Nutrition Before During and After Cancer

Information on nutritional needs for cancer patients


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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

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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.


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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


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Special Diets during Holidays

People with allergies like nuts and gluten.

When you set out to meet family and friends for Thanksgiving, you can take nut-free chocolate, gluten-free banana bread and containers of stuffing – a nut-free and or a gluten-free version.

This can be a challenge but you can coordinate with your hosts and take some foods that you are certain are allergen free so you or your children can enjoy and be a part of this family celebration.

One in six parents has a teenager who has tried either a vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan or paleo diet within the last two years.

Among those parents whose children followed restricted diets, over half said they thought the diets had a positive impact on their child’s health, while 41 percent believed it had no health impact, and 7 percent thought it was bad for the child’s health.

The poll found that the vegetarian diet was the most popular: 9 percent of teenagers nearly one in 10 had tried it. Six percent had tried a gluten-free diet, 4 percent a vegan diet and 2 percent a paleo diet.

But while 11 percent of parents forbade their child to embark on a special diet, only 17 percent had asked a nutrition expert for advice. Please consult a professional before embarking on a new diet, not only to make sure the child will get all the nutrients needed, but also to discuss the child’s motivations and help screen anyone with an underlying eating disorder whose real motivation is losing weight.

The survey found that teenagers’ reasons for starting restrictive diets varied.

Each diet presents its own set of potential nutritional pitfalls. Vegans need to make sure they get enough protein as well as vitamin B12, iron, calcium and vitamin D, while those following a paleo diet, and may need vitamin D and fiber. And everyone needs to get sufficient calories.

Special diets can be a source of tension during the holidays, the survey found, and over half of parents whose teenagers follow special diets said the diets caused conflict at family gatherings. The teenagers don’t like to be belittled for something that, for them, is a serious choice, and the parents feel judged based on what their kids do.

Developing a strategy in advance may help teenagers feel their choices are respected, and minimize disruption. Teenagers who adopt a special diet are often exploring their identity and declaring their independence, and parents can take advantage of family get-togethers to demonstrate their support for their child’s choices, and carry the food with them that is acceptable to their child.

Most people respect if you are allergic to something but do not feel compelled to accommodate optional choices like being a vegan or a vegetarian.

But keep in mind that rejecting someone’s signature dish may appear insensitive or downright rude. Tensions may be eased if family members are informed of the child’s dietary preference in advance or if a child is willing to compromise and taste a small portion.


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Your Thanksgiving table

Five recipes with cancer-fighting foods

Cranberries:

Cranberries

These bright red gems contain vitamin C, dietary fiber and anthocyanins, compounds well-studied for their cancer-fighting properties.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup dried, sweetened cherries
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries or frozen, unsweetened if fresh not available
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Directions

In small bowl, soak cherries in cider for 30 to 60 minutes.

In heavy, large saucepan, combine cranberries, cherries with soaking liquid, sugar, cinnamon and cloves, and bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, uncovered, until cranberries pop and soften, but are not mushy, about 15 minutes. If using frozen cranberries, berries may not pop but they will soften; do not let them collapse completely. Spoon hot sauce into decorative serving bowl or other container and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate cooled sauce for 8 hours to allow flavors to meld. Spiced Cranberry Sauce keeps up to 3 days, tightly covered in refrigerator.

Makes 2 cups, 8 servings (1/4 cup per serving).

Per serving: 74 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 19 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 5 mg sodium

Sweet potatoes:

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes with their orange flesh are packed with beta-carotene, a carotenoid with antioxidant properties that may inhibit cancer cell growth and improve immune response. The brighter the orange color of the flesh, the more beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes also are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary

Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary

  • 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise in 8 wedges
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, and a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive or canola oil
  • Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place wedges in large bowl. Add rosemary, garlic powder, mustard and oil. Toss to coat well. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet, making sure not to overlap potatoes. Bake 15 minutes. Turn wedges over and bake 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft and beginning to brown.

Lightly season to taste with salt. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 146 calories, 7 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate,
2 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 54 mg sodium.

Green beans:

Green Beans

Cooked green beans contain 4 grams of cancer-preventive fiber per cup, plus some vitamin A and potassium. This casserole dish also features mushrooms, which contain the mineral selenium and compounds called ergosterols; both substances may help to reduce cancer risk.

Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

green beans and mushroom casserole

  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen green beans
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 oz. white mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 4 to 6 pieces
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. rice or all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat 11-inch x 7-inch (2 quart) baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In large pot of boiling water, cook green beans until almost tender, 5 minutes. Drain in colander, and then transfer beans to bowl of ice water. When beans are cool, drain well and spread in prepared baking dish.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until browned, 8 minutes, stirring often. Scoop onion into small bowl, add panko, and mix with fork to combine well. Set topping aside.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they look wet, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender, 5 minutes, stirring often. Add mushroom mixture to green beans.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pan. Sprinkle flour over oil and cook, using a wooden spoon to stir and scrape mushroom and garlic bits from bottom of pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, lowering heat as needed to prevent flour from browning. Pour in milk while stirring vigorously. When sauce boils, reduce heat and simmer until spoon leaves a wide path and sauce is thick enough to coat spoon well, 5-7 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and add cayenne pepper Add sauce to vegetables, and stir to combine. Then spread in an even layer.

Sprinkle topping over casserole and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until topping is crunchy and mostly golden brown. Let casserole sit 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 210 calories, 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 29 g carbohydrate,
7 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 95 mg sodium.

Whole grains (Bread) :

Whole grains Bread

All whole grains contain fiber. There are several ways fiber may lower risk, including promoting healthful bacteria growth. Whole grains may also help with weight control; excess body fat increases the risk of eleven cancers.

  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  •  1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups water (start with the smaller amount)
  •  3 Tbsp. canola oil
  •  2 Tbsp. brown sugar, firmly packed, or 2 Tbsp. honey may be substituted
  •    1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  •  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 1/4 tsp. salt
  •  3/4 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped or crushed

 Directions

1.In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until dough starts to leave sides of bowl.

2.Transfer dough to lightly greased or floured surface. Knead 6 to 8 minutes or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead dough in electric mixer or food processor or bread machine set to “dough.”)

3.Transfer dough to lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl and allow dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.

4.Transfer dough to a lightly oiled work surface and shape into 8-inch log. Tuck ends under as you place log in lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow bread to rise for about 90 minutes until domed about 1-inch above edge of pan. A finger pressed into dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

5.Bake bread in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Test for doneness by removing from pan and thumping on bottom it should sound hollow. Or measure interior temperature with an instant read thermometer that should read 190 degrees at center of loaf.

6.When done, remove bread from pan and cool on wire rack before slicing. Store in plastic bag at room temperature.

Makes 16 slices.

Per serving: 150 calories, 7 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 180 mg sodium.

Apples:

Apple

High in fiber, particularly pectin fiber, apples help gut bacteria produce compounds to protect colon cells. Apples also are rich in the phytochemicals quercetin and epicatechin, which researchers are studying for their role in cancer protection.

Easy Baked Apples with Walnuts and Raisins

Easy Baked Apples with Walnuts and Raisins

  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples or any variety baking apple
  • 3 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3/4-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup apple cider

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray oven-proof glass pie dish.

Cut apples in half from top to bottom, core and peel. Lay halves flat and cut into medium slices. Place apple slices in large bowl.

In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture on apples and gently stir until apples are evenly coated with spices. Gently fold in walnuts and raisins.

Spoon apple mixture into prepared pie dish. Drizzle cider evenly over top.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Using spatula, carefully turn over apple mixture to get caramelized sauce from bottom of dish. Serve hot or let cool to room temperature, refrigerate and serve cold later.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 151 calories, 3.5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat),
31 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 5 mg sodium.


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Colorless Vegetables

Colorless

I have discussed many times about choosing colorful fruits and vegetables, since the darker and brighter the colour, the more nutrients and phytochemicals are packed in the produce.

Vegetables

Blueberries and raspberries, for instance, owe their deep blue and red hues to anthocyanins, powerful compounds thought to guard against cardiovascular disease and cancer and boost cognitive function.

Summer berries on white

Brightly coloured orange and green vegetables, such as spinach and carrots, are exceptional sources of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage.

Carrots and greens

We have been asked to avoid the white stuff like, white sugar, white flour, white rice etc. because colorless foods are missing fibre and protective phytochemicals and they’re a poor source of many nutrients. Many score high on the glycemic index scale, meaning that their carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin to rise rapidly.

Despite all this do not give up on some of the colorless. Despite their pale color, some are surprisingly plentiful in vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds.

These five nutritious white foods should be included in your diet.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms deliver good nutrition, One cup of raw whole mushrooms provides 20 per cent to 25 per cent of a day’s worth of niacin, a B vitamin that’s used to make stress hormones, improve circulation and reduce inflammation, have 21 calories and 3 grams of protein.

medley-mushrooms

Mushrooms are also an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant, helps make DNA and plays an important role in thyroid function. Mushrooms also supply potassium, copper and iron.

Potatoes

Potatoes are often thought to have little nutritional value, the white potato is surprisingly nutritious. One medium baked potato serves up 22 milligrams of vitamin C along with plenty of B6, folate and magnesium.

Potatoes 2

A medium potato has 941 mg of Potassium, 20 per cent of a day’s worth.

Potatoes can help ward off hunger, too. According to researchers from the University of Sydney, boiled white potatoes scored highest on the satiety index, a tool that ranks foods by their ability to satisfy hunger. Researchers tested 38 different foods, including breads, breakfast cereals, grains, fruits, protein-rich foods and snack foods.

Some varieties of white potato have a high glycemic index (GI), like russet potatoes but red and new potatoes have moderate GI scores.

The glycemic index of potatoes also depends on how you cook them.

Eaten cold (precooked) or reheated, potatoes have low to moderate GI value. Cooling cooked potato starch changes its structure making it resistant to digestion in the small intestine. Leave the skin on when you cook potatoes. It contains fibre and nutrients, and it helps retain the vitamin C in potatoes.

Parsnips

This vegetable has very little pigmentation, has all the disease-fighting phytochemicals or nutrients.

Parsnips Isolated on White

Parsnips are packed with falcarinol, a phytochemical with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Animal research suggests that falcarinol may reduce the growth of colon cancer cells. Parsnips contain five times more falcarinol than brightly coloured carrots.

Parsnips are also nutrient-dense. One cup of cooked parsnip, for example, serves up 5.5 g of fibre, 572 mg of potassium, 20 mg of vitamin C and almost one-quarter of a day’s worth of folate.

Enjoy parsnips roasted with herbs or cooked and mashed with other root vegetables such as carrot, turnip or sweet potato. Make parsnip chips. Slice parsnips thinly, brush with olive oil and bake until crisp.

Bananas

Bananas have a high potassium content 422 mg per one medium banana. They’re also an exceptional source of B6, a vitamin that’s needed for protein metabolism and to maintain healthy nerve and brain function. One medium banana supplies one-third of a day’s worth of the nutrient for adults aged 19 to 50 and 25 per cent of a day’s worth for older adults.

bananas

Bananas also provide fiber, vitamin C, folate, niacin and magnesium, and they also have a low glycemic index value of 51 (GI values less than 55 are considered low).

They have resistant starch so bananas are considered a prebiotic as well, a food that feeds beneficial gut bacteria.

Onions

This vegetable does more than add flavour to meals. It also provides a little vitamin C, folate, calcium and potassium.

Oninons

Onions are high in flavonols, phytochemicals that neutralize harmful free radicals and suppress inflammation. One particular flavonol, called quercetin, has been linked to protection from lung cancer, asthma and diabetes.

Observational research suggests that a moderate intake of onions may reduce the risk of colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian cancers.

Organosulfur compounds in onions, the same chemicals that give onions their distinctive flavour, have also been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-cancer and cholesterol and blood pressure lowering properties.

 


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Summer fruits and their secret

Summer Fruit

The pits and seeds of many fruits contain amygdalin — a plant compound that your body converts to cyanide after eating. Symptoms of cyanide exposure include dizziness, headache, nausea, a rapid heart rate and convulsions.

Amygdalin stays safely in the pit unless you crack it open and eat the substance inside. The flesh of the fruit contains very little of the compound. Stay away from the contents of the pit and eat only the fruit.

What is Amygdalin

The pits of green plums have the highest amygdalin content, followed by apricots, black plums, peaches and red cherries and then Apple seeds.

Suumer Fuits

An adult who eats more than three small raw apricot kernels, or less than half of one large kernel, in one sitting can exceed safe levels of the cyanide-releasing chemical, per European Food Safety Authority.  For toddlers, even one small apricot kernel is risky.

You’d have to chew and eat the seeds of about 18 apples in one sitting to consume a lethal dose of cyanide.

If you just swallow an apple seed or cherry pit intact, the amygdalin shouldn’t get into your system, the shell is hard enough to pass through the digestive system intact.

Heat deactivates the cyanide, so seeds are safe if processed properly, which may involve soaking, drying, cooking, canning and roasting or perhaps fermenting.

People often eat the pits intentionally; some like the taste of apple seeds, while others believe the almond-like substance has health benefits.

Apricot kernels are the basis for laetrile, a purified form of amygdalin, and have been marketed as a cancer cure, but laetrile has shown little anti-cancer effect in studies, the National Cancer Institute noted.

The FDA recently warned more than a dozen companies to stop making claims about herbal products marketed to treat or prevent cancer. Eating apricot kernels poses risk of cyanide poisoning warns the European Food Safety Authority.

Normal fruit consumption of fruits is good for health so enjoy the flesh and skipping the pit.