[MOL] Educational Series - Eat Well to Feel Well [01039] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Educational Series - Eat Well to Feel Well



Dearest ones:
    I know that all of the old-timers that have been on this line could recite this verbatim, but I have noticed so many "newbies" lately I thought this might be helpful.  Since I have started
actively walking this road with Lizabeth, I thought I should contribute my little part to
help someone else the way I have been helped.

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Eat Right to Feel Right!!!
       People with cancer have different nutritional needs depending on their individual body chemistry,
their physical and emotional make-up as well as the type of cancer and the treatment.  Many people
diagnosed with cancer are receiving some combination or form on chemotherapy, radiation, surgery,
immunotherapy or alternative forms of care.
    Some people have a great deal of difficulty eating well during their cancer treatment.  The most
common problems include:
                                                        -Loss of appetite
                                                        -Nausea and vomiting
                                                        -Feeling of fullness
                                                        -Taste changes
                                                        -Mouth soreness and dryness
                                                        -Diarrhea or constipation
                                                        -General fatigue

    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
                                                            WELL BALANCED

    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.

                                                                    CALORIES
                                                        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

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    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
                        protein.
                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,
                        milkshakes, etc.
 
    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.