These healthy nutrition guidelines can be followed after a diagnosis of cancer and/or during treatment. However, you may find you need to modify your food intake to help prevent weight loss or excessive gain or to manage side effects. Personal guidance from a Registered Dietitian(avincent [at] westclinic [dot] com) can be helpful.
- Eat a plant based diet – 2/3 of what’s on your plate should come from a plant – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, plant oils, nuts, seeds.
- Have “meatless meals” at least once a week. Good sources of high protein, meatless foods are beans and peas, low fat/fat free cheese and other dairy products, eggs, peanut butter, veggie products like veggie burgers and soy products like tofu and soy milk.
- Increase your vegetable and fruit intake. Eat at least 5 servings daily. One serving is about ½ cup cooked or one small piece. Darker produce is best but it’s all good for you.
- Limit the fat in your diet, especially the animal fat. Eat low fat foods and add healthful fats – olive or canola oil, nuts, avocadoes, and seeds. Eat only small quantities of these.
- Watch your weight. Excess weight gain is associated with many types of cancer. Choose healthful foods and limit less healthful foods like high fat and high sugar foods. These are good lifestyle choices vs. dieting (which of course doesn’t work!)
- Avoid charred foods which contain cancer causing substances called heterocyclic amines. Don’t burn or char your food when you grill. Marinating foods also helps keep the formation of these compounds to a minimum.
- Be wary of supplements. You can get too much of a good thing! Supplements do not take the place of a healthy diet. See your Registered Dietitian to see if you need supplements.
- Stay physically active to help maintain a healthy weight along with good muscle mass. Your immune system is strengthened each time you exercise. Strength training along with something that gets your heart pumping works well. Get your doctor’s OK before starting.
- Follow the Anti-Cancer Diet. Click on the link to see what general guidelines you can follow to stay on the path to great health.