Should Food Myths Be Taken Seriously?
Chooing Lim, Dietitian and Education Development Executive for the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) demystifies commonly held beliefs on what cancer patients and survivors should or should not eat.
Some people believe that breast cancer patients should avoid eating soy-based foods. Is there any truth in this belief ?
Most of these food myths are not true and patients are often bombarded with lots of information – either from people around them or because they can access the Internet easily. Many also are inclined to believe “testimonials” from their relatives or friends. So patients are advised to always refer to reliable sources such as oncologists, registered dietitians and credible websites such as strongerthancancer.org.my, cancerresearchuk.org and cancer.org.au.
Is there really any food cancer patients should avoid eating?
Cancer patients and survivors are encouraged keep a balanced diet. Limit their intake of red meat, added sugar, animal fat, cured meat and alcohol. Supplementations are not required for cancer patients or survivors, unless prescribed by doctors or dietitians.
A balanced diet should include complex carbohydrates (aim for at least 50 per cent whole grain), lean protein, fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy oils like vegetable oil. They should try to maintain a healthy BMI of 18.5 to 22.9 to reduce the risk of a recurrence.