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Diet for Pancreatitis

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Food NameFatCalories 
Milk, human470
Milk250
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole360
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole, low-sodium361
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, whole360
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, 1% fat142
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat035
Milk, cow's, fluid, other than whole ("lowfat")144
Milk, cow's, fluid, 2% fat250
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 1% fat142
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 2% fat250
Milk, cow's, fluid, 1% fat142
Milk, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat, 0.5% or less butterfat034
Milk, cow's, fluid, filled with vegetable oil363
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Pancreatitis diet recommendation from the National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health recommends a low-fat, nutritious diet, as well as restriction of alcohol, for chronic pancreatitis. People with chronic pancreatitis who continue to consume large amounts of alcohol may develop sudden bouts of severe abdominal pain.

Synthetic pancreatic enzymes may be prescribed if the pancreas does not secrete enough of its own. The enzymes should be taken with every meal to help the person digest food and regain some weight.

The next step is to plan a nutritious diet that is low in fat and includes small, frequent meals. Drinking plenty of fluids and limiting caffeinated beverages is also important.

People with chronic pancreatitis are strongly advised not to smoke or consume alcoholic beverages, even if the pancreatitis is mild or in the early stages.

How to Use Food Database

A few basic things to help you choose optimal foods for pancreatitis diet:
  • Browse or search for foods by name.
  • Sort foods by fat content or calorie.
  • Click on Chart button to evaluate calorie contribution from macronutrients.

Usage Notes

  • Fat content is measured in grams and calories are calculated per 100g of food.
  • This food database contains approximately 7,000 most common food items.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name or by fat content or calories.
  • Pie chart shows relative contributions to total calories from carbohydrate, protein and fat (and alcohol, if exists).

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum—the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive juices, or enzymes, into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes join with bile—a liquid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder—to digest food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy.

Normally, digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas do not become active until they reach the small intestine. But when the pancreas is inflamed, the enzymes inside it attack and damage the tissues that produce them.

Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Either form is serious and can lead to complications. In severe cases, bleeding, infection, and permanent tissue damage may occur.


What is acute pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that occurs suddenly and usually resolves in a few days with treatment. Acute pancreatitis can be a life-threatening illness with severe complications. Each year, about 210,000 people in the United States are admitted to the hospital with acute pancreatitis.

The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is the presence of gallstones—small, pebble-like substances made of hardened bile—that cause inflammation in the pancreas as they pass through the common bile duct. Chronic, heavy alcohol use is also a common cause. Acute pancreatitis can occur within hours or as long as 2 days after consuming alcohol. Other causes of acute pancreatitis include abdominal trauma, medications, infections, tumors, and genetic abnormalities of the pancreas.

What is chronic pancreatitis?

Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve—it gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage. Chronic pancreatitis, like acute pancreatitis, occurs when digestive enzymes attack the pancreas and nearby tissues, causing episodes of pain. Chronic pancreatitis often develops in people who are between the ages of 30 and 40.

The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is many years of heavy alcohol use. The chronic form of pancreatitis can be triggered by one acute attack that damages the pancreatic duct. The damaged duct causes the pancreas to become inflamed. Scar tissue develops and the pancreas is slowly destroyed.

Pancreatic Abscess

A pancreatic abscess is a cavity of pus within the pancreas. Pancreatic abscesses develop in patients with pancreatic pseudocysts that become infected. Patients with pancreatic abscesses usually have had pancreatitis. However, the complication often takes 7 or more days to develop.

Pancreatic Pseudocyst

A pancreatic pseudocyst is a fluid-filled sac in the abdomen, which may also contain tissue from the pancreas, pancreatic enzymes, and blood. Pancreatic pseudocysts most often develop after an episode of severe, acute pancreatitis. The cyst happens when the ducts in the pancreas are damaged by the inflammation or swelling that occurs during pancreatitis. A pancreatic pseudocyst may also occur after trauma to the abdomen, and in someone with chronic pancreatitis.

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Samples of Low-Fat Poultry and Beef Foods

Fat content is in grams per 100 grams of food weight.



Low-Fat Poultry and Beef Foods Total Fat

Emu, outside drum, raw 0.5

Turkey, fryer-roasters, light meat, meat only, raw 0.5

Turkey, fryer-roasters, breast, meat only, raw 0.7

Emu, flat fillet, raw 0.7

Turkey, fryer-roasters, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted 0.7

Emu, fan fillet, raw 0.8

Turkey, fryer-roasters, wing, meat only, raw 1.1

Turkey, fryer-roasters, light meat, meat only, cooked, roasted 1.2

Emu, inside drum, raw 1.5

Turkey, all classes, light meat, raw 1.6

Turkey, young tom, light meat, meat only, raw 1.6

Turkey, fryer-roasters, meat only, raw 1.6

Chicken, roasting, light meat, meat only, raw 1.6

Emu, full rump, raw 1.6

Chicken, broilers or fryers, light meat, meat only, raw 1.7

Turkey, young hen, light meat, meat only, raw 1.7

Ostrich, inside leg, raw 1.7

Ostrich, inside leg, cooked 1.9

Beef, cured, dried 1.9

Ground Turkey, fat free, raw 2.0

Ostrich, outside leg, raw 2.0

Emu, inside drums, cooked, broiled 2.0

Chicken, gizzard, all classes, raw 2.1

Turkey roast, boneless, frozen, seasoned, light and dark meat, raw 2.2

Ostrich, outside strip, raw 2.2

Ostrich, tip trimmed, raw 2.3

Emu, fan fillet, cooked, broiled 2.3

Turkey, fryer-roasters, leg, meat only, raw 2.4

Ostrich, round, raw 2.4


Low-Fat Poultry and Beef Foods Total Fat

Guinea hen, meat only, raw 2.5

Ground turkey, fat free, patties, broiled 2.5

Beef, variety meats and by-products, lungs, raw 2.5

Duck, young duckling, domesticated, White Pekin, breast, meat only, boneless, cooked without skin, 2.5

Ostrich, tip trimmed, cooked 2.6

Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, raw 2.6

Turkey and gravy, frozen 2.6

Turkey, fryer-roasters, meat only, cooked, roasted 2.6

Turkey, fryer-roasters, breast, meat and skin, raw 2.7

Ostrich, fan, raw 2.7

Turkey, fryer-roasters, dark meat, meat only, raw 2.7

Emu, full rump, cooked, broiled 2.7

Chicken, gizzard, all classes, cooked, simmered 2.7

Beef, grass-fed, strip steaks, lean only, raw 2.7

Turkey, young tom, meat only, raw 2.7

Chicken, roasting, meat only, raw 2.7

Ground turkey, fat free, pan-broiled crumbles 2.7

Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, skinless, boneless, meat only, enhanced, raw 2.7

Turkey, all classes, meat only, raw 2.9

Ostrich, inside strip, raw 2.9

Turkey, young tom, light meat, meat only, cooked, roasted 2.9

Ostrich, top loin, raw 3.0

Quail, breast, meat only, raw 3.0

Beef, variety meats and by-products, spleen, raw 3.0

Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, stewed 3.0

Chicken, broilers or fryers, meat only, raw 3.1

Beef, variety meats and by-products, kidneys, raw 3.1

Emu, top loin, cooked, broiled 3.1

Turkey, young hen, meat only, raw 3.2

Ostrich, tenderloin, raw 3.2

Turkey, fryer-roasters, breast, meat and skin, cooked, roasted 3.2


Low-Fat Poultry and Beef Foods Total Fat

Turkey, all classes, light meat, cooked, roasted 3.2

Pheasant, breast, meat only, raw 3.3

Beef, cured, luncheon meat, jellied 3.3

Chicken, cornish game hens, meat only, raw 3.3

Turkey, fryer-roasters, wing, meat only, cooked, roasted 3.4

Turkey breast, pre-basted, meat and skin, cooked, roasted 3.5

Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, rotisserie, original seasoning 3.5

Turkey, fryer-roasters, back, meat only, raw 3.5

Chicken, broilers or fryers, wing, meat only, raw 3.5

Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted 3.6

Turkey, fryer-roasters, leg, meat and skin, raw 3.6

Chicken, roasting, dark meat, meat only, raw 3.6

Beef, variety meats and by-products, liver, raw 3.6

Pheasant, raw, meat only 3.6

Ostrich, oyster, raw 3.7

Beef, variety meats and by-products, tripe, raw 3.7

Beef, shoulder pot roast or steak, boneless, separable lean only, trimmed to 0" fat, select, raw 3.7

Beef, variety meats and by-products, lungs, cooked, braised 3.7

Turkey, young hen, light meat, meat only, cooked, roasted 3.7

Turkey, fryer-roasters, leg, meat only, cooked, roasted 3.8

Turkey, fryer-roasters, light meat, meat and skin, raw 3.8

Chicken, broilers or fryers, dark meat, drumstick, meat only, raw 3.8

Ostrich, outside strip, cooked 3.8

Beef, cured, thin-sliced beef 3.8

Beef, shank crosscuts, separable lean only, trimmed to 1/4" fat, choice, raw 3.9

Ostrich, top loin, cooked 3.9

Beef, round, eye of round, roast, separable lean only, trimmed to 0" fat, select, cooked, roasted 3.9

Chicken, cornish game hens, meat only, cooked, roasted 3.9

Turkey, gizzard, all classes, cooked, simmered 3.9

Beef, variety meats and by-products, heart, raw 3.9

Ostrich, oyster, cooked 4.0