Do I need a special diet? Not usually. A good nutrition goal is to maintain your usual weight, avoiding weight loss or weight gain. Try to eat at least 3 times a day to provide your body with energy. Make healthful foods a part of your diet when you can – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, plant oils like olive and canola oil, nuts and seeds.
Do I need extra protein? Probably not. Do have some protein at each meal. Good protein sources are lean poultry, fish, low fat dairy, lean beef or pork, eggs, low sugar peanut butter, and soy foods. The typical American diet contains more than enough protein even if you are being treated for cancer.
What about dieting? Avoid rapid weight loss during treatment, unless ordered by your physician. After treatment, work on getting to a healthy weight with the help of a nutrition professional.
Do I need vitamins or supplements? Probably not. Avoid high dose supplements of Vitamin C, A, E and selenium (though you can eat foods high in these nutrients). Ask your doctor or dietitian about your particular supplements. Tell your oncologist exactly what you are taking.
What if foods don’t taste right? The taste of food can change during treatment. Try spicy, bland, sweet or sour foods. One of these four types of food might taste “normal” to you. You can also try foods you don’t normally eat as you will have no taste expectations for these dishes.
What areas can a Registered Dietitian help me with? Nutrition and food-related issues such as loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss or weight gain, and supplement use are just a few.