How diet changes for cancer patients

How Diet Changes for Cancer Patients

Cancer remains one of the most challenging problems to solve in biological science.

This nasty disease comes in hundreds of different forms and affects people of all ages, with little regard for prior health levels.

Common cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy often lead to a vast spectrum of adverse side effects, including fatigue, ageusia (loss of taste), nausea, and radical changes to your digestive system.

The key thing to remember is to hold onto hope, trust in your healthcare team, and ask for support from your loved ones during this time. 

In the meantime, one of the best things you can do for your body is to hone in on a diet that will best support your body in the long fight ahead. Read on to learn how a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan might affect your dietary needs and which foods you should add to your shopping list to help your body heal, rest, and fight.

Medical Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation and/or medical treatment of a qualified oncologist or dietician. Always seek the medical advice of your physician and healthcare team for your specific dietary needs.

How to cope with the side effects of cancer treatment

Coping With The Side Effects Of Cancer Treatment

If you’re experiencing appetite loss, try cutting your meals in half. Instead of aiming to eat three bigger meals a day, divide them into five or six smaller meals and snacks. It won’t make each bite one hundred percent easy, but it might reduce the burden you feel at any time of day.

One common side effect of radiation and chemotherapy is nausea. Some foods and spices that are known to reduce this unpleasant feeling are peppermint oil, ginger tea, and citrus.

If you’re experiencing a loss of taste, look towards foods that are a bit more flavorful and zesty than you would normally choose. This might mean an extra squeeze of lemon juice or an extra shake or two of paprika on your favorite foods.

Creating a Balanced Diet for Cancer Patients

After receiving a cancer diagnosis, your diet might be the last thing you’re thinking of.

However, what you eat can have a very tangible impact on how you respond to treatment. Just like during every other time in your life, a healthy, balanced diet might:

  • Boost your energy
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Reduce inflammation

During cancer treatment, a balanced diet can also help manage your treatment side effects. Of course, veggies and lean proteins aren’t a cure-all, but they might give you a better reaction to your treatment plan.

Of course, eating healthy isn’t always possible when reacting to cancer treatment. Sometimes, the most important aim is simply to get calories into your body and food into your stomach to ease the side effects of medication.

Nutrients to Seek Out In A Cancer Diet Plan

Coordinating a top recovery diet revolves around balance, dipping a toe into every corner of the food pyramid to give your body the energy and nutrients it needs and the flavor your taste buds crave.

Simple Proteins

Perhaps the most important nutrient to add to your diet during any trying time for your body is protein — it’s the key compound in helping your body heal and repair tissue. 

However, your appetite for a juicy, protein-rich burger might have waned since you began treatment. If you’re able, try eating some leaner cuts of complete proteins like chicken breast or white fish. These provide quick infusions of good nutrition without the overwhelming flavor and texture of red meat options.

Of course, plant-based proteins are also a great option, and can often provide even mellower flavor profiles if you’re experiencing chronic nausea. Nuts and seeds along with dry legumes like crispy chickpeas can give you key nutrients that will help your body recover from the ill effects of your treatment plan.

Healthy Fats

Your body needs healthy fats from sustainable, plant-based sources for long-term energy storage. Seek out a handful of walnuts, a spoonful of creamy avocado, or a simple tablespoon or two of olive oil to help combat inflammation and improve your cardiovascular health.

Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates from wheat bran and oats give us a boost of long-lasting energy along with delicious soluble fiber. Improve your gut health with some complex carbohydrates in the form of split pea soup, buttery mashed potatoes, or a pesto-style whole-wheat penne.

What Kinds of Foods Stimulate Appetite?

All the healthy diet options in the world won’t make much of a difference if you struggle to finish every bite.

Some of the most common treatment methods, like chemotherapy and radiation, can sap your energy, making it difficult to chew. With especially crunchy or chewy foods, getting each bite down can feel like climbing a mountain. 

Your instinct might be to become frustrated with yourself. Don’t.

Remember, your body is going through one of the toughest things it will ever have to endure. 

Give yourself the compassion and forgiveness you would give a friend. Practice understanding and patience. 

And give yourself some credit for all the hard work you’ve put in up to this point.

That said, there are practical steps we can take to make eating more of a realistic possibility even when we experience a loss of appetite or desire to eat.

That’s where theEATBar comes in. 

theEATBar is the perfect option for re-introducing cancer patients to delicious food

Ask Your Healthcare Team About theEATBar

Designed with care by a speech-language pathologist, theEATBar is tailor-made to bring energy to those with all kinds of eating and swallowing troubles.

Coming in four bold flavors ranging from decadent dark chocolate to sweet strawberry, theEATBar is a simple, effortless snack designed to infuse calories along with mouthwatering flavor. It’s an incredibly convenient, delicious source of energy and may help with some of the side effects that cause taste distortion.

With a satisfying opening crunch leading to a melt-in-your-mouth meringue filling, theEATBar is a great gift option for anyone currently undergoing cancer treatment or dealing with a recent diagnosis.

Of course, consult with your oncologist, dietician, and healthcare team to see if theEATBar is right for you or your loved ones.

Seek out eating encouragement with theEATBar

Seek Out Eating Encouragement With theEATBar

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most difficult challenges any of us will ever have to face. It transforms the days ahead into a dark, uncertain struggle that leaves us feeling powerless.

It is uncertain. It will be a struggle. But you are not powerless. 

You can seek out activities and exercises that bring in light into your life, beating away the darkness. 

For many, that might come in the form of quality time spent with family and friends. For others, it might mean devoting more time to re-reading their favorite books and listening to classic albums. For even more of us, it might be digging into our favorite foods with a new perspective.

If you need a bit of eating encouragement or pair to a calorie-rich meal supplement, seek out delicious, easy-to-eat foods like theEATBar, coming in four bold flavors like rich Vanilla Chocolate and zesty Lemon sure to please no matter what mood you’re in.

For an extra boost, use our code BLOG15 for 15% off your order at checkout!

While you’re waiting for your order to arrive, browse our blog to learn more about what to eat when you don’t feel hungry and top tips on how to make the most of hospital visits.