The diet that affected women eat before, during, and after cancer treatment can play an important role in recovery. Diet is considered a supportive treatment option. But cancer and its associated treatment can sometimes change how and what patients eat. A diet that is healthy for some may not work for others.
The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about 20 percent of all cancers diagnosed in developed countries are related to obesity, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption and/or poor diet. While there is still much ambiguity about cancer and its connection to diet, particularly in relation to preventative nutrition and the healing powers of food. Nevertheless, it is important to deal with the topic, since diet has an important influence on prominent risk factors such as obesity and diabetes. This works best with myths and facts about the role of nutrition in cancer prevention and during cancer treatment.
Here are some of the most common claims about diet in cancer:
There is a link between cancer and being overweight or obese.
Yes, excess body fat can increase cancer risk by causing the body to produce more estrogen and insulin, and release hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. A new report from the World Cancer Research Fund suggests obesity increases the risk of at least 12 different types of cancer.
There are certain foods that have been linked to cancer risk.
Yes, high consumption of red or processed meat increases the risk of cancer in humans. Alternatively, eating fruit, vegetables, and whole grains helps reduce cancer risk. Processed and nutrient-poor foods (e.g. chips) should be consumed to a limited extent.
A list of other healthy habits to reduce the risk of cancer:
- Reduced consumption of sugary drinks
- Limited consumption of red meat
- Increase in plant proteins such as beans, lentils, tofu instead of meat
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight At least 150 minutes of exercise per week
- No use of tobacco in any form
- Limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink per day
- Avoiding excessive sun exposure
There are certain foods that “fight” cancer naturally
Agree to a certain extent. Eating an overall balanced diet can help reduce cancer risk or keep the body healthy during cancer treatment. In addition, antioxidants and phytochemicals found in fruit, vegetables and whole grains have anti-cancer effects in the body.
There are certain diets that cure cancer.
That is not right. There isn’t enough research to show that a specific diet can cure cancer. However, nutrition plays a supportive role and can help patients to better cope with individual components of the therapy (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation). Patients undergoing cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy, may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), stomatitis (mouth infection), xerostomia (dry mouth), mucositis (pain and inflammation of the mucous membranes). In addition, there is fatigue (tiredness), loss of appetite and changes in taste.
Due to these side effects, there is an increased incidence of malnutrition. Dietitians therefore play an important role in cancer treatment in and around clinics by offering individualized strategies and nutrition plans. Patients are helped to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and diet based on their symptoms.
We have therefore summarized the most important nutritional tips for cancer:
Tips for better nutrition during cancer treatment
Tips for better nutrition during cancer treatment You should eat what you want and follow few guidelines. Nutritionists are tasked with providing a basis for patients to feel as strong and healthy as possible during treatment.
The basis of eating with cancer treatment
One of the most important goals of cancer nutrition is to get enough of the following elements:
- Fluids to stay hydrated (mostly decaffeinated fluids)
- Energy (calories) and nutrients from healthy foods
- Proteins to help maintain body mass/muscles
Overall, the main goal is to provide calories through nutrient-dense foods. Most patients can eat normally and healthily. If you are not experiencing any diet-related side effects from your cancer treatment that limit your ability to eat and/or digest food, you can stick to a generally healthy diet that includes the following foods as core elements:
- fruits and vegetables
- Full grain
- Beans and lentils
- Nutritious Fats
- Lean protein
If you suffer from treatment side effects, such as fatigue and digestive problems, it’s helpful to include foods that require little or no preparation and are easy to eat — and easy on your stomach. This doesn’t mean “junk food” full of empty calories, but more convenient alternatives that still provide the nutrients you need.
The following are prominent suggestions that help most patients with diet planning:
Fresh fruit. The best choices are fruits that are refreshing, easy to eat, and high in water. Melons, berries, pineapples, bananas, pears and canned or jarred fruit in their own juices are popular.
Yogurt. It’s easy to eat and promotes healthy digestion. Choose unsweetened varieties. You can add berries, cinnamon, or slivers of almonds for flavor.
Muesli. Everything from oatmeal to oat bran, oats are a great hot choice. Rice-based cereals are especially good if you have digestive issues.
Peanut butter. Choose whole grain crackers for fiber (if applicable) and protein. Look for 100 percent peanut butter that’s made with no added oils.
Full grain. Eat whole-grain bread and crackers—make sure the packaging says 100 percent whole grain. Whole grain promotes regularity and digestive health; Too high a grind can remove fiber, protein, and other nutrients.
Meat and poultry. Look for whole, unprocessed meats without nitrates. Chicken breast is a convenient choice, as is chicken or tuna salad and meat/poultry that is tenderized in soups and stews. The slow cooker is a great way to conveniently cook meat or poultry.
Eggs (boiled). Eat only boiled eggs (scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, omelettes). Raw eggs are unsafe, even if they fall into a smoothie.
Food safety tips
Be sure to select and process foods within the bounds of your cooking skills. After all, safe food preparation and preparation is an extremely important piece of the puzzle. It should also be noted that no individual allergies and intolerances could be taken into account in the suggestions. These are general diet tips.
Health City Berlin
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center