One of the main functions of the pancreas is fat digestion. When you eat fatty foods, the pancreas has to work harder to digest them. That’s why fatty foods should be avoided for pancreatitis. These include fast-food items like fries and hamburgers, dairy products, margarine, butter, mayonnaise, organ meats, and even red meat.
Refined carbohydrates are another food option that should be avoided for pancreatitis since these can trigger the release of insulin. Avoid any food items that contain these carbs, including white bread, cakes, cookies, and pastries. Many of these foods are also high in sugar, which raises triglyceride levels. Triglycerides can trigger pancreatitis, causing severe belly pain, vomiting, fever, and other symptoms.
Though not technically a food, alcohol is also problematic for those with pancreatitis. In fact, chronic alcohol abuse is one of the main causes of chronic pancreatitis. As well as worsening your condition, alcohol can also raise triglyceride levels, causing even more damage. Eliminating such beverages from your diet can aid your recovery while limiting consumption in the future may prevent a recurrence.
Cutting out unhealthy foods for pancreatitis may seem like you’re limiting your diet. Fortunately, there are still a wide variety of healthy and delicious options available to you. These don’t just prevent pain and damage to your pancreas, they can also help speed up your recovery.
Fatty meats can cause damage, but lean meats can still be on the menu. These will provide you with the protein you need without making your condition worse. Choose poultry options like chicken, turkey, or duck with the fat and skin removed.
Trout, salmon, tuna, and other fish are also fantastic high-protein options, but avoid any fish canned in fatty oils. Non-meat options, such as lentils and beans, contain high levels of protein as well, making them a great addition to your diet.
Those craving milk products should choose non-fat or low-fat options. These can include yogurt, cheese. Even milk, especially non-dairy, such as almond and oat milk, is one of the acceptable foods for pancreatitis, as long as it contains little or no fat.
Fruits and vegetables contain minimal fat and are high in nutrients, so add these to your list. Many of them, like blueberries, spinach, grapes, and pomegranates are rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals. Fruits also have a sweetness to them, so they can help curb those sugar cravings.
Whole grain options are a must to replace those refined carbohydrates. Cereals, bread, rice, pasta, and crackers are all nutritious, safe, and healthy options to consider.