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Dietitian Q/A

Because of the contents of some questions and the large number we receive, the MUSC Dietitians only answer selected questions. Although we discourage questions regarding personal health problems, scheduling an appointment with the outpatient dietitian to address these concerns is encouraged. Appointments can be made after a physician referral is received.

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 Question:  I have been hospitalized several times over the last year with pancreatitis. I have been told be on a low fat diet - no fried foods. Is this all that a low fat diet consist of? Any guidance is appreciated.


A low fat diet is more than just avoiding fried foods. Your whole diet should be low fat. Exactly how much fat you need in your diet varies from person to person, but here are some general tips to get started:


1)      When picking foods, you should look for labels that say “low fat”, nonfat” and “fat free”

2)      Foods with less than 3 grams of fat per serving are low fat

3)      Limit the amount of fats and oils you add to foods. Sources of fats and oils are cooking oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, gravy, and salad dressing

4)      Use lean meats. Round or loin cuts of beef and pork are lean. Chicken and turkey without the skin are lean.

5)      As the doctor said, do not fry foods. Instead try baking, broiling, grilling, or pan frying with non-stick cooking spray.

6)      Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products

7)      Avoid doughnuts, pastries, honey buns, cheesecake and other high fat sweets

8)      Avoid nuts and peanut butter


It is also best to have small frequent meals and to drink plenty of water. Avoiding caffeine can also be helpful with pancreatitis. Also eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which can naturally help reduce inflammation in your pancreas.


If you are uncertain about exactly how much fat you need in your diet, it may be helpful to make an appointment with the outpatient dietitian.


To schedule an appointment with our outpatient dietitian:

1) Obtain a referral from you physician. They can use the referral form from the following link:

    Or they can use their own form.
2) Have your physician fax the referral to 843-792-2995. The scheduling department will then contact you to set up the appointment.





Answered: 04/12/2012

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