Having a good nutrition is the basis of health for all stages of life. However, when faced with a diagnosis such as cancer, eating the right foods can play a very important role in helping the patient cope better with the disease.
According to Dr. Gabriel Gómez, Abbott's Regional Medical Director for Latin America, "maintaining a balanced nutritional contribution after diagnosis can effectively help prevent weight loss and muscle loss. Keeping and further enhancing weight, strength and of muscle strength are indicators of a proper evolution towards maintaining health. "
An adequate nutritional status and the amount of muscle mass during illness such as cancer will cause beneficial facts for that person. Multimodal treatment forms, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or the combination of several or all of them, require the person to have a proper body composition so that the treatments can be tolerated and perform their function in regaining health.
Unfortunately, well-nourished stay can be a challenge, because some treatments and illness itself can affect your appetite and the ability to eat. It is important to ask the oncologist whether to recommend a visit to a nutritionist who gives advice on the feeding plan at this critical time. Here are five diet recommendations during cancer treatment.
1. Try to maintain the same consumption of calories and protein: It is important to observe the consumption of proteins and calories during the treatment. Both nutrients are vital to avoid weight loss and poor muscle mass, which are common side effects in these cases.
Although the amount of calories and protein varies depending on the individual, it is recommended to maintain a similar or slightly higher intake than before the diagnosis. However, if significant weight loss is observed before or during treatment, an increase in this value should be considered.
2. Loss of appetite: the disease and its treatments often lead to a loss of appetite, and the food has a distorted, bitter or metallic taste, which can lead to the abandonment of ordinary eating habits. These changes in diet are only evident until it can be avoided and harmful. Independent of the weight prior to diagnosing the disease, this is not an adequate time to lose weight or to make restrictive diets.
To combat lack of appetite, it is advisable to try different foods at the beginning of the day, which is when the body is more likely to receive food. In the face of vomiting or inability to get complete nutrition through a normal or modified diet, it is advisable to add a complete nutritional supplement that is designed to provide macro and micronutrients. Cancer patients who add oral supplements to their diet are better able to achieve their nutritional goals.
These supplements also have higher amounts of protein so that people can maintain their muscle mass and regain strength and energy during treatments.
3. How to combat stomach upset? In addition to appetite changes, gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may prevent the retention of nutrients needed during the treatment of this disease.
To combat stomach problems, it is advisable to eat frequent foods during the day instead of relying on three large meals. When choosing a food, it is recommended to choose the ones with the highest calorie and protein content, such as apples cut with peanut butter or apples and cheese.
4. About Sugar: According to the Cancer Institute of the United States, sugar does not cause cancer or accelerates cancer growth or interferes with cancer treatments. Some diseased cells simply have several glucose receptor channels in their membranes compared to healthy cells. From a scientific perspective, it only affects the way researchers detect cancer cells, not how cells grow, reproduce, or how the diet affects them.
However, high-sugar foods, often refined, do not have the nutrition necessary to keep the patient healthy throughout the treatment. This is what we call empty calories, which should be avoided because it provides only carbohydrates and not other important nutrients. It is important to focus on the healthy and balanced food consumption and not to give too much weight to the small amounts of sugar you can have.
5. How about soy? There are many myths surrounding soy and its relationship to the possible involvement of hormones in the body. However, products containing soy protein have not been associated with the growth or growth of cancer, as many people assume.
Even many studies have found that soy prevented cancer, such as premenopausal breast cancer. Soy is also rich in protein, which means it can help prevent muscle loss and keep the patient strong during treatment.