If you're dealing with pancreatitis, it's important to follow a pancreatitis diet that focuses on nutrition. Keep it low-fat and low-sugar for best results.
According to the Mayo Clinic, pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas 2. Your pancreas health is vital to your overall health, and certain foods are particularly beneficial for this internal organ. If you're dealing with pancreatitis, adding these to your diet may help 2.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
What Is the Pancreas?
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) explains that the pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach and close to the duodenum, or the beginning of the small intestine 12. This vital organ makes insulin and digestive juices to help you break down food in the intestine.
Pancreatitis is the result of those digestive enzymes damaging the pancreas and causing inflammation 2. Whether you have acute or chronic pancreatitis, both are serious and may lead to complications 2. If you're experiencing abdominal pain, which is common with pancreatitis, shifting to foods good for the pancreas can give it a rest and allow it to recover 23.
If this organ is chronically inflamed, your body will not be able to produce enough of the digestive enzymes that allow for proper nutrient absorption. Over time, this may result in malnourishment and weight loss, which could cause other health issues.
A potential effect of chronic pancreatitis is the loss of proper pancreatic and endocrine function 2. If this happens, you may develop diabetes because your body can no longer produce insulin. In this situation, you must take insulin to maintain good health.
Read more: Foods to Avoid If You Have Pancreatitis
Foods to Avoid With Pancreatitis
You want to cut out:
- Butter and margarine
- Red meat and organ meats
- Potato chips and French fries
- Ultra-processed foods
- Whole-fat dairy
- Sugary drinks
This vital organ is responsible for processing the majority of the fat you eat, so the more fat you have in your diet, the harder your pancreas has to work. Foods high in simple sugars and fat also boost your triglyceride levels, or the fatty acids in your blood, which may increase your risk of developing pancreatitis 2.
Dietary changes are the most beneficial for people with mild pancreatitis 2. However, for those who are experiencing moderate or severe symptoms, diet alone isn't always enough to help manage their condition.
Following a Pancreatitis Diet
When choosing fruits and vegetables to eat, seek foods with high antioxidant levels. These include:
- leafy green vegetables
- sweet potatoes
Keep anything like fatty fish, nuts and seeds, avocado and olive oil in your diet in moderation.
Keeping the Pancreas Healthy
Complications of pancreatitis include blockage in the pancreatic or bile duct, leakage from the pancreatic duct, failure of the heart, kidney, or lungs and even death 2.cause:
- Complications of pancreatitis include blockage in the pancreatic or bile duct
- leakage from the pancreatic duct
- failure of the heart
- or lungs
- even death 2
Acute pancreatitis may lead to infection, bleeding or dehydration 2.