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Pancreatic Enzymes Foods to Avoid

author image Ashley Schwader
Ashley Schwader is a certified personal trainer through ACE and a certified Pilates and group instructor through AFAA. Her background includes personal training, nutrition, weight management, corporate wellness, and health promotion. She earned a Bachelor of Science in health and exercise science, from Colorado State University.
Pancreatic Enzymes Foods to Avoid
High-fat foods should be avoided for patients who struggle with pancreatic enzyme levels. Photo Credit: Azurita/iStock/Getty Images

Pancreatic enzymes are natural chemicals that help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Certain diseases like cystic fibrosis, and pancreatitis can affect pancreatic enzymes levels, leaving you with certain foods that should be avoided. If you are experiencing any bloating, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, discuss your pancreatic levels with your doctor.

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Cooked Food

Raw vegetables
Raw vegetables Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Any food that has been cooked thoroughly should be avoided. Alive explains that cooked food places a great strain on the pancreas and is likely to be a contributing factor in the development of pancreatitis and low pancreatic enzyme levels. Cooked food is anything that has been baked, fried, steamed or grilled. Try to add in raw foods which are ideal because they contain the exact enzymes necessary for their digestion.

Complex Carbohydrates

Whole wheat bread
Whole wheat bread Photo Credit: tashka2000/iStock/Getty Images

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation states that digestive pancreatic enzymes are released in the small intestine to help digest certain foods like complex carbohydrates. Avoiding processed and complex carbohydrates can prevent stress on the pancreas. Stay away from items like whole wheat bread, whole grain tortillas, full fat chips and thick crusts. These items tend to be the highest in complex carbohydrate counts.


Butter Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Pancreatic enzymes contain amylase, lipase and trypsin, all of which digest fat and protein. If pancreatic levels are high or low this can lead to malabsorption syndrome, or a patient's inability to digest fat or protein according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Food items like butter, or meat like beef and chicken, should be avoided to relieve stress on the pancreas and its enzymes.

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