The pancreas is an organ found in the abdomen, and it is part of the digestive and metabolic systems. It fulfills essential functions in the digestion and transformation of carbohydrates.
The pancreas is stressed and damaged by many of the foods that we usually consume daily, and we do not realize it until the problem is severe and is very advanced, but in any case, you should know that it is never too late to rethink habits. Our body is in permanent transformation. A chronic disease may be more difficult to reverse than an acute one, mainly because the changes that must be made are usually more critical, but it is always possible to be better.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we invite you to discover the foods that damage the pancreas, how they do it and what diet you should follow if you suffer from pancreatitis.
Refined flours: the great enemies of the pancreas
Wheat, rice, oats, and corn have been the food base of human beings for hundreds of years, and this is not the problem. The problem lies in the processes that we have included in the last years of the industrial age, making what we consume far from what we need.
When a bowl of cereal is consumed as it comes naturally, whether fresh or better if it is dry, all the nutrients that provide vitamins, minerals, fiber remain in it, but when a bowl of cereal is refined, what is achieved is not purity, but a slow food with nothing to offer but complications for your body, even more so when these types of products are consumed in excess.
The pancreas must release the insulin necessary to metabolize this product and transform simple sugar into glycogen, which serves as a reserve. The liver must also overwork, and this puts our metabolism in check.
This is even worse when we consider the large number of unhealthy additives that often come with refined flours, such as:
- Unhealthy vegetable oils.
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils or kinds of margarine.
- Artificial flavorings.
- Synthetic sweeteners.
- Gelling agents.
- Acidulants and acidity regulators.
All of these “enhancers” really are not. Baked goods are easier to make, but they are far from what we consider bread, and the worst thing is that these additives are used even in the small bakery.
Like the refinement of flours, this process in sugar is harmful to our health. Whiter sugar was considered purer, which is not valid.
It has already been shown in numerous scientific studies that refined sugar, even more so in excess, is mainly responsible for multiple chronic diseases such as obesity or diabetes, the actual pandemics of our era.
However, they still invade the vast majority of processed products that are part of the pantry of thousands of consumers unaware of this reality.
The consumption of whole-grain sugar, muscabo, panela, piloncillo, chancaca, rapadura, or so many names that it receives worldwide is very different. The nutrients in unrefined sugar are excellent for providing energy and health, unlike what happens with white sugar, which recharges the pancreas liver and promotes imbalances in the body.
Dairy in excess
The milk of good origin comes from cows fed on grass, which is not subjected to an excess of chemicals. Milk of these characteristics can be consumed daily, warm, and in small quantities (100 ml) without causing physical problems, but the reality is very different.
Excess poor quality dairy has been shown to seriously affect health, promoting all kinds of chronic diseases, allergies, chronic body inflammation, and digestive problems, including pancreatic damage due to inflammation.
Harmful dairy products are:
- Coming from sick and poorly cared for animals.
- Fed with animal feed or even food of animal origin.
- With unhealthy additives.
- Improperly fermented.
- With added salt (cheeses).
It is even more so if they are consumed in large quantities, as is usual.
Poor quality meat and excess
The meat of good origin in small quantities is not harmful to health, but excessive amounts and even more so when they come from abused and sick animals is horrible for the body.
An excess of proteins of animal origin slow down digestion, promote intestinal inflammation, and contribute to the entry of antigens (harmful substances) into the body. This promotes chronic inflammation of many organs, including the pancreas.
This popular food is quite challenging to digest, even more so if it is combined with other difficult-to-digest foods such as:
- Combination of cheese and tomato.
- Refined flours.
When digestion is not proper, multiple residues that promote body inflammation and cause numerous diseases remain in the body.
On the other hand, potato starch is a carbohydrate that stresses the pancreas due to the excessive work to metabolize these sugars when ingested in large quantities.
The most commonly used sweeteners in the industry are glucose and high fructose corn syrup, also known as HFCS. These substances are present in many super-processed foods in supermarkets and small stores.
Although they may be present in natural foods, they are not accompanied by the other substances that facilitate their absorption and metabolism when isolated as molecules. In this way, large amounts of simple sugar remain that cause the pancreas’ high and rapid stimulation.
If unhealthy fats also accompany these substances, as is usually the case in processed foods, a true addiction to this type of substance occurs.
This has severe consequences in the body, such as:
- Alteration of the intestinal flora.
- Fermentation in the digestive tract.
- Increased intestinal permeability.
- Swelling of the body
- It favors the growth and the permanence of parasites in the body.
So widely used in “sugar-free,” “low-calorie” products, and even in tubes of toothpaste, artificial sweeteners are substances that are very harmful to health for several reasons.
Concerning the pancreas, these sweeteners emit signals that cause insulin release by this organ. Still, since there are no carbohydrates, hypoglycemia occurs, and obesity is favored when they are consumed regularly.
Alcohol is one of the substances that most damages the pancreas. This organ is one of those responsible for its metabolism, and the regular consumption of this type of beverage generates inflammation, chronic damage, pancreatitis. It has even been linked to pancreatic cancer.
It has been determined that the daily consumption of between 80 and 100 grams of alcohol can cause pancreatic damage if the consumption is regular for 3 to 5 years. That damage is cumulative, as in the liver. Therefore, the lower consumption sustained for years can also generate these problems.
This is a flavor enhancer that is added to many, many industrialized and processed products. Precisely because it makes food taste “better.” Still, scientific evidence shows that sodium or monosodium glutamate (MSG) is addictive and linked to numerous chronic health problems, including resistance to insulin and pancreatic alteration.
Frequent consumption of unhealthy oils promotes liver and pancreatic inflammation, among other serious health problems.
The problem is that these oils are not only what we put in our food when we cook, but they are included in almost all ultra-processed products. Avoid all foods that contain:
- Palm oil.
- Soy oil.
- Canola accepted.
- Transgenic corn oil.
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils or portions of margarine.
You should also bear in mind that oils that are not cold-pressed are subjected to refining processes that include the addition of petroleum derivatives. They are not healthy.
It is also unhealthy for these oils to be used for frying food. This type of cooking is quite harmful to the pancreas.
That is why the recommended oils for human consumption are:
- Extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressing).
- Coconut oil.
- Cold-pressed sunflower oil.
- Sesame or flax oil (in small quantities).
- Ghee or clarified butter.
Although it is not a food, some people consume it in large quantities, which is very serious for the pancreas and other organs.
Coffee in small amounts, and not daily, can help decrease inflammation. Still, frequent caffeine consumption causes body dehydration, increasing metabolic effort, and increased blood pressure.
Thus, the pancreas can be affected by an alteration in metabolism. We recommend limiting your intake of this substance or stopping it if you suffer from pancreatic problems.
Diet tips for pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a severe medical condition requiring admission and permanent control until you have some recovery. When the pancreas becomes severely inflamed, it causes noticeable physical pain and discomfort. It is essential to diagnose it in time to avoid serious complications.
The first days the fast must be rigorous. Medical indications are usually that the person cannot even consume water. That is why she must be hospitalized, and the nutritional and hydrating contribution must be intravenous.
Then, certain substances are gradually incorporated: first, water and, then, foods that are very easy to digest.
Care should be taken that the diet does not contain foods that can damage the pancreas and the additives described above. It is prevalent to include dairy products, sweeteners, or processed products, such as cookies, being very harmful in that state.
The ideal diet for someone who is coming out of pancreatitis and if you want to minimize inflammation should be from simple and natural foods.
Ideally, brown rice (which, despite being a carbohydrate, is minimized by fiber and nutrients you own), vegetables easily digestible something cooked. When you progress welfare, can include vegetables easily digestible, like mung beans.
It is critical to avoid the consumption of irritants such as tea, coffee, tobacco, and, of course, alcohol.
The addition of healthy fats should also be gradual. A particular case is ghee or clarified butter. A teaspoon of this substance promotes digestion and helps heal multiple pathological states.
Little by little, cooked fruits, other whole grains in the form of flour, and small amounts of milk of good origin can be included.
It is essential to allow time for digestion. It would be best if you waited 4 to 6 hours between one meal and another since otherwise, indigestion and accumulation of inflammatory substances occur in the body.
You can see more tips like these in the article Diet for pancreatitis.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Foods that damage the pancreas, we recommend that you enter our Food category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.