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Foods to Avoid When on Metformin

author image Angie Briggs
Angie Briggs has been a health and fitness writer since 2006. Her articles have been published on eHow, LIVESTRONG.COM and GardenGuides. She graduated from Thompson Institute with a diploma as a computer support specialist and received certification from CareerStep as a medical transcriptionist and medical language specialist.
Foods to Avoid When on Metformin
Foods to Avoid When on Metformin Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Metformin is a prescription medication that is used to treat Type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body does not properly utilize insulin and cannot control blood sugar levels. Eating a proper diet and following a healthy exercise regimen go a long way in keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

Fatty Foods

Fatty foods can largely affect your health and weight. Foods high in saturated fat should be avoided. Saturated fat is generally found in animal products like meat, full fat dairy products, coconut and palm oils. Eating over 7 percent of your total daily calories in saturated fat should be avoided. Foods with trans fats should be severely limited as well---to less than 1 percent of total calorie intake. Foods with trans fats include commercial baked goods, margarine, snack foods and fried foods. Your total fat intake should be no more than 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories.

Replace bad fats with healthier fats like monounsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-6 polyunsaturated acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids can be found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, nuts and avocados. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can be found in fish, shellfish, flaxseed and walnuts. You can also take fish oil supplements for omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids can be found in corn, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, nuts and seeds.

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Bad Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have the largest effect on how quickly blood sugar levels will rise. Simple carbohydrates are made from sugars. Simple carbohydrates have empty calories, raise blood glucose levels faster and provide little-to-no nutritional value. Sucrose--table sugar--is found in cane sugar, honey and corn syrup. Fructose is the sugar found in fruits. Food examples of simple carbohydrates include candy and cakes. Read food labels and avoid foods listing more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Your doctor may also limit your fruit intake. Incorporate complex carbohydrates into your diet. The American Diabetes Association recommends non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots and green beans. Foods high on the glycemic index should also be avoided as they can cause a surge in blood sugar after meals as well as weight gain. The glycemic index measures foods based on the delay they have in increasing blood sugar levels after meals.

Salty Foods

Salty foods should be limited as well. The University of Maryland recommends restricting your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams, or mg, per day, which equals approximately 1 teaspoon. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you should limit your sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day. Avoid processed foods and overuse of table salt.

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