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Diet When Taking Prednisone

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Diet When Taking Prednisone
Taking Prednisone can contribute to weight gain.

Prednisone is a steroid medication commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation in the body. While Prednisone can be helpful in treating your symptoms, it also can have an unwanted side effect: fluid retention that leads to weight gain. If you have begun taking Prednisone, your physician may recommend eating certain foods to help reduce water retention and discomfort that can occur as a result.

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Potassium-Containing Foods

Your body tends to lose more potassium than usual when you take Prednisone. This can be harmful because you need potassium to maintain a healthy heart and nervous system function. Also, potassium-rich foods tend to be low in sodium, which can help reduce Prednisone-related bloating. Fruits and vegetables tend to be high in potassium, including bananas, cantaloupe, broccoli, carrots and acorn squash.

Reduce Sodium Intake

Prednisone’s effect of causing your body to hold onto sodium brings water along with it, making you feel uncomfortably swollen. When taking Prednisone, avoid foods that tend to have high amounts of added sodium. This includes frozen, canned and fast foods like French fries and pizza. You also should avoid salting your food, which can introduce unnecessary sodium into your diet. To flush sodium currently in your body, increase your water intake, which will stimulate your kidneys to release the extra sodium in your diet.

Dairy Products

Taking Prednisone can cause your body to remove calcium from your bones, according to NetWellness. Because this can put you at increased risk for injuries such as bone fractures, incorporate additional servings of low-fat dairy products into your daily diet. This includes foods like milk, yogurt and cheese. As an added bonus, dairy products have protein, which can help you feel fuller, longer and help you avoid overeating. If you are lactose intolerant, you can consume calcium-fortified cereal and orange juice. Spinach also naturally contains calcium.

Eat Several Small Meals

You may notice you experience heightened or more frequent hunger cravings when taking Prednisone. If this is the case, you may wish to eat several small meals throughout the day. This can help to keep your blood sugar levels constant, reducing the level of food cravings. Incorporate fiber and protein, which can be filling, into each meal to reduce the likelihood that you will feel hungry later.


Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may be harmful for you while you are taking Prednisone. If you regularly consume grapefruit, inform your physician who may make intake recommendations or restrictions based upon your unique health condition and the amount you typically consume.

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