Eggs and the Mediterranean diet
Egg yolks may be bad for pancreatitis due to their high-fat content. However, egg yolks may be swapped for egg whites in a regular diet because they are low in fat. Although fatty foods, such as egg yolks, won’t damage the pancreas, they do contribute to high triglyceride levels that are a common risk factor for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Any diet plan that is low in cholesterol and fats is considered good for pancreatitis. The following common foods may need to be avoided during pancreatitis
- Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
- Known or suspected allergens, such as wheat, soy, dairy, corn and artificial sweeteners
- Fried foods
- White flour products, such as pasta and white bread
- Trans-fatty acids in commercially prepared foods
Natural pancreatitis treatments
- Eating a Mediterranean diet is beneficial for glucose management and is associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer.
- Lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and moderate amounts of dairy provide the necessary energy and keep you satisfied.
- Practicing yoga twice each week is shown to improve overall quality of life for those with chronic pancreatitis.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on
- Olive oil rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids
- Whole grains
- Fish (at least a couple of times a week)
- Flavorful herbs and spices
- Occasional poultry, eggs, red meat and a glass of wine
- Cheese and yogurt in moderation
- Breakfast: Smoked salmon or a slice of whole-grain toast with half of a mashed avocado.
- Lunch: Gazpacho soup or a spiced lentil salad.
- Dinner: Penne pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and pine nuts.
Having wine in moderation is fine. Poultry, eggs, red meat, cheese and yogurt may be added to the diet once a week. According to diet and lifestyle recommendations, one should enjoy food and wine in moderation and socializing with friends and family during meals.
Below are few tips to follow the Mediterranean diet
- Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which may improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the good cholesterol. HDL cholesterol removes bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles out of the blood vessels.
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, have good proteins and are rich in heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- A good way to eat vegetables is to eat one serving at snack time, such as crunching on bell pepper strips or throwing a handful of spinach into a smoothie and one at dinner.
- A hot bowl of oatmeal is perfect for breakfast.
- Almonds, cashews or pistachios can make for a satisfying snack. They are lower in calories, added sugar and sodium. They contain more fiber and minerals, such as potassium, than processed snack foods.
- Fruits as a dessert are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Fresh fruit is a healthy way to indulge a sweet tooth. It is a healthy snack when one is hungry.
What is pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas gets swollen or inflamed due to the destruction of pancreatic tissue by its own enzymes. Digestive enzymes travel from the pancreas to the small intestine through the pancreatic duct. Usually, they are not activated until they reach the small intestine. However, if the pancreatic duct is blocked, the enzymes are trapped and accumulate in the pancreas. Eventually, these enzymes become activated while still in the pancreas and irritate the pancreas causing inflammation, bleeding, infection and damage to the pancreas. There are two types of pancreatitis, which include
- Acute pancreatitis: Sudden inflammation of the pancreas that results in extreme abdominal pain and usually decreases on its own within a week.
- Chronic pancreatitis: Chronic pancreatitis is a long-term condition, which impairs pancreatic function. It affects the body’s ability to digest food and other functions.
The common treatment options for pancreatitis may include
- Hospital stays to treat dehydration with intravenous (IV) fluids or with oral rehydration therapy.
- Pain medicine and antibiotics by mouth or through an IV if an infection is detected.
- A low-fat diet or nutrition by feeding tube or IV if the patient is unable to eat.
- Mild pancreatitis usually goes away in a few days with rest and treatment.
- The doctor may give enzyme pills and vitamins to help with digestion and to treat malabsorption.
- Surgery: The doctor may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder, called a cholecystectomy.
- Procedures: The doctor may drain fluid from the abdomen or remove damaged tissue from the pancreas.
- Endoscopic cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Doctors use ERCP to treat both acute and chronic pancreatitis. ERCP combines upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and X-rays to treat narrowing or blockage of bile of the pancreatic duct. They are also used to remove gallstones blocking the bile or pancreatic ducts.
- Surgeons may also perform surgery to remove the whole pancreas and may transplant islets from the pancreas into the liver. The islets will begin to make hormones and release them into the bloodstream.