A good diet can do more for you than you might think when it comes to preventing or treating acute Pancreatitis.  Because the pancreas is such an important part of digesting the food, your diet can play a huge role in both helping or hurting your symptoms.[1]

In this post you will find specific ideas and suggestions to help you start putting together your own Acute Pancreatitis Diet.

The Most Important Idea to Keep In Mind

Whether you are suffering from acute pancreatitis, or are looking to prevent it, there is a common objective you’ll want to keep in mind.  Think for a moment what you do when trying to recover from surgery or a cold.  You usually do as much as possible to “baby” your body to help it get back to full strength. With pancreatitis, the idea is the same.

Do everything you can to protect your pancreas from overworking and give it time to heal and recover.[1]

Do’s and Do Not’s for Acute Pancreatitis Diets

Acute Pancreatitis DietDo’s

  • Eat snacks throughout the day rather than large meals
  • Eat foods low in fat (a max of 30 grams of fat a day)
  • Eat foods high in “lean” protein like beans, chicken, fish, lean cut beef, etc…
  • Eat foods that are high in antioxidants like berries, oranges, and broccoli
  • Eat foods that have good amounts of vitamins C, B9, and B12
  • When you do eat fat, pick foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids like Salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, etc…
  • Try and drink anywhere from 6-8 glasses of water daily


Do Not’s

  • Acute PancreatitisStay away from spicy foods of any type
  • Try and rid yourself of caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol
  • Limit foods that stimulate the gut such as peppermint and black pepper
  • Diminish your sugar intake as much as possible (sugar causes inflammation)
  • Limit your use of foods like butter, bacon, margarine, etc..
  • Use fat-free (or low fat) dressings with the idea that less is better
  • Get rid of processed grains like white bread, and say hello to 100% whole grain
  • Don’t touch fried foods

If you want to avoid acute pancreatitis and of course, chronic pancreatitis, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind.

Fats and processed foods are some of your biggest enemies. The typical modern diet makes these foods difficult to avoid. You want to keep your pancreas from being overloaded. So eating small portions and avoiding foods that stress your pancreas is important. Some experts recommend eating six small meals a day with a supplement of pancreatic enzymes each time.[1]

Processed and fatty foods are literally everywhere. Try to stick with fresh foods as much as possible. Avoid frozen meals and canned meals. Avoid boxed foods like cold cereal and crackers.

Basically, if it can sit on your shelf and not go bad for months and months, you may want to think twice about eating it.

Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking as well. These two activities can make your pain worse and increase your risks. [1]

Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Acute pancreatitis diets can be difficult to find.  Although there are many limitations to what you should and shouldn’t eat, you can still enjoy food and put together great meals.  One thing to keep in mind when doing so is to try and stick to a fairly routine schedule, also providing assistance in providing some relief to the workload of your pancreas. Below are some ideas for putting meals together to form a complete and good Acute Pancreatitis Diet plan for you. As you try these combinations see what works for you and stick to those foods that do.


  • Yogurt w/ granola
  • Oatmeal
  • Egg Whites w/ tomato
  • Wholegrain cereal w/ banana

  • Chicken w/ brown rice and broccoli
  • Tuna sandwich w/ vegetable soup
  • Whole wheat pasta w/ asparagus

  • Salmon w/ spinach
  • Lean meat w/ sweet potatoes
  • Chicken Salad w/lite dressing


Snack Options for Between Meals

Wheat thins with fat-free string cheese

Apple with low-fat peanut butter

Fat-free cottage cheese and pears

Almonds and a banana

Berry shake w/ toast


[1] Escott-Stump S. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care, 7th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002, 497-498