Nutrition Tips for Cancer Patients
Cancer treatments can put you at risk for malnutrition and/or weight loss. This can lead to poor health so it is important for you to maintain your weight during cancer treatment.
Nutrition consultation is available with our oncology dietitian Faron Moreno, RD, CSO. For appointments call 209-480-9712 or email MorenoF1@Sutterhealth.org to request a nutrition consultation.
NUTRITION TIPS FOR CANCER PATIENTS:
Food is just as important as medication. You’ll need adequate energy to tolerate and recover from cancer treatment. Try the following suggestions:
- Description of list: Nutrition tips for cancer patients
- Eating energy dense foods that are high in calories or protein can help maintain your weight and your health during treatment. Ways to eat energy dense foods:• Add olive or canola oil to soups.
• Add butter, cream or half and half to oatmeal and cream of wheat.
• Smooth nut butters such as peanut butter on toast or an English muffin.
• Use avocado on sandwiches or in soup.
• Sprinkle cheese on soup and sandwiches.
• Use whole milk or full fat Greek yogurt instead of light or low-fat varieties.
• Mix non-fat dry milk powder in mashed potatoes and creamy soups.
- Eat often! Try to eat a small snack or portion of food every 2 hours if you’re struggling with the loss of appetite. Use the clock as your guide and set a timer if you need to. Remember, a few bites are better than nothing at all.
- Try store bought nutrition shakes or make your own high calorie smoothie with fruit, peanut butter, ice cream or frozen yogurt. Add protein to smoothies with non-fat milk powder, Beneprotein or a store bought isolated whey protein powder.
- Keep bowel movements regular to improve comfort. Follow these tips for staying regular:• Eat fruit, vegetables, beans and whole grains which are a great source of fiber. Use whole wheat flour, wheat bran, oat bran or ground flaxseed on hot cereal or in home-baked goods.
• Drink warm prune juice, it doesn't take much but this little prevention can go a long way.
• Drink adequate amounts of water and stay active – exercise can help promote the contractions needed to have a bowel movement.
- For nausea and vomiting hydration is first! Sip on small amounts of liquids all day. Try broth, Gatorade, jello, popsicles and then graduate to well cooked bland foods such as toast, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, broth based soup, baked or boiled chicken.A low fiber bland diet is helpful for diarrhea. Tips for a low fiber bland diet:• Drink fluids throughout the day and avoid common gastrointestinal irritants which can worsen diarrhea such as fiber (whole grains, raw fruit and vegetables and beans), caffeine, spicy and fried foods.
• Bananas, plain mashed potatoes, noodles, toast and rice are good choices. Try adding nutmeg to your cereal, toast or yogurt. Yogurt contains good bacteria that may improve diarrhea.
• Take nausea and antidiarrheal medications as recommended by your doctor.
- Before taking any vitamins or herbs, check with your doctor and registered dietitian as this may effect your treatment and your health.
- Get involved and ask questions.