Nutrition Before During and After Cancer

Information on nutritional needs for cancer patients

Snacks that work


The difference between a snack that has staying power and one that leaves you hungry an hour later is Protein. This nutrient slows digestion and keeps blood sugars steady.

Here are some healthy snack ideas for people who are unable to eat enough at mealtime’s to get adequate amount of protein and maintain that muscle mass.

Cottage Cheese


Protein: 20 grams per 5-ounce serving

A single-serving container of nonfat cottage cheese boasts 3 grams more protein than a typical serving of Greek yogurt and it gives you 125 milligrams of calcium.

Hard boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

Protein: 6 grams per egg

Eggs are a powerhouse breakfast or snack when enjoyed in moderation. In addition to protein, the egg gives you a hearty dose of vitamin D and vitamin B-12. Convenience and grocery stores sell hardboiled eggs in packages of two, so they’re great when traveling or when you are too tired.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Protein: 8 grams per 1.15-ounce pack

A single-serving portion of peanut butter contains 190 calories and is made with just peanuts and palm fruit oil—no added sugars, eat with an apple or a banana, to up the antioxidants and fiber.

String Cheese


Protein: 6 to 8 grams per serving

Personal packages of cheese like Mini Babybel wheels or Sargento sticks are great; they’re individually wrapped for easy portability. The portion is small enough and can be had with a fruit.

Single serve oatmeal packets


Protein: About 4 grams per packet or cup

Just add hot water, stir, and you’ve got a warm bowl of protein- and fiber-packed oats in minutes. Slice a banana, some berries or add walnuts or almonds. To increase protein content make the oats with milk.



Protein: 8 grams per half cup

In addition to protein, a 90-calorie microwave package of edamame (soybeans in their pods) supplies 3 grams of fiber. One serving of dry roasted edamame has even more protein: 14 grams.

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

Protein: 7 grams per quarter-cup serving

These beans offer 5 grams each of protein and fiber. Better yet, a daily serving of dietary pulses like chickpeas (as well as beans, lentils, and peas) can lower LDL cholesterol levels. Make your own by mixing rinsed and drained chickpeas in a bowl with olive oil and your choice of spices, like chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper and then baking them in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 45 minutes.


Tall Tales…

Certain nutrition-related misconceptions have been passed along for decades that they’ve been accepted as facts.

We should all drink 8 eight-ounce cups of water daily.

Glass of water

It’s not clear just how or where this recommendation originated, but it’s misleading for a couple of reasons. First, 64 ounces isn’t necessarily how much we all should be consuming. Secondly, it doesn’t have to be just pure water.
A more accurate way to determine your individual fluid requirement is to divide your body weight in half – that’s approximately how many ounces you need daily. (For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds would need 75 ounces of fluid per day). If you lose large amounts of sweat through exercise or working in the heat, add another 16 ounces for every pound of sweat lost.
For some, this can add up to 150-plus ounces of fluid daily, but that doesn’t have to mean carrying around a jug of water everywhere you go. Fluid can come from a variety of sources, including fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and soup, as well as coffee and tea.

Caffeinated beverages are dehydrating.

coffee-beans-cup Soda

Alcohol-containing beverages do not add to hydration due to their diuretic effects, an abundance of research has shown that caffeine-containing beverages like coffee and tea can count toward our fluid intake, the key word here is caffeinated beverages. Caffeine itself is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine output, so caffeine pills and shots are dehydrating. But the volume of water in standard servings of tea, coffee, and even soft drinks serves to more than offset caffeine’s diuretic effect.
Use caution we do not want majority of our fluid intake to come from caffeinated drinks; most health organizations recommend that we limit our caffeine intake to 300 milligrams a day, the amount found in approximately three cups of coffee.

Only Red Wine has health benefits.


Red wine has additional health benefits from the antioxidant-rich grape skins and seeds that are retained in the wine-making process, but all types of alcohol, including white wine, beer and liquor, are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Moderate consumption of alcohol, is not more than one drink a day for women, and two for men, can raise ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, help prevent blood clots, and decrease levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that’s linked to increased heart attack risk.

Protein powders and drinks are harmful to kidneys.

Consuming adequate protein is important for growth and maintenance of muscle mass, plus it has satiety value, you’re less likely to overeat later. And while there’s nothing special or miraculous about protein powders, drinks, and shakes, they can be a portable, convenient way to add a boost of protein to meals and snacks.
A serving of many of the popular protein powders, drinks, and shakes has 17 to 25 grams of protein, about what you get in two to three ounces of skinless chicken breast, yet there’s concern that supplementing with protein can stress the kidneys.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (approximately 0.36 grams per pound), though the Institute of Medicine doesn’t have an upper limit for protein intake; instead recommending simply that protein intake contribute 10 to 35 percent of total calories.
For athletes and other physically very active people, a protein intake of 1.4 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight (approximately 0.63 to 0.86 grams per pound) has been shown to be safe, and also may enhance training and performance. There’s no significant evidence that supplementing with protein damages kidney function in healthy people.

All saturated fat is bad for you.


The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that we get less than 10 percent of our calories from saturated fat, and less than 7 percent to further reduce the risk of heart disease. For an average 1,800-calorie diet, this translates to an upper limit of 14 to 20 grams of saturated fat per day.
But recent studies suggest that saturated fats might not raise our risk of heart disease as previously thought, and that certain plant-based saturated fats may have a neutral – or even positive – effect on cholesterol.
Most of the saturated fat found in chocolate, for example, is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that appears to have a neutral impact on our cholesterol levels. And a few studies have suggested a positive correlation between coconut oil and higher levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, especially when coconut oil is used in place of animal-based saturated fats like butter. These plant-based saturated fats are still calorie-dense, around 120 calories per tablespoon, so keep an eye on the portion size.

Eggs are not good for heart health.


Eggs have been shunned for decades, ever since the 1970s when they were tagged as a culprit for raising cholesterol levels. And nearly 40 years later, the belief that eggs are bad for us still prevails, despite the fact that multiple studies have shown no correlation between eggs and heart disease.
The reality is that eggs are low in saturated fat (1.5 grams per large egg), and most major health organizations say that they’re fine in moderation, as long as we limit our intake of other cholesterol-containing foods. However, it is wise to limit your intake to three or four eggs a week. when it comes to limiting eggs for cardiovascular purposes, we’re only talking about the yolks. Egg whites are primarily protein and only 16 calories each.