WHAT TO EAT WHEN IN TREAT­MENT

Best Health - - THAT -

There is no one-size-fits-all so­lu­tion when it comes to what to eat while un­der­go­ing treat­ment, says Me­gan Mor­ri­son, a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian at the Princess Mar­garet Cancer Cen­tre in Toronto. Creat­ing a nutri­tion plan de­pends on the in­di­vid­ual, cancer di­ag­no­sis and side ef­fects of treat­ment. Nutri­tion plans can vary based on the cancer site, stage and/or planned treat­ment that the in­di­vid­ual re­ceives.

That said, there are com­mon goals when creat­ing a nutri­tion plan: main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing nu­tri­tional sta­tus and re­duc­ing the risk of mal­nu­tri­tion. Mor­ri­son says that foods packed with good-qual­ity pro­tein, such as fish, poul­try, beans, len­tils, chick­peas, nut but­ters and nuts, are cru­cial be­cause pro­tein helps the body heal while re­build­ing the im­mune sys­tem and strength­en­ing mus­cles.

Some treat­ment side ef­fects, such as nau­sea, vom­it­ing, sore mouth and throat, taste and smell changes, low or de­creased ap­petite, weight loss, con­sti­pa­tion and di­ar­rhea, can im­pact your nu­tri­tional in­take. With nau­sea, es­pe­cially if it’s se­vere, Mor­ri­son says that flu­ids are im­por­tant to pre­vent de­hy­dra­tion, so drink­ing wa­ter – first and fore­most – or 100 per­cent juices or eat­ing soup is a good idea.

Of course, solid foods are es­sen­tial, but she sug­gests eat­ing solids and drink­ing liq­uids sep­a­rately. You don’t want to fill up on liq­uids be­fore eat­ing calo­rie-, pro­teinand nu­tri­ent-rich solids. Eat­ing small, bland snacks (avoid su­per-spicy, fatty, greasy foods) through­out the day is a good idea, too, as skip­ping meals can make nau­sea worse. And it’s good to be mind­ful of tem­per­a­ture. “We rec­om­mend try­ing colder food items be­cause they don’t smell as strong,” she says.

Mak­ing every bite nutri­tion­ally dense and high in calo­ries and pro­tein is key so that you get the most ben­e­fits from the small­est amount. “If some­one is hav­ing an omelette, in­stead of hav­ing a plain omelette, add shred­ded cheese and av­o­cado,” she sug­gests. “If some­one is try­ing veg­eta­bles or mashed sweet pota­toes, add olive oil to those foods when cook­ing them.”

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