It’s always important to eat healthy, but it is especially important while you are fighting cancer.
Since cancer and cancer treatments can affect your taste, smell, appetite and the ability to eat enough food or absorb nutrients from food, your body can easily become malnourished.
The American Cancer Society lists six potential indicators of malnutrition, including unexpected weight loss, low energy, weakness and loss of muscle mass. If you have two or more of these characteristics, you may be malnourished. Keep in mind, obesity is not an indicator of being well-nourished. Obesity can mask malnutrition in a condition called sarcopenic obesity.
Although you may not feel like eating, getting proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight are important aspects throughout your treatment and in your recovery. Staying nourished can keep you strong and give you energy as you undergo treatment. It can help you fight infection and heal. Eating well can also help you cope physically and emotionally with the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
When your appetite is low, try the following tips to stay nourished:
You can also try to exercise lightly before meals to stimulate your appetite. Exercise can help you maintain your energy and muscle mass as well.
If you continue to have trouble eating, talk to your physician. Your registered dietitian can help with meal planning.
How do you maintain a balanced diet? Tell us in the below comments.
Learn more about cancer services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Eating healthy during cancer treatment
Eat this or that: eating well and fighting cancer
If you have reached this screen, your current device or browser is unable to access the full Edward-Elmhurst Health Web site.
To see the full site, please upgrade your browser to the most recent version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you cannot upgrade your browser, you can remain on this site.