Nutrition for Cancer Patients

Nutrition for cancer patients is essential for recovery. It gives us the energy to complete everyday tasks and ensures our bodies perform at an optimum level. Without proper nutrition, we can’t function as well, either physically or mentally. When affected by a serious illness, such as cancer, the body has to work hard to build-up strength for what may be ahead, or to recover after treatment.

How Cancer Impacts Nutritional Needs​

Some cancers can increase our need for certain nutrients, while the treatment can cause changes in how our bodies respond to the foods and drinks we consume. The right nutrition can reduce the risk of cancer, alongside other lifestyle measures, such as physical activity and stopping unhealthy habits, for example, smoking. Below are some great healthy eating tips for you.

Follow a Mediterranean Diet​

The Mediterranean Diet is based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This type of diet features more fish, less meat and it’s rich in plants and healthy oils.

Use Your Hand for Portion Control

A serving of carbs, such as cooked pasta or potatoes should be no bigger than your closed fist. The same applies to fruit. Your protein component, of meat, fish, tofu or poultry, should be around the size of your palm. Use your thumb to measure high-fat foods, such as cheese.

Allow Yourself Some Yummy Treats!

A diet that’s too restrictive can be so hard to sustain and it’s unnecessary. It’s far more sensible to maintain the 80/20 principle. That means eating and drinking healthy foods and drinks 80 percent of the time. Then allow yourself some treats for the other 20 percent. This means you don’t have to feel deprived and you can still be healthy.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

While some reports suggest there are health benefits to savouring the odd glass of wine, it is a good idea to be aware of how much you drink and stay within the guidelines. See Drink Aware for guidance on units for each drink.

Stay Well Hydrated

Staying well hydrated is particularly important during this time, as hydration supports all of our body functions. When we are well hydrated, our mood performance and concentration all improve.

Follow the ‘Healthy Eating Plate’ Guide

The Healthy Eating Plate is based on scientific evidence that shows a plant-based diet lowers the risk of weight gain and chronic disease. It portions off your dinner plate, telling you which foods should go where and in what quantity.