Nutrition Before During and After Cancer

Information on nutritional needs for cancer patients


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These Foods can be part of a healthy diet

It is usually assumed that cutting certain foods from your diet will automatically make it healthy, or help with weight loss. However, if you’re solely focused on what you shouldn’t eat, you could be missing out on key benefits and nutrients and the pleasure of eating foods you really like that aren’t necessarily as damaging to your diet as you may think. The less you think exclusion, the more likely you’ll continue your healthy-eating habits long-term.

Here are some surprisingly healthy foods you might be missing out on:

Eggs

Eggs

Eggs have vitamin B-12, they are particularly important if you eat a mostly veggie-based diet. It’s the most biologically available protein. If you are worried about too much cholesterol, have egg whites.

Dairy

Dairy Products

Dairy has eight grams of protein, if you switch to soy, almond or coconut you lose all that, it is a great source of calcium and potassium, items like cheese and milk don’t usually make it into all the fancy diets . So, don’t ditch dairy for the wrong reasons. Keep cheese limited to a one-ounce serving, and stick to a cup of skim milk to keep calories in check.

Pasta

Pasta

People do not gain weight from eating pasta; they gain weight from eating too much pasta, serving size matters. Instead of creamy sauces, toss with olive oil, veggies, and a lean protein source like shrimp to balance out.

Potatoes

Potatoes

White potatoes have been deemed useless for some time now, they are a good source of fiber and potassium, and they’re not high in calories. It’s all in the way you prepare potatoes, the French fries, potato skins, baked potatoes with lot of cream and cheese are not the way to go, instead top your potatoes with salsa, Greek yogurt, or hummus.

Nuts

Pile of assorted nuts close up

They are an excellent source of healthy fats and protein. Portion them out — a serving is roughly the size of a shot glass. Just never eat them straight out of a container.

 Bread

Bread

Bread should be truly a source of whole grains (“whole wheat” should be the only flour you see on the label), so it’s rich in protein, fiber and other important nutrients.

Alcohol

red-wine

Alcohol can be a part of a well-balanced diet, keep your intake modest, rotating with water. A glass of red wine or a vodka soda with lime is a far, far better option than a piña colada. If you cut it all out, you may think you can’t be social — and all of a sudden, healthy eating becomes a chore instead of a better lifestyle choice.

Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Yes chocolate too. Research shows that consuming chocolate increases the antioxidants in our blood. Cocoa powder ranks as having the highest antioxidants of the chocolate products, followed by dark chocolate and milk chocolate, make it sugar free.


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The Chocolate

The health benefits of chocolate depend upon the type of chocolates you choose – and how many.

The Healthy Insides

Dark Chocolate

Most of the health benefits with dark chocolate relate to cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate is packed with flavonoids, a group of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. Research shows that consuming chocolate increases the antioxidants in our blood. Cocoa powder ranks as having the highest antioxidants of the chocolate products, followed by dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Studies link eating chocolate in moderation with heart health, including improving blood vessel function and lowering blood pressure. The flavonoids can slow the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” type). When LDL cholesterol becomes oxidized it can clog blood vessels.

Cocoa Powder

Given chocolate’s rich supply of flavonoids, researchers have also investigated whether it may play a role in cancer prevention. The studies in cancer prevention are still emerging. A recent review of studies on the cancer protective properties of cocoa concluded that the evidence is limited but suggestive.

Cacao Beans

From Cacao to Cocoa

Whatever the chocolate, it all begins with the cacao bean. First, the cacao bean is roasted and ground into thick chocolate liquor (non-alcoholic). This liquor, hardened, is unsweetened chocolate. When pressure is added to the liquor, it pushes out the bean’s fat, called cocoa butter. Cocoa powder is made by drying and sifting the remaining material from the liquor. Mix up some chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and milk, and the commercial chocolate treat emerges. In general, higher the percentage of cacao, the darker the chocolate, more intense the flavor and less room for sugar.

White chocolate contains cocoa butter but not any chocolate liquor; technically it is not chocolate. (It gets its name because it contains cocoa butter.)

Pick Your Pleasure

There are plenty of ways to get the same healthful plant compounds contained in chocolate, such as by eating fruits and vegetables. For chocolate lovers, you can enjoy it all. Whether it’s dark or milk, aim for the plain chocolates without sugar.