4 Foods That Spike the Same Weight Loss Hormone as Ozempic, Experts Say
Adding them to your diet could help you shed pounds.
When it comes to weight loss, Ozempic is the name on everyone's lips these days. Many people are taking the popular diabetes drug 0ff-label in hopes of reaching their goal weight—but some experts say that eating certain foods could have a similar effect on your body.
"Ozempic helps people lose weight by slowing digestion, increasing the feeling of fullness, and decreasing your food intake," explains Raoul Manalac, MD, an obesity expert and senior director of clinical experience for Ro's Body Program. "It accomplishes these feats by activating a hormone called GLP-1. Your gut releases GLP-1 anytime you eat, be it carbs, fat, or protein. Some studies suggest that proteins and peptides (what you get when you break down proteins) may stimulate GLP-1 production," he tells Best Life.
Read on for four foods that experts say could increase GLP-1 and potentially help you lose weight—no drugs necessary.
Avocados have plenty of health benefits. Not only are they packed with healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, they also have anti-inflammatory properties and may help lessen your risk of heart disease, according to Healthline experts.
Chester Wu, MD, medical reviewer for Rise Science, says that foods high in healthy fats, such as avocados, can promote the release of GLP-1. However, he cautions that, "while certain foods may stimulate the release of GLP-1 and have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, they may not be a substitute for medications such as Ozempic for weight loss or diabetes management."
The fiber in avocados may also be helpful if you're trying to drop a few pounds, says Manalac. "Foods high in fiber slow down stomach-emptying time, making you feel fuller longer. Studies have shown that this can help you lose weight."
Whether you take them scrambled, over-easy, or soft-boiled, eggs are a rich source of protein—and that's enough to earn them a spot on the list of foods that may mimic Ozempic's effect on the body, along with certain other high-protein options.
"Some studies suggest that proteins and peptides (what you get when you break down proteins) may stimulate GLP-1 production," says Manalac. "Examples include protein supplements like whey protein, and foods high in protein, like codfish and eggs. In theory, all proteins and their building blocks could potentially stimulate GLP-1 secretion."
"While there are no single specific foods that directly mimic Ozempic's effects, there are dietary patterns that can have a similar result," says Manalac, who says eating more protein can be an effective strategy for weight loss. "Studies suggest that a high protein diet can increase GLP-1 levels and help you feel fuller longer, thereby decreasing how much food you eat and helping you lose weight," he says.
In addition to eggs, nuts of all kinds are another protein-packed option you can add to your diet—and as a bonus, they make an easy snack on the go.
For more health news sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Most of us probably keep a bottle of olive oil nearby anytime we're cooking. Not only is it great for sautéing, dipping, and drizzling, it's on the list of foods that can potentially stimulate GLP-1 production. "Monounsaturated fatty acids, like olive oil, may also increase GLP-1 levels and help with weight loss," Manalac tells Best Life. "Studies suggest that an olive-oil rich meal or following a Mediterranean diet may also stimulate GLP-1 levels."
Still, it's important to remember that no food can impact your body the same way a powerful pharmaceutical can.
"Since GLP-1 is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the body, some foods may increase GLP-1 levels in the body," says Melanie Speed NP, founder of Flawless Med Spas. "However, the desired effect of eating these foods is minuscule in comparison to medications such as Ozempic. Unfortunately, only eating these foods is highly unlikely to yield the desired weight loss and insulin level regulation as Ozempic."
Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.