Guest Author: Jillian McKee on Cancer and Nutrition-Dietary Recommendations



Ms. Jillian McKee has asked me to help her with some recommendations to survivors of cancer. She is very interested in the effects that diet and nutrition has on health and wellness.

Here is her article:

Cancer and Nutrition-Dietary Recommendations For Those in Survivorship

Recovering from cancer is a challenging process. In addition to developing a steady exercise routine, a person should also take the time to develop better eating habits. An extraordinary amount of research is available out there shows that healthy eating habits are one of the best preventive measures one can take in reducing the risks of developing cancer again.

At the center of a healthier lifestyle for cancer patients is a regularly scheduled meal plan. It is essential that throughout the day patient’s eat a proper balance of snacks and meals. Skipping meals could lead to poor eating habits. Recovering survivors who do not eat well find it harder to resist cravings for unhealthy foods, maintain an exercise routine, avoid binging and preserve lean muscle mass.

Some find it easier to rely on protein shakes to meet nutritional needs for calories and lean proteins. The recovering patient needs a high-calorie diet rich in protein. For many patients, achieving the desirable calorie count recommended by their physicians is difficult. Many patients experience a loss of appetite or find it difficult to tolerate certain foods in their systems. Calories prevent weight loss and the protein helps maintain muscle mass. For patients who are unable to digest meals, the protein shake and foods like soy or eggs will meet the body’s nutritional needs.

The medical community encourages patients in survivorship to meet their daily carbohydrate needs through fruits and vegetables. A minimum of five servings of  fruits and vegetables should be eaten daily. The antioxidants contained in the fruits help protect the cells against damage while also providing the body with the energy it needs to thrive.

Nausea is the most common barrier for cancer patients to overcome in the recovery efforts. Many struggle with nausea and intolerance, which makes it difficult for surviving cancer patients to eat properly. Patients are encouraged to eliminate fatty foods from their diets. Having control over symptoms like vomiting is easier if a patient eats throughout the day at two-hour increments. Juicing provides another option. Blending fresh vegetables with fruits can improve the person’s healing experience. Eating fast food may trigger stomach issues; so minimizing fast food intake can make a difference.

The best nutrition for mesothelioma, or from any form of cancer should consist of a diet that is rich in fiber and antioxidants and low in fat. A high-calorie diet that contains high levels of lean protein prevents muscle loss in patients.

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