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Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet

author image Stacey Phillips
Stacey Phillips is a registered dietitian and nutrition writer. She has had articles and patient information handouts published in the "Renal Nutrition Forum" and the "Journal of Renal Nutrition." She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and a Masters degree at Central Michigan University.
Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet
Avoiding certain foods with pancreatitis helps with diet tolerance and digestion. Photo Credit CandyBox Images/iStock/Getty Images

Pancreatitis is a condition in which your pancreas becomes inflamed. Because this organ secretes enzymes to help digest your food, you may experience extreme pain when trying to eat. Other common side-effects are fatty diarrhea, weight loss, nausea and vomiting. Typical causes of pancreatitis are gallbladder stones and alcohol abuse, but other diseases can trigger this condition. Once your symptoms improve and you are able to eat, small dietary changes can help your body digest food normally.

Breads and Starches

Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet
Avoid breads and grains with a high fat content. Photo Credit msheldrake/iStock/Getty Images

With pancreatitis, avoid breads or grains with a high fat content. Croissants, doughnuts, high-fat crackers, biscuits and waffles can all have added fat that may be difficult for your body to digest. Instead, select whole-grain starches such as brown rice and pasta, tortillas, lower-fat crackers and hot cereals.

Fruits and Vegetables

Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet
Avoid avocados. Photo Credit olgakr/iStock/Getty Images

Naturally low-fat, fruits and vegetables are usually well tolerated when you have pancreatitis. Avoid avocados, but other fruits and vegetable are fine to be included in your diet unless fat is added during preparation. Skip dishes that are fried or breaded. Also, limit vegetables that are prepared with a heavy cheese or oil sauce.

Dairy and Other Beverages

Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet
Alcoholic beverages may worsen your symptoms when you have pancreatitis. Photo Credit kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

High-fat dairy products and alcoholic beverages may worsen your symptoms when you have pancreatitis. Avoid any type of beer, wine or liquor. Replace full-fat milk, yogurt and cheese with lower fat selections for better digestion. Juice, water, coffee, tea and nutritional supplements are additional beverages you can drink to help stay hydrated.

Meat and Protein Sources

Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet
High-fat meats should be avoided. Photo Credit amoklv/iStock/Getty Images

With pancreatitis, high-fat meats, meat with skin, duck and nuts and seeds are not recommended. Stay clear of ground meats with 15 percent to 25 percent fat; cuts of pork, beef or chicken with large amounts of visible fat; regular sausage; high-fat lunch meat; and hot dogs. Fried and breaded meats should also be eliminated for better diet tolerance. Get protein from lean meats, beans and eggs. You can also bake, grill or steam to avoid adding fat when cooking.

Sweets and Desserts

Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet
Sweets and desserts often have added fat. Photo Credit mathieu boivin/iStock/Getty Images

To create flavor, cookies, cake, pie, brownies and ice cream often need a lot of added fat. Avoid any of these foods made with whole milk, heavy whipping cream or large amounts of butter or margarine.

Added Fats and Cooking Oils

Foods to Avoid on a Pancreatitis Diet
Limit the amount of cooking oils and fats you add to your food. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

When preparing your meals, limit the amount of cooking oils and fats you add. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that you consume no more than 8 teaspoons a day of these foods. More specifically, you should not overeat sour cream, butter, margarine, vegetable oils, shortening and full-fat salad dressings.

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