We hope you find these resources for nutrition helpful. If you have any further questions, please call us at 419-626-4548; we would be happy to try to answer your questions or refer you to a nutritionist.
Importance of a Healthy Diet for Cancer Patients
People with cancer need to maintain a healthy diet to help their body function at their best. It is important for cancer patients to maintain a healthy weight, get essential nutrients, and be as active as they can. Here are some helpful tips below to help keep a healthy diet and increase nutrition during cancer treatment:
- Eat several small snacks throughout the day rather than three large meals.
- Eat your favorite foods at any time of the day. For instance, eat breakfast foods for dinner if they appeal to you.
- On good days, eat lots of protein and healthy calories.
- Eat colorful fruits and vegetables because they have many natural health-promoting substances.
- Try to eat high-calorie, high-protein foods at each meal and snack.
- Exercise lightly or take a walk before meals to increase your appetite.
- Make batches of some of your favorite entrees before your treatment starts, and freeze them.
Cancer patients may need to change their diet to help build up their strength and withstand the effects of cancer and its treatment. Nickie Kaetzel, MS, RDN, LD, a Registered Dietitian from the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center, shared with me that “maintaining a good nutrition status during cancer is important for maintaining your weight and strength as well as to help you have a better tolerance to your treatment.” It is always best for a cancer patients to talk with their dietitian during treatments to get recommendations if they are experiencing changes in eating habits.
Nutritional supplements are another way to help fill in the gaps when a cancer patient needs extra calories, protein, or fluids. Cancer patients undergoing treatment often need more protein than usual to help fight infection and heal tissues. Cancer Services offers chocolate, vanilla, strawberry Boost Plus, Ensure Plus, and Pedialyte supplements free of charge.