How to Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis

Two Parts:Staying Away from Foods That Cause PancreatitisChoosing Foods That Improve Pancreatic Health

Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas (the large gland that helps with digestion and controls how food is used for energy) becomes inflamed and can’t work properly. There are two types: acute (sudden, short inflammation) and chronic (long-lasting inflammation). Pancreatitis is usually caused by one of two things: gallstones and chronic alcohol consumption.

Part 1
Staying Away from Foods That Cause Pancreatitis

  1. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 1
    1
    Avoid excessive alcohol. There is a very clear link between excessive drinking and pancreatitis. Reducing your alcohol intake is one of the most important things you can do for your body if you are prone to pancreatitis. About 7 out of 10 cases of chronic pancreatitis are the result of long-term, heavy drinking.[1]
    • Cigarettes increase the negative effects of alcohol on the pancreas, so it’s also important to stop smoking.
    • If you or someone you know drinks excessively, it may be time to seek help. Seek help from a rehab facility or a recovery group such as Alcoholics Anonymous.[2]
  2. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 2
    2
    Learn the connection between gallstones and pancreatitis. Gallstones are one of the major reasons that acute pancreatitis occurs. They happen when too much cholesterol builds up in your bile (the stuff in your liver that helps digest fats.)[3]
  3. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 3
    3
    Avoid fatty or fried foods. Anything high in saturated or trans fats is a no-no if you are prone to pancreatitis. Particularly if you are recovering from one attack, fatty foods can cause another bout of pancreatitis.[4] Try to skip foods such as these:[5]
    • fatty meats, such as organ meat, bacon, pepperoni, and salami
    • greasy foods, such as burgers and french fries
    • foods high in trans fats, such as packaged baked goods, fast food, and frozen pizza
    • full-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  4. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 4
    4
    Limit foods with lots of simple sugar. Foods high in simple sugars increase you triglyceride levels (the amount of fat carried in your blood), which can lead to gallstones and pancreatitis. These include sugary sweets and high-calorie beverages. Some big ones to skip include[6]
    • soda
    • cakes, cookies, and pies
    • candy
    • processed foods like jams and some condiments
  5. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 5
    5
    Don’t crash diet. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should do so gradually, or your body will freak out. Rapid weight loss can cause your liver to overproduce cholesterol, which will increase your risk of gallstones.[7]

Part 2
Choosing Foods That Improve Pancreatic Health

  1. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 6
    1
    Eat lots of whole grains. White flour can send your triglyceride levels (the amount of fat carried in your blood) through the roof, which can lead to pancreatitis attacks. Skip white bread and any cereal, rice, or pasta made with refined white flour. Opt for whole grain versions of these foods instead.[8]
  2. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 7
    2
    Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. In particular, look for foods high in vitamin B and iron (like leafy greens). Most fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, which help prevent pancreatitis attacks.[9] In particular, try to eat[10]
    • greens
    • berries and cherries
    • tomatoes
    • squash
    • bell peppers
  3. Image titled Avoid Foods That Cause Pancreatitis Step 8
    3
    Drink water. The National Pancreas Foundation recommends that anyone who has ever been diagnosed with pancreatitis keep a water bottle with them at all times to avoid dehydration (which causes flare ups). Gatorade and other sports drinks are also okay, but watch out for high sugar content.[11]

Tips

  • You should also exercise regularly and stop smoking to reduce your risk of pancreatitis.
  • Talk to your doctor about your diet if you think you may be at risk for pancreatitis.

Article Info

Categories: Diet & Lifestyle