Pancreas is a part of our digestive system. It helps in digestion of food as well as keeps blood sugar under control. It is also a place for a variety of diseases. So it’s important to keep it healthy. So let us look at some of the essential tips to keep it healthy.
1) Limit your fat consumption, and choose healthy fats and oils. Include healthy sources of fat in your diet, like vegetable oils, nuts, fish, and avocados. choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products rather than full-fat options.
2) Avoid oily fast food. Many of us experience pancreatic symptoms once we eat plenty of oily food, like fast food burgers and fries. Limit eating out as much as possible, and follow home-cooked meals that are baked, boiled, or prepared in healthy oils (such as olive oil or canola oil).
3) Lean protein sources include eggs, nuts, beans, lentils, meat & poultry. Your exact daily needs depend upon your age, sex, and activity level. Eggs and nuts should be eaten carefully. Try to eat no more than 3 eggs per week, and just a small palmful of nuts daily.
4) Go for low-glycemic foods, like whole grains which include bran cereals, whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Choose these options rather than high-glycemic foods (i.e., foods containing refined sugars and simple carbohydrates), like white bread, white rice, sugary cereals, and candy. The simple carbohydrates in high-glycemic foods break down into sugar very quickly and easily in your body, causing spikes in your blood sugar. This may overwork your pancreas.
5) Avoid consuming added sugars: Foods that naturally contain sugar, like fruits and vegetables, are good to eat. However, go easy on items that contain added sugars, like sweetened breakfast cereals, desserts, and soft drinks. Eat candy and pastries sparingly, read nutritional labels (especially for cereals, sauces, condiments, and juices), and try sweetening coffee and tea with Stevia extract instead of sugar. Added sugars make the pancreas do more labor, and they don’t provide any nutritional value. Recommended restrictions for added sugars for adults are 100 to 150 calories, or 24 to 36 grams per day.
6) Drink at least 6 to 8 glass (1.4 to 1.9 L) of fluids per day. Water is the best choice; don’t go overboard on sugary sports drinks and fruit juices. If you’re managing a pancreatic situation, keep a bottle of water handy at all times to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can overwork the pancreas, and can aggravate or cause pancreatic disorders.
7) Eat small, frequent meals if you have a pancreatic disorder.
Smaller meals are easier on your pancreas, and lots of calories all at once can make it work too hard. If you have pancreatitis, follow clear liquids for 1 to 2 days during a flare-up to provide your pancreas a break. Clear liquids include water & apple or lemon juices.
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Dr Harsh Shah
Liver, Pancreas & Cancer specialist in Ahmedabad, India