What should you not eat when taking prednisone?

August 16, 2021 Tom Clark | Comments Off


Prednisone is a commonly used corticosteroid in the medical field. It is therapeutically effective against several diseases and disorders, yet it also has a number of adverse effects, including weight gain, increased hunger, elevated blood pressure, and an increased risk of osteoporosis or steroid-induced diabetes. Chronic use of prednisone may even cause Cushing-like symptoms such as fat redistribution to the face, back of the neck, and abdomen, however the extent of this varies from person to person. In general, higher dose and longer treatment leads to greater changes.

What to eat while taking prednisone?

Fluid retention can be controlled by taking a low sodium diet, less than 2,000mg per day and having more potassium. Salty food with overseasoning, monosodium glutamate (MSG), preservative foods, fermented foods and snacks are the common sodium rich foods which the consuming amount needs to be restricted and taken into account.  Potassium-rich foods that can be taken are such as: apricots, bananas, honeydew, dried prunes, grapefruit, milk, oranges, raisins, spinach, tomatoes and yogurt.

Prednisone has a potential to enhance the level of glucose, or sugar, in the blood, which in some persons might lead to increased body fat or diabetes. Cakes, pies, pastries, jams, honey, chips, breads, candies, and other highly processed foods are examples of “simple” carbohydrates and concentrated sweets which are necessary to avoid. This helps to keep blood sugar levels at optimum, preventing diabetes while taking prednisone.

Prednisone also increases appetite, which leads to an increase in calorie intake. This increased appetite can be challenging to regulate. There are a few pointers for managing the calorie intake and nutrient quality:

  • Take small amount, regular, high-nutritional-value meals
  • Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet is at least as successful for weight loss as a standard low-calorie, low-fat, portion-controlled diet. A high-protein diet may also aid in appetite suppression.
  • Carbohydrates should be consumed in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods.
  • Limit the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol. Instead, have lean meats, poultry, and fish. Avoid fried foods and foods with a lot of oil, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, and other fattening ingredients.
  • Consume calcium-rich meals. Prednisone may impair your body’s capacity to utilise calcium. To help prevent osteoporosis, consume four servings of calcium-rich meals every day. Consult your doctor to discover if calcium supplements are right for you.

The examples of foods rich in calcium include: calcium-fortified orange juice, cheese (American, Swiss, Colby, Cheddar and Jack), cottage cheese, milk, non-fat dry milk powder, oranges, sardines, shrimp and yogurt.


A proper diet intake and some restrictions are beneficial while taking prednisone to overcome the modifiable side effects. Meanwhile, misuse of prednisone is quite dangerous and it is necessary to follow the doctor instructions and follow-up as per require.

Other measures that can be done by consumers are daily exercise regimen, such as walking, working out at a gym or at home, practicing tai chi and others. This will aid in burning excess calories, strengthen muscles and bones, and increase your sense of well-being. Aerobic exercises, which burn calories and enhance cardiovascular fitness, and moderate weight training, which develops muscles and decreases bone loss, should be included in an exercise regimen. Begin with a simple walking regimen. If you’re ever too tired to exercise, try again the next day. The goal is to have a consistent exercise regimen that functions similarly to pulmonary rehabilitation.