Meal Planning Tips for Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that sits behind the stomach. It releases digestive enzymes and hormones to break down food. The pancreas also produces insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar level.

When the pancreas is inflamed, the organ is not able to release the right volume of enzymes and hormones. This has adverse effects on the health. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. Although this condition has high mortality rate, immediate treatment is needed to prevent severe health complications. On the other hand, chronic pancreatitis is a condition caused by sustained inflammation of the pancreas. When the pancreas is damaged, it leads to excruciating pain, digestive and hormonal problems.

Causes of pancreatitis range from trauma to alcohol abuse. Most experts agree that diet is a crucial part in treating both acute and chronic pancreatitis. Generally, those who suffer from pancreatitis should adopt a nutrient rich but low-fat diet. In today’s post, we are giving you dietary tips for patients suffering from acute and chronic pancreatitis:

Diet Tips for People with Acute Pancreatitis

The idea behind a special diet for those who suffer from pancreatitis is to relieve the pressure on the affected organ. If you suffer from acute pancreatitis, you need to consume no more than 20% to 25% of your daily caloric intake from fat.

Start by loading up on fat-free foods. We recommend low-fat milk, yogurt, as well as tofu, mushrooms and whole grains. As for lean meat, go for healthy choices like poultry, seafood, and fish. When it comes to fruits, limit your options to berries, pomegranates, etc.

Certain types of foods could aggravate your condition. This is why it’s important to ask your doctor about it when seeking treatment. Some foods that you should avoid include caffeinated drinks, alcohol and fatty foods. That means zero junk food, fast food, fried foods, processed food, bread or sweets. You can’t have chocolates either. These foods will force the pancreas to work harder, worsening the inflammation.

To avoid nutritional deficiencies, you can take multivitamins, fish oil or Coenzyme Q10 supplements. You can get probiotics from cultured dairy products to aid in digestion.

Diet Tips for People with Chronic Pancreatitis

Those who suffer from chronic pancreatitis should limit fat consumption to 50 grams. But this depends on your tolerance. In some cases, patients are only given 30 to 40 grams of fat. Carbohydrates are limited especially for diabetics with this condition.

The usual diet for chronic pancreatitis sufferers includes low-fat or non-fat dairy products, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and lentils.

For protein, almond milk and rice milk are ideal. Tofu, beans, and lentils are also excellent sources of high-quality protein. As for grains, make it whole grains. Cereals, noodles, couscous and low-fat crackers are allowed. The same thing goes for English muffins or bran. Fresh and frozen fruits are allowed.

All types of processed, fried, greasy, or fast foods are prohibited from the diet. Creamy sauces and dips, stir fried veggies, or fatty fruits like avocado are also not allowed.

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