There are certain organs we find more time for than others. Take your heart and lungs for example. But how often do you think about your pancreas?
Your pancreas is a long, flat gland located behind your stomach in the upper abdomen area. It produces enzymes that help digestion, as well as hormones that help you process sugar. Like all organs, our diet can make all the difference in whether or not they function properly.
Let’s look at 9 Foods That Are Hurting Your Unhealthy Pancreas. Is red meat bad? How about french fries? Wait, no mayonnaise? We’re talking all that AND more
Kicking off our list is one of the most polarizing condiments out there. If you don’t love putting it on your burger, you probably find it flat out disgusting. Well, all you mayo lovers better listen up! Mayonnaise can really irritate your pancreas.
You see, the pancreas processes the fat you eat. The more fat in your diet, the harder the pancreas works to process it. Eventually, the organ will become overwhelmed. A single tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 6% of your daily recommended fat.
The more mayo and fatty condiments you slather on your food, the greater your risk of acute pancreatitis. This is a condition where your pancreas becomes inflamed. While many cases are mild, acute pancreatitis can also be life-threatening.
A high-fat diet will boost your level of triglycerides, the type of fat found in your blood. An increase in triglycerides will up your blood’s fat, leading to acute pancreatitis. Yes, your pancreas will suffer. And so may other parts of your body.
Mayonnaise is not the healthiest food in general you know. The same tablespoon I mentioned also contains a lot of salt. If you’re making yourself a sandwich, you’re much better off going with mustard. A regular teaspoon has zero fat for your pancreas.
2. Potato Chips
Talk about another fatty meal. Remember, the more you eat, the harder you are on your pancreas. If your diet includes a large number of potato chips, you’re making the organ work overtime.
When up against chips, mayonnaise seems like a joke. One bag of regular potato chips is over 10 grams of fat. That’s over 13% of your suggested intake for the day! For many folks, chips are a normal snack on their daily menu.
Say you have more than two bags worth in a sitting, your pancreas will be processing most of that fat and hating every minute of it. Along with sugars and starches, the enzymes in your pancreas break down the fats you’ve eaten. If the fats from the chips are causing pancreatitis, you won’t have any enzymes available.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. If you’re worried about the number of fatty foods you’ve been eating, it would be wise to lay off the chips for the time being.
No chips, no soda. What’s the point of my weekend then? Coca-cola is a drink that will really damage your pancreas. Coke can increase your risk of pancreatic cancer.
A study from 2010 focused on a group of men and women in Singapore who drank 2 or more soft drinks per week. By the end, it was found that they were 87% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
Now keep in mind, pancreatic cancer is rare. But it is one of the deadlier cancers around. Less than 5% of patients survive five years after diagnosis. Most cases of pancreatic cancer begin in the enzymes.
Research on the causes behind cancer varies. Some studies point towards insulin promoting the growth of cancerous cells. Some researchers believe that sugary foods and drinks such as coca-cola are the issues, as they expose your pancreas to lots of insulin. Get this.
Men are recommended no more than 36 grams of sugar a day. Women are recommended no more than 25 grams of sugar a day. A regular can of Coke contains almost 40 grams of sugar! Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include weight loss, indigestion, and loss of appetite.
If you’re craving a soft drink, but trying to avoid the sugar, try a diet Coke. At the same time, those diet drinks come with their own health risks. You’re better off skipping out on them altogether.
Much like mayonnaise, it’s best to limit your butter intake to one tablespoon per meal. This gives your pancreas enough time to process the fat. And when we’re talking butter, we’re talking a whole lot of fat.
One tablespoon of regular butter has over 15% of your daily fat. This includes 36% saturated fat. If you’re already showing symptoms of pancreatitis, make sure you stay away from foods that are high in any type of fat. Instead, choose low-fat items.
5. Red Meat
Research has shown that eating red meat on a constant basis can bring on pancreatic cancer. To be clear, red meat is colored red when raw, and turns dark after being cooked.
A study once showed that consuming more than 120 grams of red meat each day increases your risk of the disease by 13%. This can be done by having up to 4 extra pieces of bacon.
This is especially scary for men, who are shown to be the most vulnerable in this scenario. The risk for men who consume red meat daily increased by almost 30%! This is because men consume more red meat overall.
Hearing this might make you think twice the next time you consider ordering a steak, or hamburger from your favorite food place.
6. French Fries
We’re getting into the fattiest of the fatty foods here, so buckle up. French fries are one of the most commonly consumed meals around. There’s just so many of them. Not only that, they’re available almost everywhere.
Fried foods in general are an absolute poison for your pancreas. One large serving of McDonald’s fries includes 18% of your saturated fats for the day. Compare that to Burger King, where a King Sized fry order is 31% saturated fat.
When put next to Burger King, going to McDonald’s is like taking a trip to Whole Foods. If you already have pancreatitis, avoid eating French fries as much as you can. It is just too much fat for the already crippled organ to handle.
7. Hot Dog
I’m not even going to get into what a hot dog is made of. We’ll save you the gross imagery. But out of all the fat that comes with a regular dog from the store, 28% of that fat is saturated.
Now one hot dog every once in a while is probably okay. But think about how many you’ve eaten in one sitting. Even the smallest looking hot dogs are jam-packed with fat. And I don’t even want to think about the poor souls at hot dog eating contests.
They’re one dog away from their pancreas exploding! In all seriousness, hot dogs are really unhealthy. Along with a truckload of fat, you are also getting a ton of sodium, cholesterol, and carbs.
The same regular-sized hot dog only contains 3% of your daily fiber. So the next time you’re thinking of street meat or grabbing a fresh dog at the ballpark, think of how your pancreas might feel.
It’s a sad day when you have to avoid pastries. But if it’s in the best interest of your pancreas, suck it up and just do it. Pastries contain a ton of fats your pancreas isn’t into.
These include the most popular types like danishes and croissants. Take one croissant for example. Out of the 12 grams of fat the average croissant has, 33% of it is saturated. You also want to try your best to avoid donuts, shortcakes, biscuits, scones, and cookies.
9. Organ Meats
When your pancreas isn’t at its best, red meat isn’t the only kind you need to stay away from. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Organ meats are the organs from animals that humans are able to cook and eat. Popular organ foods include liver, heart and kidneys.
They even can eat the brain! The possibilities are endless. While organ meats do provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and protein, they can also damage your pancreas if they contain fatty deposits.
Organ meats are high in saturated fats. There are several factors contributing to this. If the animal has lived an unhealthy life, a lot of fat will collect around the heart and kidneys. An organ meal that is high in fat can put pressure on an unhealthy pancreas.