Whether you are trying to prevent cancer, going through cancer treatment or a cancer survivor, staying healthy is important. The following nutrition tips cover nutrition for prevention and following cancer treatment, as well as, idea’s to get you through treatment. Please use these tips to get you started until you can get individual counseling from a registered dietitian or other healthcare provider.
Nutrition tips to help prevent cancer and to live by after cancer treatment
The following is the “Advice to Individuals” presented in the report, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Based on an analysis of more than 4,500 research studies, these guidelines present some of the best advice currently available on actions to take for lower cancer risk.
Recommendation 1 Choose predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, beans and peas, and minimally processed starchy staple foods.
Recommendation 2 Avoid being underweight or overweight and limit weight gain during adulthood to less than 5kg (11 pounds).
Recommendation 3 If occupational activity is low or moderate, take an hour’s brisk walk or similar exercise daily, and also exercise vigorously for a total of at least one hour in a week.
Recommendation 4 Eat 400-800 grams (15-30 ounces) or five or more portions (servings) a day of a variety of vegetables and fruits, all year round.
Recommendation 5 Eat 600-800 grams (20-30 ounces) or more than seven portions (servings) a day of a variety of cereals (grains), beans and peas, roots, tubers and plantains. Minimally processed foods are preferable. Limit consumption of refined sugar.
Recommendation 6 Alcohol consumption is not recommended. If consumed, limit alcoholic drinks to less than two drinks a day for men and one for women.
Recommendation 7 If eaten at all, limit intake of red meat to less than 80 grams (3 ounces) daily. It is preferable to choose fish, poultry and meat from non-domesticated animals in place of red meat.
Recommendation 8 Limit consumption of fatty foods, particularly those of animal origin. Choose modest amounts of appropriate vegetable oils.
Recommendation 9 Limit consumption of salted foods and use of cooking and table salt. Use herbs and spices to season foods.
Recommendation 10 Use refrigeration and other appropriate methods to preserve perishable foods as purchased and at home.
Recommendation 11 Do not eat charred food. For meat and fish eaters, avoid burning of meat juices. Consume the following only occasionally: Meat and fish grilled (broiled) in direct flame; cured and smoked meats.
Recommendation 12 For those who follow the recommendations presented here, dietary supplements are probably unnecessary, and possibly unhelpful, for reducing cancer risk.
Recommendation 13 Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
Seven Things To Do Now For Lower Cancer Risk . . .
- Choose a diet rich in a variety of plant- based foods.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
- Select foods low in fat and salt.
- Prepare and store foods safely.And, always remember …
- Do not smoke or use tobacco in any form.
For more information from the American Institute for Cancer Research visit their website at www.aicr.org or call 1-800-843-8114.
*adapted from www.cancer.med.umich.edu
- Symptoms management is very important. Go to www.cancernutritioninformation.com for good handouts on various tips to manage the symptoms you have.
- Concentrate on small meals every 2-3 hours. Set an alarm if you forget to eat.
- Focus on having a small amount of protein at each meal to help keep protein stores adequate. Good protein sources are chicken, fish, peanut butter, nuts and seeds, milk, cheese, and dietary supplements such as Boost + and Ensure +.
- Let friends and family help with the cooking when they offer. It will help you stayed nourished when you just don’t feel like cooking.
Helpful Book Resources
Cancer Survivor’s Nutrition & Health Guide: Eating Well and Getting Better During and After Cancer Treatment by Gene Spiller, Ph.D., and Bonnie DR.P.H., R.D.
Cooking Well for the Unwell by Eileen Behan, R.D.
Nutrition, Cancer and You: What you need to know, and where to start by Susan Calhoun and Jane Bradley
The Cancer Survival Cookbook: 200 Quick & Easy Recipes With Helpful Eating Hints by Donna L. Weihofen, R.D., M.S. with Christina Marino, M.D., M.P.H.
The What to Eat if You Have Cancer Cookbook by Maureen Keane, M.S. and Daniella Chace, M.S.
What To Eat Now, The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook by Rachel Keim with Ginny Smith
A Dietitian’s Cancer Story: Information and Inspiration for Recovery and Healing From a 3-Time Cancer Survivor by Diana Dyer, MS, RD, CNSD
* Adapted from the Institute For Cancer Research