Foods to Avoid With Trulicity 

By Zina Semenovskaya, MD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
August 24, 2022

Trulicity is a medication given by injection once a week to help adults with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. 

Trulicity is designed to be used as part of a broader diabetes management plan, along with eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, and is not recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. 

While there are no specific foods you can’t eat while taking Trulicity, there are distinct foods and ways of eating that help blood sugar stay within a healthy range. 

This article talks about how Trulicity works and foods you should avoid and enjoy while using it. It also talks about the side effects of Trulicity and who is a good candidate for taking it. 

How Trulicity Works

Trulicity (dulaglutide) is a once-a-week subcutaneous (under the skin) injection used to help control blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.

The injection is administered on the same day and time each week. 

Trulicity is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-) receptor agonist. It activates the GLP-receptor, which tells your body to do three things:

  • Release more insulin
  • Stop releasing more sugar into your blood
  • Slow down digestion

These three mechanisms of action help keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day for people with type 2 diabetes. However, relying solely on Trulicity to keep your blood sugar level is not how this medication was designed to work.

Using Trulicity along with eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise is how you will see the best results. 

Are There Foods to Avoid With Trulicity?

While there are no foods that specifically negatively influence Trulicity, there are some foods that should be consumed in moderation while also taking note of your blood sugar levels. 

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels.

Depending on how much and how often you drink, alcohol can cause either high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Because alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels, if your blood sugar is not well controlled, or if you have other complications from diabetes, you should avoid drinking alcohol. 

For people who have well-controlled diabetes, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is usually fine.

However, it’s best to limit alcohol intake to less than 5 drinks per week.  One drink is measured as 5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 distilled spirits. 

Added sugars

Added sugars are syrups and sugars that get added to foods when processed. Sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables is not added sugar.

There are many names for added sugars:

  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice
  • Corn trump
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit nectars
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Maple trump
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose

Having too much of these types of sugar adds non-nutritional calories to your diet and can spike your blood sugar. They sneak into your diet in processed foods like crackers, peanut butter, and even tomato sauce. 

To see if there is added sugar in a food product, check the Nutrition Facts Label, and under “carbohydrates” look for the line for “added sugars.” 

Also, read the entire ingredient list. Remember that food is listed in descending order by weight. So, if the ingredient list label reads peanuts, sugar, and oil, then you know that the product mostly contains peanuts and sugar. 

Refined grains

Grains are any food that is made from wheat, oats, rice, cornmeal, barley, or other cereal grains. This includes bread, pasta, tortillas, breakfast cereals, popcorn, rice, grits, and oatmeal. 

Refined grains are grains that have been milled, which is the process of removing the germ and bran (parts of the grain kernel).

This makes a finer textured grain and improves the shelf life. However, it also removes the health benefits such as dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. 

Examples of refined grains include:

  • White flour
  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Corn grits

Talk with your doctor or dietitian about how many grains you should include in each of your meals.

Being consistent with this will help your blood sugar stay more level throughout the day. 

Foods to Eat With Trulicity 

There are many foods out there that you can enjoy. But even with good, nutritious food, it’s easy to eat more than your body needs.

Below are several ways to help you moderate your portions and ensure that you’re eating balanced meals.

The plate method

The plate method is a simple system put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that helps you determine how much of each food group you should eat at your meals. 

Start with a 9-inch dinner plate.

  • Fill half the place with non-starchy vegetables such as green beans, cabbage, salad, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. 
  • Next, fill one-quarter of the plate with a lean protein such as turkey, chicken, tofu, beans, or eggs, 
  • Fill the last quarter of the plate with carbohydrates such as grains, starchy vegetables (peas, potatoes, etc.), rice, pasta, fruit, or yogurt. 

For your beverage, drink water or unsweetened tea. 

Meal planning

Try to plan your meals around the following foods, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

They are great for your overall health and will help keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. 

  • Beans: kidney, pinto, navy, or black. These are a great protein and are packed with fiber as well. 
  • Dark green leafy vegetables: spinach, collard, and kale. These are full of vitamins and minerals essential for health.
  • Citrus fruit: grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes. These give you a great dose of vitamin C, folate, and potassium. 
  • Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries. These are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. They are also a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Tomatoes: Raw or in a sauce, tomatoes are great for getting your vitamins. 
  • Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, trout, and albacore tuna. Eat them broiled, baked, or grilled for the best health benefits. 
  • Nuts: Eating an ounce of nuts can help curb hunger and gives you health benefits as well.
  • Whole grains: whole oats, quinoa, whole grain barley, and farro. These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 
  • Milk and yogurt: In addition to calcium, these dairy products are high in vitamin D as well. Just be sure to check the yogurt label for added sugars.

Side Effects of Trulicity 

Common side effects of Trulicity include:

Who Is Trulicity For?

Trulicity is for adults with type 2 diabetes who need help controlling their blood sugar levels.

It is not recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. Along with following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise, Trulicity can be used alone or with other blood sugar regulating medication, such as metformin

Trulicity not only helps keep blood sugar levels even throughout the week, it can also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in people with type 2 diabetes.

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K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Zina Semenovskaya, MD

Dr. Semenovskaya specializes in emergency medicine, and received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College. She is currently the medical director at Remote Emergency Medicine Consulting, LLC and splits her time working clinically as an emergency medicine attending in California and Alaska. She is the first of our doctors to be fluent in Russian.