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Pancreatitis Diet: Foods To Eat And Avoid

The pancreas is a part of the digestive system that plays a vital role in producing insulin and other important enzymes that help in breaking down foods. It is a gland organ which is 6-8 inches long located in the abdomen. Sometimes, the pancreas can become swollen or inflamed which disrupts the normal functioning of the organ. This condition is called pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis can occur as a result of gallstones, mumps, use of alcohol, trauma, steroids, and drugs. Pancreatitis is of three types - acute, chronic and hereditary [1] .

When you have pancreatitis, it becomes difficult for the pancreas to help in the breakdown of fat and is unable to absorb much nutrition. A study showed that pancreatitis patients who ate a high-fat diet have higher chances of getting abdominal pain [2] .

So, certain foods should be included in your diet which can help in managing the symptoms of pancreatitis and keep you well-nourished despite the condition.

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Foods To Eat If You Have Pancreatitis

To keep your pancreas healthy, eating foods rich in protein, healthy fats and antioxidants are necessary. A study showed that people with pancreatitis can tolerate up to 30 to 40% of calories from healthy fats found in plant-based foods [3] .

Below is a list of foods that you should include in your diet to aid in digestion, decrease the chances of gallstones and help in faster recovery.

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Lentils and legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Almond, rice or soy milk
  • Egg whites
  • Cod, haddock and tuna fish
  • Fruits and vegetable juice
  • Herbal tea
  • Black tea
  • Lean meat
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Rice
  • Fresh herbs
  • Tofu and tempeh

Foods To Avoid If You Have Pancreatitis

Avoiding high-fat and fried foods if you are trying to combat pancreatitis [4] . Eating these foods can raise triglyceride levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. These foods include the following:

  • Red meat
  • Fried foods
  • Mayonnaise
  • Butter and margarine
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • pastries and desserts with added sugars
  • Beverages with added sugars

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Diet Tips For Pancreatitis Recovery

  • Eat six small meals per day as it works better in recovering from pancreatitis.
  • Consume foods rich in fibre
  • Eat foods rich in medium-chain triglycerides as these fats don't require pancreatic enzymes to be digested and are easily absorbed.

To Conclude...

If you have acute or chronic pancreatitis, seek medical attention immediately and maintain a healthy dietary pattern to help improve the pancreatitis symptoms for a quicker recovery.

View Article References
  1. [1] DiMagno, E. P., & Holtmann, G. (1991). Chronic pancreatitis.Current Opinion in Gastroenterology,7(5), 720-725.
  2. [2] Castiñeira-Alvariño, M., Lindkvist, B., Luaces-Regueira, M., Iglesias-García, J., Lariño-Noia, J., Nieto-García, L., & Domínguez-Muñoz, J. E. (2013). The role of high fat diet in the development of complications of chronic pancreatitis.Clinical nutrition,32(5), 830-836.
  3. [3] Rasmussen, H. H., Irtun, O., Olesen, S. S., Drewes, A. M., & Holst, M. (2013). Nutrition in chronic pancreatitis.World journal of gastroenterology,19(42), 7267–7275.
  4. [4] Haig, T. B. (1970). Experimental pancreatitis intensified by a high fat diet.Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics,131, 914-918.

Read more about: pancreatitis foods eat avoid nutrition
Story first published: Thursday, November 28, 2019, 14:51 [IST]
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