Breast Cancer Diet Plan
A breast cancer diet plan could help patients ensure they get the nutrients they need while going through treatment. Often, the side effects of breast cancer treatment make eating full, nutritious meals feel like an impossible task. With side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores, it can be hard to want to eat a meal. However, proper nutrition will help patients’ bodies heal from treatment, maintain a healthy body weight, and avoid loss of muscle mass. Establishing a diet plan could help patients meet proper nutrition needs despite the struggles associated with eating.
Breast Cancer Diet Plan & Nutrition
For breast cancer patients, there are certain foods that patients should try to consume and others that should be avoided. Foods that are recommended include:
- Fruits and vegetables: Colorful fruits and vegetables have nutrients called phytochemicals, while vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts have antiestrogen properties. Patients should try to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are high in fiber and can help you avoid constipation that is a possible side effect of commonly used cancer drugs. Eating foods like whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and others can be beneficial.
- Lentils and beans: Legumes are high in protein, and low in fat, making them a healthy option.
- Protein: To keep your body strong, it is important for protein intake to stay high. Healthy sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, and fish can help increase protein intake.
There are also foods that patients should avoid on the breast cancer diet plan list:
- High-fat meats and dairy products: These foods are high in saturated fats and not healthy options. This includes fatty red meat, whole milk, butter, and cream.
- Alcohol: Alcohol could interact with the cancer drugs used in treatment and cause problems and side effects. Drinking alcohol is also a risk factor for breast cancer, so it is best to avoid it.
- Sweets: Foods that are high in sugar are not healthy options and leave less room in the diet for healthier alternatives like vegetables and protein.
- Undercooked foods: White blood cell counts drop with cancer treatment, so raw foods, such as sushi, should be avoided because the immune-fighting cells in the body may not be able to handle it. Be sure to cook all foods thoroughly.
Tips for Eating Healthy During Cancer Treatment
Cancer treatment may cause patients to feel unwell, with low-energy and no desire to make a meal. Here are some tips to make it easier:
- Eat smaller meals
- Meet with a registered dietitian
- Use different utensils made from plastic, glass, or wood.
- Plan meals ahead of time
- Drink more fluids