Nutrition Before During and After Cancer

Information on nutritional needs for cancer patients


Leave a comment

Cook with Care

What if I told you, your vegetarian diet—the one designed to protect your health and your family’s health—could kill?!

Vegetables

Meh. That’d be a little dramatic. But look, there are a few ways to accidentally harm yourself or your dinner guests by preparing plants the wrong way, and a few of them aren’t obvious if you’ve never been taught. All cooks, especially new ones, should read up on the hidden dangers of seemingly harmless ingredients, and so… here we go.

The humble potato, an integral part of the world’s food supply, is definitely not toxic. But a potato abandoned and forgotten in your pantry will eventually turn green in places, or even sprout. That’s when you know the poison solanine is now present.

Green, sprouted potatoes

Throw away (or plant!) green or sprouted potatoes. Cooking with them will result in gastrointestinal illness at least, and eating enough can kill.

Image result for old potatoes

Yuca (cassava)

Cassava root, otherwise known as Yuca, is a staple food for over a half billion people and one of the most drought-resistant, pest-resistant sources of carbohydrates in the tropics. And why is it so pest-resistant, you ask? That would be all the cyanide.

Cassava, especially bitter cassava, contains cyanide and must be processed before consumption. Even soaking the product for a few hours will make a difference. Otherwise, unprocessed bitter cassava can kill if consumed in sufficient quantities

Image result for cassava yuca

Rhubarb leaves

Rhubarb is a sour, red, celery-like stalk most often used in desserts like the ever-popular strawberry rhubarb pie. Rhubarb stalks are a great ingredient, but avoid the leaves: they’re high in oxalic acid, which causes kidney failure. Just 25 grams of oxalic acid would kill, but you’d need to eat 11 pounds of rhubarb leaves to get there.

Image result for Rhubarb leaves

Asparagus berries

You’ll never see these in a grocery store but apart from the safe stems, the asparagus plant also produces red, poisonous berries. So if you ever find yourself on an asparagus farm or something, don’t eat the berries—even a handful will make you vomit

Image result for Asparagus berries

Tomato vines & leaves

Technically tomatoes aren’t vegetables, but we’re still not putting them in fruit salads. And technically tomatoes aren’t toxic either, but their leaves and stems may be slightly poisonous. In fact, tomatoes were widely feared in medieval times.

These days we rarely see tomatoes plated with anything other than the red fruit, but if you’re served tomatoes “on the vine,” don’t eat the vine. Tomatine found in the stems and leaves are said to cause headaches and dizziness.

Image result for Tomato leaves

Raw lima beans

Lima beans contain a toxin called limarin, which is only neutralized by cooking the beans for 15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to throw raw lima beans on salads, and don’t slow-cook raw beans without boiling first. Limarin is fatal at high doses, but even a couple raw lima beans can cause gastrointestinal distress. Canned is fine

Image result for raw lima beans toxic

Raw kidney beans

Raw kidney beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, a toxic lectin, and must be boiled for 10 minutes before use in any recipe, including slow cooking. In fact, slow cooking raw kidney beans that haven’t been boiled multiplies the toxicity.

Raw kidney beans have killed rats in lab tests. In fact, just like gluten, avoidance diets targeting lectins like phytohaemagglutinin are starting to gain popularity.

Image result for raw kidney beans can kill you

Underripe tomatillos

Each tomatillo grows on the vine shrouded by a papery “lantern,” which begins to dry and peel off on its own once the tomatillo is ripe. There’s some debate on whether or not the tomatillo inside is toxic before the lantern peels, but the fruit is sour at this stage anyway, and probably not worth the risk. All other parts of the plant—including the lantern, leaves, and stem—are poisonous, so wash your tomatillos well.

Image result for Underripe tomatillos

Mystery mushrooms

Grocery store ‘shrooms are harmless, of course. But with the popularity of wild mushroom foraging on the rise, it’s important to remember the average forest isn’t all morels and chanterelles. Some mushrooms, like the intimidating “death cap” amanita phalloides, can kill in one bite. Unless you’re an expert or you brought one along, don’t taste anything until you’re sure.

Image result for death cap mushrooms

 

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Cancer and wound Healing

Wound Healing

There are several factors that influence wound healing, and it can be especially difficult for patients on chemo therapy.

Factors that can influence wound healing may include:

Age. The older you are slower the healing process, exercise can help improve the healing process for older adults, the female hormone estrogen helps with healing, so women tend to heal better. Diabetes can slow the healing process, use of certain medications like steroids and chemotherapy, radiation, use of alcohol, smoking, poor nutrition and being overweight can all slow down the healing process.

Good Nutrition can help with the Healing process

Nutrition is important for healing for those surgical wounds or pressure ulcers. There are some key nutrients involved in this process, paying attention to them will reduce you hospital stay and help with wound healing.

Protein

Protein helps to build healthy tissue as the wound heals. The amount you need depends on your body weight, a Dietitian will be able to give you the grams of protein you will need for healing. Track your intake by keep a good food log, to do this you will have to read the food label to figure out the amount of protein in a particular food.

Some good protein sources are, all kinds of meats, eggs, dairy and dairy products, beans, tofu etc.

Protein

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, it can be obtained from fruits and vegetables and low Vitamin C is a rare thing. This vitamin plays a big role in wound healing. High doses of this Vitamin are not recommended, start this vitamin supplementation only if recommend by your doctor. Dietary source should be your first go to.

Vitamin C

Zinc

This Mineral deficiency can happen to people with celiac disease, Crohn’s, short bowel syndrome and sickle cell diseases, some vegetarian and alcoholics as well. Zinc can be lost during processing of grains, look for whole grains and fortified breakfast cereals, red meats, beans, peas and Lentils are some other good sources. Zinc supplementation should be started in consultation with your Dietitian and should not be taken for more than 3 months.

Zinc-Rich-Foods

 

 


Leave a comment

Tea Time

Tea Time

Tea is a source of many different types of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which may have wide-ranging health benefits. Black, green, white, and oolong are the most common forms of tea, and all come from different parts of the same plant. Herbal teas come from the flowers or roots of non-tea plants. Most of the research on tea has focused on green tea, because it is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. The major phytochemicals in green tea include gallic acid, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

 

Possible benefits of tea

Green Tea

Stroke: Some animal studies have shown that green tea might help prevent stroke.

Cancer: Animal studies and cell studies have shown that extracts of green tea and tea polyphenols might help prevent the development and growth of many forms of cancer by limiting the growth of tumors, and stimulating the destruction of cancer cells.

Weight loss: Some studies have shown that, the green tea catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) does aid weight-loss efforts. Some evidence shows that the polyphenol content of tea can increase endurance during exercise because of improved fat metabolism (Roberts et al., 2015).

Black Tea

Memory: It does appear hopeful that either green or black tea may help to slow the memory decline that occurs with aging. In one large study, it appears that people who drank either kind of tea at least five times a week had roughly a 30% slower rate of decline on annual Mini-Mental State Examinations than those who did not consume any tea.

Cardiovascular disease: The study of tea in relation to cardiovascular disease remains inconclusive regarding catechin effects on lipid levels, blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. The US Food and Drug Administration has deemed the evidence regarding green tea and heart health as “supportive, but not conclusive.”

Diabetes: Findings on diabetes and tea also are inconclusive, and the evidence seems even less convincing as more studies are completed.

Tea

Osteoporosis: A recent meta-analysis which examined the association between tea drinking and the risk of osteoporosis found that tea consumption can increase bone mineral density, but the researchers were unable to draw any conclusions about whether it can prevent fractures due to osteoporosis

Tooth decay: Both black and green teas seem to inhibit bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Parkinson’s disease: A study published in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders found that coffee, black tea, Japanese tea, and Chinese tea all decreased the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Immune function and autoimmune disease: Research from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University shows that green tea increases the number of regulatory T cells that play a key role in immune function and suppression of autoimmune disease.

Tea terminology

Polyphenols: These are chemicals found in many foods, including tea. They are antioxidants.

Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scores: ORAC is a measure of antioxidants. Tea and many fruits and vegetables are ranked on the ORAC score.

Flavonoids: These polyphenols may have anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties.

Catechins: These are a form of flavonoids.

EGCG: EGCG is the catechin most present in tea and the catechin most studied for health benefits. EGCG is not fully absorbed by the body and is not “readily available” to the body.

Bottled teas

Bottled Tea

A bottle of a popular tea beverage is not likely to do much for you. The content of actual tea in these drinks is very minor. To obtain any benefits from tea, freshly brewed tea is a much better option.

Decaffeinated tea

It is not known whether decaffeinated teas have the same polyphenols or level of polyphenols as traditional brews.

Milk in tea

Tea with Milk

Originally, it was thought that milk blocked the absorption of catechins. It is now known that it does not, unless you plan to make your tea with milk and then let it sit for 1 hour or longer before drinking it.

Tea Time 2

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Fat phobia

saturated-fat

Saturated fat, found in fatty animal foods like meats and dairy products, raises blood levels of cholesterol and is not healthy, but olive oil is beneficial for cardiovascular health and body weight. Olive oil, like canola, avocado and nut oils, is monounsaturated, and while it has as many calories as meat and dairy fat, it does not raise blood cholesterol or cause fat-clogging deposits in blood vessels. Human bodies do require intake of some fat. Not only does fat provide energy, it aids in nutrient absorption, provides essential fatty acids needed for various structures and molecules throughout the body, and contributes to satisfaction and fullness with food.

Healthy Oils

Low or Fat free
Food manufacturers have long produced reduced-fat and fat-free versions of many foods that were traditionally high in fat. Now it is simple to purchase items like cheeses, baked goods, crackers, ice creams, and salad dressings, among others, with less fat than the original product contains. Here is the catch: food manufacturers know that their reduced- and fat-free foods must still taste good in order to make sales. This often results in the addition of other ingredients in excess of what would normally be included, such as sugar or salt.

Low fat foods

Fat intake is linked to blood cholesterol. Eating unsaturated fats can decrease levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol, and possibly help to increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Eating saturated and trans fats will increase LDL cholesterol, high LDL levels are often harmful. Trans fats, which are used in some commercial bakery products and fried foods, are unhealthy and should be avoided.

So, which foods should be eaten in their full-fat forms?

  • Yogurt: Plain yogurt or one without a lot of added sugar is best.

Yogurt

  • Frozen yogurt and ice cream: Lower fat, frozen desserts are likely higher in sugar, and may not be as satisfying as the full-fat version.

Yoghurt Berry Popsicle

  • Granola: Much of the fat in granola comes from healthy oils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Always check the label to be sure, and watch out for large amounts of added sugar.

Granola

  • Salad dressing: Full-fat salad dressing helps the body absorb several of the vitamins in the salad. Plus, lower fat salad dressings often include more sugar and starches as thickeners. Salad dressings made with olive or canola oil are the most heart-healthy.

salad-dressings

  • Butter: Butter is a saturated fat, but it may be a healthier choice than many margarines, or coconut oil. Use it in moderation, and wherever possible, substitute olive oil.
  • Peanut or other nut butter: Most of the fats in nut butters are unsaturated fats, and have been shown to have health benefits. Check the label to make sure there is no hydrogenated fat added, and no to minimal added sugar.

Peanut Butter

  • Avocados and olives: The fat in both of these foods is largely monounsaturated, and should be included as part of a healthy diet. Caution: both are high in calories, so eat them in moderation.

avocado-oil


Leave a comment

Eating Out

Dining Out1

Dining out is a challenge for anyone looking to eat healthy, between the large portions and rich food, your goal of self-control can quickly go out the window.
The key is to approach the meal with a strategy.
Look at the menu in advance and decide what you’re going to order before you arrive at the restaurant, because diners tend to consume more calories when they make a decision closer to the actual meal. Avoid words like “fried,” “cream” and “battered.”
Also look for “hidden land mines. Consider butter, for example. It can be melted over steak, brushed on a bun or tossed with vegetables. Mayonnaise usually finds its way into potato salad. Cream is often used to enrich soups. These ingredients may not be listed on the menu

Small Portion1

Don’t order everything at once. You can always order more food, and the proliferation of small plates makes it easier to order as you go. That way, you don’t end up overeating. Also, if you find portion control challenging, it can help to box up a part of your meal before you start eating.

Try to be the first person to order. By starting things off, you set the tone for the meal, you won’t be swayed by what your friends are getting. Seek out lean proteins and vegetables. Lean proteins, such as chicken and fish, can make you feel full without a lot of calories. “Grilled,” “broiled,” “poached,” “lightly sautéed” and, for sauces, “on the side” are all good signs.

Lean Protien

Salads aren’t always the best option. You don’t always know what’s in the dressing, and there can be a lot of it. Feel free to ask for it on the side, and keep in mind that salads tossed with oil and vinegar are often a better option. Avoid heavy salads especially that have proteins as breaded chicken tenders (grilled is better) and such garnishes as croutons and large amounts of cheese.

Alcohol portions

Cut back on the alcohol. The federal government’s U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest women consume no more than seven drinks per week, men twice that much. (A drink is considered to be about 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1½ ounces of liquor.) If you imbibe, stick to the basics — a shot with such no-calorie mixers as club soda, or a glass of wine, for example.

Dessert Sharing

Split dessert with your dining companions. Fruit-based sorbets are a good alternative if you want to eat more dessert without too many calories.
Recognize when you’re full. Even with careful ordering, it can be easy to overeat, especially among the distractions of a lively environment and friends.

Boxed Leftovers


Leave a comment

Meet a Registered Dietitian this year

RD

New Year brings with it a lot of hopes, promises and resolutions, one of those promises that you make should be about watching what and how much you eat.

The daily promises about curative powers of everything from pet ownership to meditation. And various doctors discussing another superfood, it’s easy to see why most of us get confused about what we ought to be eating, taking or doing to optimize our health and when to seek advice from a Registered dietitian to learn the truth rather than listen to fluff.

RDN

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 18 percent of Americans use herbal supplements. That’s more than twice the rate of the next-most-popular complementary medicines, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation (8.5 percent) and yoga (8.4 percent).In addition, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says that 92 percent of Americans believe massage therapy is an effective treatment for reducing pain.

People are highly motivated now to try to stay healthy by taking vitamins, herbs and nutraceuticals, or by seeking out complementary and alternative medical treatments. People need to discuss these with their doctors and dietitian.

Vitamins, herbs and supplements

Traditional medicine, unfortunately, does focus on treating disease. Treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms of illness is becoming more mainstream and even conventional physicians are increasingly likely to discuss the nutraceuticals and wellness therapies patients have already prescribed for themselves.

Personal touch

Registered dietitians provide nutritional counseling, answer food/diet related questions, to become healthy and stay healthy, rather than just looking for Diet when sick.


Leave a comment

That sweet tooth

It would be a lot easy if we could extract them, but we have to make a conscious effort to overcome those cravings and once accomplished it becomes a life style and avoiding sweets a habit.

Some ways to overcome and change this habit

Remember added sugar increases risk of Obesity, Diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. Avoid foods and drinks with added sweetening, be it natural or artificial, even so called caloric free. Artificial sweeteners, sugar, honey and agave are all added sugars.

Stay away from junk foods dressed as healthy, read the “Nutrition facts labels” if sugar is listed in the top three ingredients avoid it. Some good examples are store bought granola, ready to eat breakfast cereals, protein bars, protein smoothies.

Healthy Junk Food

Always have a shopping list and shop with intent, start with the produce section, dairy and then meat and fish section of any grocery store. Secondly move to the canned section for beans, canned fish and grains and spices. Never ever shop when hungry.

Shopping-List

Do not use caloric free or sugar free alternatives, even the naturals once like stevia. Sugar substitutes will maintain that sweet tooth which will make it difficult to say no to desserts.

Stevia

Buy and keep snacks ready with protein, good fat and fiber to combat those craving.

Redefine dessert, it should include dark chocolate, dehydrated fruits and of course fresh fruits.

dark-chocolate

Identify your weakness and prepare for that, then set a day of the week to have your favorite dessert if you must.

Do not treat yourself with dessert, cakes or any type of sweets, personally I would prefer shoes, and my husband prefers golf, but you can set a goal for a nonfood reward for celebrating your successes.

Avoid the “Low fat” trap, low fat foods will have higher refined carbohydrate, often sugar or its substitute, as a general rule avoid them.

light-fat-free-foods