Should Food Myths Be Taken Se­ri­ously?

Women's Weekly (Malaysia) - - Wellbeing -

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.

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