, nutritious options will help you get the most out of your medication.
Other helpful reads:
Mounjaro diet plan
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL, is dedicated to empowering women in perimenopause and menopause to live healthier, more satisfying lives.
With a doctorate in clinical nutrition from the University of North Florida, she has expertise in menopause and weight loss, including the unique challenges faced by those on weight loss medications.
Su-Nui’s passion for her field is evident in her previous role as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.