Dec 20, 2023 • 8 min read

8 Foods to Avoid with Trulicity

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When taking any medication for type 2 diabetes, it’s important to make changes in your diet and lifestyle to get the best results, and Trulicity is no exception.

Trulicity, also known as Dulaglutide, is a once-weekly injectable medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. It acts as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist, which means it mimics your body’s natural GLP-1 hormone.

GLP-1 agonists help improve blood sugar management by reducing glucose production in the liver, slowing down the rate at which your stomach empties food, and improving insulin sensitivity

GLP-1 medications also often result in weight loss due to reduced appetite from slowed digestion. However, this can cause uncomfortable side effects in some. Common side effects of Trulicity include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, indigestion, and fatigue. 

Avoiding certain foods while taking this medication can help you manage these side effects. Foods to avoid with Trulicity include sugary snack foods and beverages, high-fat or fried foods, refined carbohydrates, and more. 

This guide goes over foods to avoid while taking Trulicity and other tips for managing side effects and getting the most out of this medication.

Foods to avoid with Trulicity

While there aren’t any specific foods you can’t eat while taking Trulicity, you’ll want to prioritize a healthy, blood sugar-friendly diet plan to support the effects of the medication.

You should avoid foods that will negatively impact your blood sugar levels and potentially exacerbate side effects while reducing the effectiveness of Trulicity. Below are some foods you want to avoid or limit in your diet to moderation:

  1. Sugary foods & drinks. Sugary foods and beverages, such as cookies, candies, and sodas, can spike your blood sugar levels and increase your risk of side effects such as nausea. Consuming these foods in excess can counteract the effects of Trulicity. 
  2. Refined carbohydrates. Simple carbs, such as white bread and white rice, also negatively impact the effects of Trulicity by making glycemic management more challenging. These foods spike blood sugar levels as your body absorbs them quickly.
  3. Fried foods. Fried foods, such as fried chicken, French fries, and onion rings, take longer to digest, exacerbating side effects like nausea and indigestion. Consuming a lot of these foods also increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  4. Processed foods. Highly processed foods, such as chips, crackers, and frozen entrees, typically contain high amounts of added sugars, salt, and/or fat which can further negatively impact glycemic control
  5. Fatty foods. High-fat foods, particularly foods that contain large amounts of saturated fats like cheeses, full-fat dairy, red meats, and processed foods, can worsen digestive side effects such as nausea, indigestion, and vomiting.
  6. Foods high in sodium. Trulicity is also prescribed to adults with heart disease or who have risk factors for developing heart disease. Consuming high-sodium foods frequently can further increase your risk of developing cardiovascular conditions.
  7. Artificial sweeteners. While artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin or aspartame, do not raise blood sugar levels, research has found negative health implications when consuming these in high frequencies including reduced glucose control.
  8. Alcohol. Alcohol should be avoided while taking Trulicity. Not only does it negatively impact blood sugar levels, it can further raise the risk of pancreatitis which is a potentially serious side effect that can occur in those taking this medication. 
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Trulicity side effects

Most side effects associated with Trulicity are mild and gastrointestinal, with nausea being among the most common.

According to studies of those taking Trulicity, between 8% to 29% of patients experienced nausea, which commonly occurs within the first few days following the initial injection and appears to improve over time.

Common side effects of Trulicity include: 

  • Diarrhea. If this occurs, it’s important to keep hydrated and consider an electrolyte supplement if problems persist. Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve. 
  • Nausea. This typically occurs in those initially starting Trulicity. To reduce nausea, try consuming smaller, more frequent meals, and avoid high-fat or high-fiber foods that may worsen symptoms.
  • Vomiting. Vomiting, if severe, can result in dehydration. If you are experiencing persistent vomiting while taking Trulicity, contact your doctor. Keep hydrated, eat bland foods, and avoid high-fat, high-sugar meals that may worsen symptoms. 
  • Abdominal pain. Choose small, frequent meals with fluids in between to help mitigate symptoms. If severe, consult your doctor as this could be a sign of pancreatitis.
  • Decreased appetite. Decreased appetite can occur while taking Trulicity because it slows down digestion. While this is normal and often leads to weight loss, it can sometimes become severe. If this occurs, reach out to your doctor right away for next steps.
  • Indigestion. To help reduce or avoid indigestion symptoms, consume smaller, more frequent meals, eat slowly, and avoid high-fat, spicy, acidic, or high-fiber foods as well as alcohol and carbonated drinks.
  • Fatigue. Fatigue can be related to low-calorie intake or decreased fluid consumption. Make sure you are still eating enough and drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages.

Other diet tips when taking Trulicity

Whether severe or mild, it’s not fun dealing with the side effects of Trulicity. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to create dietary patterns that allow you to better manage these side effects. 

Below are some tips to help you manage the side effects of Trulicity so you can focus more of your time on bettering your health.

  • Incorporate the ideal foods to eat on Trulicity. To be more comfortable and get the most out of Trulicity, try to incorporate more of the foods below:
    • Lean meat
    • Low-fat dairy products
    • Whole fruits and vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Beans and legumes
    • Nuts and seeds
  • Eat smaller meals. Choosing smaller, more frequent meals allows your stomach to empty without getting overly full.
  • Eat slower than usual. Taking your time during meals can help you avoid indigestion and upset stomach. It can also help to avoid nausea which can occur if you eat too quickly and don’t give your body time to tell you it’s full.
  • Stop eating when you feel full. While taking Trulicity, it’s important to recognize your body’s satiety cues. Accidentally overeating can cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects. This is easier to recognize when we take our time during meals. 
  • Focus on bland foods. Choosing bland foods, such as toast, no-sugar-added applesauce, and rice, can help reduce or avoid some of the side effects of Trulicity. This is especially helpful if you are prone to vomiting or diarrhea symptoms.
  • Drink plenty of water. Keep hydrated while taking Trulicity, especially if you experience vomiting or diarrhea as side effects. You may also consider an electrolyte supplement or low-sugar sports drink if you are struggling with dehydration. 
  • Incorporate ginger and peppermint. Ginger and peppermint can help soothe nausea and upset stomach. If you struggle with these side effects, consider sipping ginger or peppermint tea throughout the day.
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Example Trulicity diet plan

Below you can see a sample 1,600-calorie meal plan that is healthy for someone taking Trulicity. Note that your ideal meal plan while taking Trulicity will vary based on health conditions, weight, preferences, and more.

Breakfast (400 calories)

  • Whole Grain Oatmeal: 1 cup cooked in water, topped with a handful of berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. (Complex carbs with a low glycemic index)
  • Greek Yogurt: 1 small container (unsweetened). (High in protein, low in sugar)
  • Green Tea: 1 cup (unsweetened).

Mid-Morning Snack (150 calories)

  • Almonds: A small handful (about 23 almonds). (Healthy fats and protein)
  • Apple: 1 small. (Fiber-rich, moderate in natural sugars)

Lunch (400 calories)

  • Grilled Chicken Salad:
    • Mixed greens, 3 oz grilled chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and 1 tablespoon olive oil vinaigrette.
    • Whole grain roll on the side. (Fiber-rich, low GI)

Afternoon Snack (150 calories)

  • Carrot Sticks: 1 cup.
  • Hummus: 2 tablespoons. (Low GI, good for digestion)

Dinner (500 calories)

  • Baked Salmon: 4 oz portion. (Rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Quinoa: ½ cup cooked. (High in protein and fiber, low GI)
  • Steamed Broccoli: 1 cup. (Nutrient-dense, low in calories)

Why you should consider working with a dietitian while taking Trulicity

There are many benefits to working with a dietitian, but it can be especially helpful when taking a medication like Trulicity. If you are taking Trulicity to help manage your blood sugar and improve your health, you know it’s about more than the medication. Making healthy changes in your diet and exercise routine is essential for long-term success.

If you are struggling to make these changes, or simply need some extra guidance along the way, consider working with a Registered Dietitian (RD). RDs are nutrition experts who can help you navigate blood sugar management, make healthier diet choices, and manage side effects.

Even if you think you are doing everything you should be while taking Trulicity, it helps to get professional guidance. RDs can provide tailored recommendations and support during this time so that you can meet your health goals and keep up with the changes you have made. 

Here at Zaya Care, we’re dedicated to helping people find dietitians based on their preferences, needs, and insurance.

When you request an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians, we’ll check your insurance so you know exactly how much you’ll have to pay, if anything at all.

It’s worth noting that 90% of Zaya Care patients pay $0 for nutrition care with a registered dietitian as we are in-network with many major carriers.

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Trulicity diet FAQs

Does Trulicity take your appetite away?
One of the side effects of Trulicity is reduced appetite. Some experience strong appetite suppression while others only notice mild suppression. If you are experiencing a severe reduction in appetite while taking Trulicity, contact your doctor or RD for support.

Should I take Trulicity on an empty stomach?
You can take Trulicity at any time of the day with or without food.

Can I drink alcohol while in Trulicity?
It is not recommended to consume alcohol while taking Trulicity as it can further exacerbate poor blood sugar control and increase the risk of developing pancreatitis.

Can I eat sweets in Trulicity?
No foods are completely off limits while taking Trulicity however, it is encouraged to practice a blood sugar-friendly diet which includes moderating your intake of sweets. Additionally, sugary foods may exacerbate side effects such as nausea and reduce blood sugar control. 

Can I eat grapefruit on Trulicity?
While grapefruit can interact with certain medications, it is okay to consume it while taking Trulicity. There are no known medication interactions between grapefruit and Dulaglutide.

Can I consume caffeine on Trulicity?
It is safe to consume caffeinated beverages while taking Trulicity however, it’s recommended to consume these in moderation, especially if you have a history of heart disease. 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (about four cups of coffee) is considered safe for most adults.

How long does it take for Trulicity to work?
According to studies, patients can expect to see a reduction in fasting and post-prandial blood glucose levels within 48 hours of their first dose of Trulicity. However, it may take several weeks to see the full effects of Trulicity, including reductions in Hemoglobin A1C levels.

How fast should I lose weight on Trulicity?
How fast you lose weight on Trulicity will vary based on the dose you are taking and your subsequent diet and exercise routine. According to one clinical trial, those taking 1.5mg of Trulicity experienced a five-pound weight loss within the first six months.

What is better, Ozempic or Trulicity?
Neither medication is considered superior to the other. One study found that Ozempic may be more helpful in managing blood sugar compared to Trulicity. However, this is only one study and further research on this is limited. You can learn about how long it takes to lose weight on Ozempic here and the ideal Ozempic diet plan here.

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Meghan is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist from San Jose, California. She received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in 2015. Following an unexpected cross-country trip that landed her in Florida, she completed her didactic training through AdventHealth Orlando. Meghan has extensive experience in multiple aspects of dietetics including critical care, motivational interviewing, writing, and research. She is passionate about health and wellness and has dedicated her free time to breaking down complicated nutrition topics and disseminating them to the public through the arena of writing.