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The importance of healthy nutrition for cancer patients

Healthy diet is an essential aspect during cancer treatment. Some guidelines can be helpful to encourage the patient to eat a balanced and sufficient diet.

Adequate nutrition is one of the keys to overall good health. When a person suffers from a disease such as cancer, the adequacy of their diet is not only important, but becomes an essential aspect to improve the quality of life and promote their evolution and response to treatment. Therefore, it should be a priority aspect during the disease process and that is why, in this blog we address in detail the importance of a healthy diet in cancer patients.

Diet in cancer patients

In general terms, the dietary guidelines for cancer patients do not differ from those applicable to the rest of the population. The diet should be balanced and the amounts adjusted to the needs of each person, without falling into overeating or very restrictive diets that may cause nutritional deficits.

Of course, specific considerations should be taken into account depending on the type of cancer and the treatment the person is receiving. However, it is generally observed that cancer treatments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplantation, etc.) often make it difficult for patients to eat.

Nutritional guidelines for cancer patients

Here are some interesting guidelines to take care of the nutrition of oncology patients.

1. Organization

Planning is a great ally to ensure that patients eat well and sufficiently. It is important to organize the weekly menu in advance and to take into account possible time interferences due to treatments.

2. Well-distributed meals

Ideally, meals should be distributed in larger doses, so as to avoid too heavy intakes. Since the appetite can be altered by the treatments, it is important to take advantage of those moments when hunger appears to eat a little more.

3. Individualized diet

It is clear that each cancer patient is different, so the diet plan should always be tailored to the individual’s particular needs and tastes. Meals that are appetizing can help to ensure that the intake is sufficient, even if the appetite is altered.

4. Bet on variety

It is essential that the diet is varied and that, as far as possible, all types of food are included. Ideally, seasonal products should be used and foods that are easy to digest should be offered. It is recommended that the basis of the diet be proteins such as fish and white meats, as well as carbohydrates such as pasta, bread or rice, as these provide energy. As important as the type of food is the way it is prepared, since it is always better to opt for low-fat methods that are not indigestible (grill, steam, oven…), as well as using olive oil in cooking.

It should also be noted that, in addition to the importance of healthy nutrition in cancer patients, the practice of sports is also very beneficial. In fact, exercising in a way that is adapted to the patient’s physical condition can strengthen the body and prepare it to cope with the side effects of treatments, reducing fatigue and weakness.

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