It stands to reason that people
who eat a balanced diet during treatment are better able to withstand the
side effects associated with their treatment. It is also known that
good nutrition prevents body tissue from breaking down and helps rebuild
the normal tissue affected by
treatment. There are three main nutritional goals:
CHOOSE FOODS THAT ARE:
HIGH IN CALORIES
HIGH IN PROTEIN
Since calories provide energy and are the fuel needed for basic body functioning, the body's need for calories must be met first before any other need. This is important so that the body does not use its own tissue to meet its energy requirements. Calories in food come from carbohydrates, protein and fat.
1 gram carbohydrate =4
1 gram protein =4
1 gram fat =9
People with cancer should strive
to eat at least 1200 calories every day BUT, a 1200 calorie daily intake
is too low for many persons with cancer because of their increased nutritional
needs. It is better to emphasize eating a diet high in calories and
protein with additional snacks to minimize weight loss.
Eating foods high in fat is encouraged for those persons who have difficulty maintaining their weight while undergoing active cancer treatment. Obviously, people diagnosed with cancer who have significant weight loss should see their physician
For those of you who are caregivers. Try putting much smaller portions on much smaller plates. Sometimes even using a saucer instead of a salad plate is conducive to getting patients to eat. When a person with absolutely no appetite sees a plate full of food they can only gag and refuse. Making the plates smaller and the portions smaller and providing appealing looking combinations sometimes helps the patient overcome some of their anxiety at having to "eat all this".
There are some specific ways to add protein to the diet:
1. Add 1/4 cup nonfat powdered skim milk to 1 cup of whole milk
2. Add nonfat powdered milk to soups, gravies, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes.
3. Add chopped hard cooked eggs to casseroles, salads, sauces, gravies, soups.
4. Use pureed or baby food meat in creamed soups and cream sauces (Example: add
pureed chicken or meat to cream of chicken soup.)
5. Cook oatmeal in milk instead of water.
6. Add cooked dried beans and peas to salads, casseroles, and soups to enrich the
7. Add grated cheese to salads, mashed potatoes, and casseroles to enhance protein.
8. Use commercially available dietary supplements as a beverage or add to puddings,
There are some specific ways to add calories to your diet:
1. Add margarine to hot foods, such as cereals, vegetables, and soups.
2. Add extra sugar or honey to beverages if sweets are tolerated.
3. Use extra mayonnaise in salads, sandwiches, and deviled eggs. mayonnaise has
twice as many calories as salad dressing.
4. Top desserts, gelatin,, and cocoa with whipped cream.
5. Use half and half or whipping cream in mashed potatoes and gravies
6. Add cream cheese or sour cream to gelatin salads.
7. Substitute milk for water in reconstituted cream soup.
8. Include gravies and sauces with meat, fish, and vegetables.