Managing diabetes effectively often involves finding the right balance between medication, diet, and lifestyle choices. When it comes to popular diabetes medication metformin, many people wonder about its interaction with certain foods, particularly the combination of metformin and eggs.
Metformin is a medication that helps lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Conversely, eggs are considered a nutritional powerhouse, providing an array of essential nutrients and low-carbohydrate protein.
The combination of Metformin and eggs can be a beneficial addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. However, be mindful of certain foods that may counteract the positive effects of Metformin or negatively impact blood sugar levels, like refined carbohydrates and sugary foods.
Basically, you can consume metformin and eggs but not with certain food items.
What are these food items? Well, we will explore a long list in this article.
Table of Contents
What is Metformin?
Metformin is a medicine that helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar. It makes the body’s cells more sensitive to insulin, like a key that allows cells to use sugar for energy.
When someone has diabetes, their body may not make enough insulin, or their cells may not respond well. Metformin helps make the cells better at insulin, lowering blood sugar levels.
For example – imagine that your body is a car and your blood sugar is the car’s gas. Insulin is the key that allows your cells to use the gas. Without insulin, your cells can’t use the gas, and your blood sugar levels will rise. Metformin is like a new key that makes it easier for your cells to use the gas, and this helps to lower your blood sugar levels.
It is safe, and often the first medicine given to people with type 2 diabetes, and it can also be used to prevent diabetes in high-risk individuals. Metformin is not a cure for diabetes, but it helps people with diabetes live healthier lives.
How does it work?
Metformin works in three ways to help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes:
Reduces liver glucose production
The liver produces glucose even when unnecessary. Metformin reduces liver glucose production.
Increases cell sensitivity to insulin
In diabetes, cells don’t respond well to insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Metformin improves cell sensitivity to insulin, allowing them to use more glucose for energy.
Slows down sugar absorption from the intestines
After eating, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Metformin slows down this process, preventing blood sugar levels from spiking too much after meals.
Benefits of metformin
In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, metformin offers several other benefits:
It can help individuals with type 2 diabetes lose weight, according to a study(1). Those taking metformin lost an average of 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) more than those on a placebo.
Reduced heart disease risk
A research revealed(2) that individuals taking metformin for 5 years had a 31% lower risk of heart disease-related death than those on a placebo.
Lower stroke risk
The drug can also decrease the risk of stroke. A study(3) found that those taking metformin for 5 years had a 21% lower stroke risk than those on a placebo.
Metformin can enhance fertility in women(4) with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition causing hormonal imbalances. Metformin helps women with PCOS increase their chances of getting pregnant by lowering testosterone levels and improving ovulation.
Reduced cancer risk
It may lower the risk of developing cancer. Research(5) indicated that those taking metformin for 5 years had a 23% lower cancer risk than those on a placebo.
Metformin Side Effects
Metformin is a safe and effective medication for most people with diabetes. However, like all medications, it can have side effects. The most common Metformin side effects are:
Metformin eggs diarrhea
This is the most common side effect and usually goes away independently. For a solution, avoid eating eggs altogether or eat eggs in moderation and avoid eating them on an empty stomach. If diarrhea is bothersome, talk to your doctor about ways to manage it.
It usually goes away on its own, but if nausea is bothersome, take help with ways to manage it.
This is a less common side effect of metformin, but if you experience vomiting, stop taking metformin and consult with your physician for alternative medicine.
Metformin can cause some people to lose weight. This is usually a good thing for people with diabetes, but it can be bothersome for some people.
This is another less common side effect, but if you experience abdominal pain, talk to your doctor.
Can Metformin and Eggs be eaten together?
We are back to our primary and widely discussed question about metformin and eggs. The answer is simple – yes, it is safe to eat metformin and eggs together.
Eggs are a healthy choice for people with diabetes because they are low in carbohydrates and rich in protein. Metformin is a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, and no evidence eating eggs interferes with its effectiveness.
In fact, a study(6) found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate eggs for breakfast had better blood sugar control throughout the day.
Here are some tips for enjoying eggs while taking metformin: pair them with healthy foods like whole-grain bread, fruits, or vegetables, cook them in healthy oils, and avoid excessive salt or sugar. You can also try delicious recipes like omelets with vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, or scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast.
Do eggs contain sugar?
No, eggs do not contain sugar. Eggs are a carbohydrate-free food, meaning they do not naturally contain any sugars.
However, note that some processed or pre-packaged egg products may have added ingredients, so it’s always a good idea to check the nutrition labels for added sugars if you’re consuming processed egg products. But in their natural form, eggs are sugar-free.
Are eggs suitable for diabetics?
Along with no sugar, here are a few reasons why eggs can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes:
Low in carbohydrates
Which means they have little to no effect on blood sugar levels, making them a suitable food option for managing blood sugar.
High in protein
Eggs are a great source of protein, which can help increase satiety and support healthy weight management. Protein has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.
Eggs are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins (A, D, E, and B vitamins) and minerals (iron, zinc, and selenium), which are essential for overall health and well-being.
Can help with weight management
Including eggs in a balanced meal can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce snacking between meals, which may support weight management efforts.
Foods you should avoid when taking metformin
To maintain stable blood sugar levels, have regular meals and snacks, and opt for high-fiber, protein-rich, and healthy fat-containing foods to feel satisfied.
You must limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to support stable blood sugar levels and flush out toxins. Furthermore, avoid consuming these foods and drinks. Bottom of Form
Alcohol can increase the risk of lactic acidosis, a severe side effect of metformin. Lactic acidosis is a condition that occurs when the body builds up too much lactic acid, and this can be a life-threatening condition. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
2. High-fiber foods
High-fiber foods can interfere with the absorption of metformin, which means that your body may not get as much metformin as it needs. If you eat much fiber, talk to your doctor about adjusting your metformin dose.
3. Sugary drinks
Sugary drinks can raise blood sugar levels, making it harder for metformin to work. If you drink sugary drinks, switch to healthier options like water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.
4. Processed foods
Processed foods are commonly packed with high amounts of sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium. These foods can make it harder to control sugar levels and increase the risk of other health problems.
5. Red meat
Red meat is high in saturated fat, which can raise LDL (harmful) cholesterol levels, and high LDL cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease. If you eat red meat, limit it to lean cuts and small portions.
6. Whole-fat dairy products
These products are also high in saturated fat. If you are trying to lower your LDL cholesterol levels, choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy products is best.
7. Fried foods
Fried foods are high in unhealthy fats, raising LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of heart disease. If you eat fried foods, try to limit them to occasional indulgences.
8. Packaged snacks
Packaged snacks are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium, and these foods can make it harder to control blood sugar levels and increase the risk of other health problems. If you eat packaged snacks, choose healthier options like fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
You can indeed eat metformin and eggs, but it’s better to talk to your doctor about what foods you should avoid when taking metformin. Your doctor can help you create a healthy eating plan that will help you manage your diabetes and stay safe.
Foods you can eat when taking metformin
Along with metformin and eggs, here are some examples of healthy foods that you can eat while taking metformin.
Fruits are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are also low in calories and sugar. Some good choices include apples, bananas, berries, oranges, and peaches.
Vegetables are another excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are also low in calories and fat. You can eat broccoli, carrots, celery, green beans, and spinach.
3. Whole grains
Consider whole grains as they are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also low in calories and fat. Try brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat bread, and whole-wheat pasta.
4. Lean protein
It is a good source of protein without a lot of unhealthy fat. Optimal choices include fish, chicken, tofu, and beans.
5. Healthy fats
Healthy fats are essential for good health. Some good choices include olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I eat eggs while taking metformin?
Yes, metformin and eggs can be consumed together. They are low in carbohydrates and rich in protein, making them suitable for a diabetes-friendly diet.
2. What foods should I avoid when taking metformin?
Avoid processed foods, as these foods can negatively impact blood sugar levels and counteract the effects of metformin.
3. Are there any side effects of metformin?
4. What are the benefits of metformin?
Metformin helps lower blood sugar levels and aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, improves fertility in women with PCOS, and may lower the risk of developing cancer.
5. What are some healthy food options while taking metformin?
Incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your diet is recommended while taking metformin. These foods support stable blood sugar levels and overall well-being.
Combining metformin and eggs can be beneficial for a diabetes-friendly diet. Eggs are low in carbs and protein, making them suitable for managing blood sugar levels.
However, it’s essential to avoid certain foods that may counteract metformin’s effects or raise blood sugar levels, such as processed foods, sugary drinks, high-fiber foods, red meat, whole-fat dairy, fried foods, and packaged snacks.
Shift your focus towards including nutritious options such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Consulting with a healthcare professional or dietitian can help create a personalized meal plan to test while taking metformin effectively.
You can maintain stable blood sugar levels and improve your overall well-being by making the right food choices and following a balanced diet.
1. Eisbruch, A. et al. (2011) Chemo-imrt of oropharyngeal cancer aiming to reduce dysphagia: Swallowing organs late complication probabilities and dosimetric correlates, International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics. (Accessed: 05 June 2023) Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3158965/.
2. Madsen, K.M. et al. (2011) Linking genotype and phenotype of saccharomyces cerevisiae strains reveals metabolic engineering targets and leads to triterpene hyper-producers, PloS one. (Accessed: 05 June 2023) Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060802/.
3. Gupta, A., Chaukiker, D. and Singh, T.R. (2011) Comparative analysis of epitope predictions: Proposed library of putative vaccine candidates for HIV, Bioinformation. (Accessed: 05 June 2023) Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044427/.
4. Chowdri, N.A. et al. (2010) Iatrogenic bile duct injuries in Kashmir Valley, The Indian journal of surgery. (Accessed: 05 June 2023) Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002782/.
5. Morales, L.S. et al. (2011) Measurement properties of a multicultural weight-specific quality-of-life instrument for children and adolescents, Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation. (Accessed: 05 June 2023) Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3040311/.
6. R;, W.E. (no date) Metformin improves ovarian function and increases egg production in broiler breeder hens, Reproduction (Cambridge, England). (Accessed: 05 June 2023) Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36547400/.