Pancreatitis Patient Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

See Essential Guide to Pancreatitis Patient Diet. Effects of diet on pancreatitis and create a nutritional meal plan and see real-life experiences.

Diet for patients with pancreatitis

The pancreas secretes enzymes and insulin which help in food digestion and metabolism. Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis, resulting in decreased pancreatic function. Therefore, all types of food cannot be consumed by patients with pancreatitis. Rather, eat foods that will not cause digestive problems and will not increase inflammation of the pancreas.

Pancreatitis diet i.e. what to eat and what not to eat in case of pancreatitis is discussed in detail in this article.

Pancreatitis diet

The diet that patients with pancreatitis are advised to follow is called the pancreatitis diet. Food has a special link with pancreatitis. Adhering to a proper diet is very important for pancreatitis patients.

There are two types of pancreatitis and dietary guidelines differ according to the type. The recovery diet for acute pancreatitis and other instructions in the paragraph applies to chronic pancreatitis.

What to eat if you have pancreatitis?

What to eat if you have pancreatitis

Protein foods

As a result of chronic pancreatitis, the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas decreases, resulting in problems digesting protein and fat. But protein is a very important element for the body. Therefore, good quality protein food should be eaten. For example:

  • Skinless chicken
  • Eggs (yolk must be omitted)
  • Low-fat or fat-free milk
  • Beans and pulses

A food with high protein is beef but the doctor's instructions should be followed regarding whether beef should be consumed considering the health condition.

Fatty foods

Avoiding fatty foods completely can lead to various problems. Especially fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E, K, etc.) need fat to store in the body. And therefore fats of such a nature should be taken which are easily digested and do not increase the patient's suffering. One such fat is coconut oil which can be used in cooking.

Fish can be consumed for patients with chronic pancreatitis. Because fish contains good quality protein and very beneficial fats (omega three fatty acids). Fish can be eaten 2 to 3 days a week. However, fish with excess fat cannot be eaten.

Caloric foods

Carbohydrates provide 60 percent of the body's calories. Eat moderate amounts of rice or bread to meet caloric needs. However, foods with high fiber sugars cannot be eaten. Because they can cause digestive problems. For example brown rice, red flour bread, barley, oats, etc.

Antioxidant foods

Foods rich in antioxidants are very beneficial in reducing inflammation of the pancreas. For example: various fruits and vegetables. Eating spinach, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potatoes, yams, grapes, carrots, pomegranates, and peanuts will be particularly beneficial.

Patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis are deficient in various vitamins and minerals. Supplements should be taken regularly as per the doctor's advice to fill the deficiency.

Pancreatitis what not to eat?

In addition to following dietary guidelines, it is important to follow certain restrictions for patients with chronic pancreatitis.

1. Especially if you have a habit of drinking alcohol, it must be avoided. Because alcohol has a serious harmful effect on the pancreas. Also, the habit of smoking should be abandoned.

2. Eating foods high in fat can cause digestive problems and increase inflammation of the pancreas. Therefore, excessive fatty foods should be avoided. For example:

  • Fatty meat
  • chicken skin
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Egg yolk etc

3. Simple sugary foods (such as rice and bread) should not be eaten in excess. Also, sugar and sweet foods should be avoided as much as possible. Drinking soft drinks has harmful effects not only on the pancreas but also on the whole body including the liver. So soft drinks cannot be consumed.

4. Cakes, pastries, potato chips, ice cream, and all kinds of fast food and fried food should be avoided. Because such foods will be harmful for patients suffering from diseases of the pancreas.

Recovery diet from pancreatitis

In case of acute pancreatitis, the patient should be hospitalized. In such cases, taking any food or drink by mouth is prohibited. After 5 to 7 days of recovery, the food instructions given to the patient are called recovery diet. The purpose of such a diet is to prevent inflammation of the pancreas from increasing and reoccurring attacks of acute pancreatitis.

  • Smoking and drinking are not allowed.
  • Avoid foods high in fiber and fat.
  • Low-fat food can be eaten.
  • Drink enough water every day.
  • The habit of drinking tea and coffee should be limited.
  • Do not drink soft drinks.
  • Chips, fast food, and food fried in burnt oil should be avoided.
  • Do not eat too much food at once. Eat small amounts 6 to 8 times a day to make it easier for the pancreas to digest food.
  • Vitamin A, D, E, K, etc. supplements should be taken as needed.

If symptoms such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting etc. occur after eating, a doctor should be consulted.

Causes of pancreatitis

The main cause of acute pancreatitis is gallstones and chronic pancreatitis is usually caused by long-term alcoholism. Also, other causes of pancreatitis include smoking habits, genetic influences, autoimmune diseases, etc.

People of any age can develop pancreatitis, but it is more common in the elderly.

Treatment of pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis

A patient with acute pancreatitis should be admitted to the hospital on an urgent basis for treatment. If the patient's condition is more critical, he should be treated in the ICU. Intravenous injection for pain relief and intravenous saline for rehydration. Also, oxygen should be provided if breathing is difficult. Patients are hospitalized for 5 to 7 days and acute pancreatitis due to gallstones requires surgical removal of the stone.

Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is a chronic disease that usually does not cause acute symptoms. However, the rate of damage to the pancreas increases over time. So it is better to consult a doctor sooner rather than later if the symptoms appear. Chronic pancreatitis requires taking oral medication, leading a regular lifestyle, and following a proper diet. Also, from time to time, you need to know the update on the body's condition by taking the necessary tests by consulting a doctor.


Embarking on a pancreatitis patient diet can seem challenging at first, but armed with dedication and the right knowledge, it becomes a powerful tool for managing symptoms and promoting overall wellness. As you navigate the complexities of dietary choices, remember that a pancreatitis patient's diet is not just a prescription; It's a path to a healthier, more vibrant life.

By understanding the impact of pancreatitis, creating a thoughtful diet, and incorporating lifestyle changes, you're not just managing a condition; You are in control of your health details. The real-life experiences shared in this guide provide valuable insight, proving that with commitment, positive results are not only possible but achievable.

When faced with common challenges, from managing food cravings to navigating social situations, you have the resources to overcome them. This guide equips you with cooking tips, nutritional supplement insights, and hydration strategies, ensuring a holistic approach to your wellness.


Is a vegetarian diet suitable for pancreatitis patients?

A well-balanced vegetarian diet may be adapted for patients with pancreatitis, emphasizing plant-based proteins and nutrient-dense foods.

What are the best snacks for pancreatitis patients?

Choose snacks like apple slices, yogurt, or whole grain crackers that promote satiety without compromising your pancreatitis patient's diet.

How to manage pancreatitis-related weight loss?

Consult a nutritionist to develop a calorie-dense, nutrient-dense diet that supports weight loss while adhering to the pancreatitis dietary guidelines.

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