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I'm a nutritionist – these are the foods that work JUST like Ozempic

I’m a nutritionist – these are the foods that work just like miracle weight loss jab Ozempic

  • Semaglutide, sold under brand names including Wegovy, suppresses appetite
  • Foods high in GLP-1 stimulating nutrients like avocados can have the same effect

When it comes to avocados, millennials may have actually got it right.

For the bright green fruit works in the same way as miracle weight loss jab Wegovy, according to one expert.

Semaglutide — also branded as Ozempic — has ushered in a new era in the war on obesity. 

The treatment, loved by Hollywood, spurs weight loss by mimicking the actions of a hormone released in the gut after eating (GLP-1).

As well as telling the pancreas the make more insulin, GLP-1 hormone feeds back to the brain and makes us feel full. 

According to Dr Emma Beckett, a senior lecturer in food science and human nutrition at the University of Newcastle, certain foods, high in GLP-1 stimulating nutrients can increase GLP-1 levels, offering the same effect as the jab. Writing in The Conversation, she wrote: ‘This could be foods with good fats, like avocado or nuts, or lean protein sources like eggs’

Fat-melting semaglutide injections like Wegovy and Ozempic have been heralded as ushering in a new era in the war on obesity. Now experts have discovered the drugs may have other benefits – namely restoring the body’s ability to defend itself from cancer

As a result, semaglutide can stop users from over-eating.

However, it is not without side effects with users commonly complaining of nausea, constipation and diarrhoea after taking the medication. 

Dr Emma Beckett, a senior lecturer in food science and human nutrition based at the University of Newcastle in Australia, said that certain foods ‘can do the same thing — without the side effects’.


Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide 

Explaining her logic in The Conversation, she said: ‘The nutrients that trigger GLP-1 secretion are macronutrients.’

These include simple sugars (monosaccharides) as well as peptides and amino acids (from proteins) and short chain fatty acids (from fats). 

‘There is evidence that by choosing foods high in these nutrients, GLP-1 levels can be increased,’ she said.

‘This means a healthy diet, high in GLP-1 stimulating nutrients can increase GLP-1 levels. 

‘This could be foods with good fats, like avocado or nuts, or lean protein sources like eggs. 

‘And foods high in fermentable fibres, like vegetables and whole grains, feed our gut bacteria, which then produce short chain fatty acids able to trigger GLP-1 secretion.’

The weight loss drug is already prescribed at lower doses to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, under the brand name Ozempic. 

Patients can get it privately too, to help them lose weight.  

It has led Elon Musk and Jeremy Clarkson to both publicly credit it with helping them to shift the pounds.

Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian was rumoured to have used it to rapidly lose 16lbs (7.3kg) to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s iconic ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ dress at the 2022 Met Gala.

It has also been known to make food less appealing, potentially ruining the enjoyment of eating altogether.

Wegovy was approved as a weight loss drug in the US in 2021 after clinical trials showed it, alongside a diet and exercise regimen, could help a person lose 15 percent of their weight over 68 weeks.

In March this year, NHS watchdog NICE also gave the green light to the weekly jab in the UK for weight loss purposes. 

Wegovy will soon be available for people who have a BMI of 35 or more — a classification which means they are morbidly obese.

Patients must also have at least one weight-related comorbidity, such as type 2 diabetes, to be eligible. 

‘Dietary and medication solutions often put the focus on the individual making changes to improve health outcomes,’ Dr Beckett said. 

‘But systemic changes, that reduce the pressures and barriers that make healthy eating hard – like shortening work weeks or raising the minimum wage – are much more likely to make a difference.’

She added: ‘It’s also important to remember weight is only one part of the health equation. 

Wegovy, which mimics glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and is produced by Danish firm Novo Nordisk, has been found to help people lose 10.8% of their body fat over 68 weeks. Other weight loss medications include tirzepatide, liraglutide and orlistat. The latter two are already available on the NHS

Wegovy and Ozempic work by triggering the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 that is released naturally from the intestines after meals

‘If you suppress your appetite but maintain a diet high in ultra-processed foods low in micronutrients, you could lose weight but not increase your actual nourishment. 

‘So support to improve dietary choices is needed, regardless of medication use or weight loss, for true health improvements.’

Latest NHS data shows 26 per cent of adults in England are obese and a further 38 per cent are overweight but not obese. One third of Americans are overweight, while four in 10 are obese. 

Obesity rates have been on the rise for decades, with experts blaming sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets. 

They are also soaring in children, with a quarter of children in reception in England now considered overweight, and one in ten obese. 

A landmark study last month also revealed UK’s bulging waistline is stripping billions of pounds from the cash-strapped NHS each year, with twice as much spent on obese patients, as on those of a healthy weight.

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  • Posted on June 9, 2023