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What are the Different Types of Pancreatic Diet?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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Different types of pancreatic diet plans include those that are meant to reduce the risk of a particular disease or condition and those that are meant to help with the recovery of a pancreatic illness. The main type of disease that afflicts the pancreas is pancreatic cancer, and it remains one of the leading causes of cancer death because it does not respond well to current treatment options. A diet used to prevent pancreatic cancer is generally low in calories to allow patients to lose or avoid gaining weight. Treatment diets for cancer patients and those with other diseases of the pancreas are usually heavily restricted.

Research has indicated that obesity is one of the main risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer. Not only does it put more strain on every organ in the body to carry around so much extra body weight, but it also increases the production of a protein called the Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF). IGF has been linked to an increase in lesions on the pancreas, a known cause of pancreatic cancer. By restricting calories, much lower levels of IGF are produced and lesions may not form.

Most different types of pancreatic diet plans are very low in fat and are also low in calories. Those who are trying to prevent the growth of lesions and pancreatic cancer cells should limit fat intake, primarily that coming from red meat and whole dairy. While the link between obesity and pancreatic cancer is still not entirely understood, controlling weight is known to help reduce the risk of nearly all types of cancer. Dieters with no known risk factors for pancreatic cancer should eat low-fat foods, although the occasional fatty food is generally acceptable.

Patients who are recovering from surgery of the pancreas or from pancreatic cancer treatments should slowly incorporate foods into the diet. There are different types of pancreatic diet plans for current patients, but they are mostly similar in that for the first several days, only water and broths are permitted. Afterward, things like toast, honey, coffee, soup, and tea can be added. Even more slowly, vegetables and then fats are added back into the diet.

Anyone who has a history of pancreatic cancer or disease should consult a physician before starting any type of the many different types of pancreatic diet plans. Although a low calorie diet is generally considered safe for most people, it is a good idea to determine any risk factors and conditions before food is heavily restricted. Those who are already at a healthy weight should simply cut back on red meat and other highly fattening foods and load up on more vegetables, especially those with antioxidants and other cancer fighting agents.

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