Nutrition After Cancer Treatment

—My good friend Lori who often discusses the importance of living a healthy life on her website eatfithealth.com has graciously agreed to put together some pertinent information regarding the importance of nutrition after cancer treatment.  The below information is something we should all be aware of as we try to make healthy life choices for ourselves going forward. Please feel free to check out more of what eatfithealth.com has to offer including nutritional counseling, the latest on allergy information and diabetes education as well. Thank You Lori!!

There are many risk factors for cancer http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes and it is something that no one wants. On this last day of National Breast Cancer Awareness month it is a great time to discuss the Top 10 Recommendations for Cancer Prevention from the American Institute for Cancer Research – AICR. These recommendations are based on information from the most comprehensive review of cancer and nutrition, the World Cancer Research Fund’s/AICR’s landmark second expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. These recommendations should be followed after those with breast cancer or any other cancer complete their treatment.

AICR Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

  1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
  5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
  7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
  8. Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
  9. * It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods.
  10. * After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

*Special Population Recommendations

Here is a list of specific foods that may fight cancer. The key to the nutrition portion of these recommendations is that real food is best and not supplements. By eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes and less processed foods you will get more nutrients and phytochemicals , which have many health benefits.  Eat a variety of foods and eat the rainbow with an emphasis on brightly colored or strong flavored fruits and vegetables!

Another way to think about what you eat is to visualize your plate and what foods it contains as well as the portion sizes. The New American Plate is a great tool for us all to improve what we eat by looking at what we eat everyday. Good nutrition may help lower not only your cancer risk, but your risk of chronic diseases and can help you manage your body weight!

Check out some of AICR’s recipes including black bean brownies.  Take a little time and think about which of the 10 AICR recommendations for cancer prevention you can improve on and take steps today to live healthier!

Be Well,

Lori

One response to “Nutrition After Cancer Treatment

  1. The few exceptions of when people should take what supplement provided in this article are good, but I would not make the general statement that other than these exceptions, supplements are bad and can upset a balance, People who get cancer and other illnesses do so largely because they already have imbalances. I would say if you take supplements, which ones, and how much, depends on your very individual situation. And know that in the US about 90 percent of us are Vitamin D deficient. Almost every woman needs calcium by a certain age, and calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3 work together for best absorption of all nutrients each provide.

    Also, most doctors get less than 25 hours of nutrition training so I would only consult with a doctor who has done extensive study in nutrition, which would usually be an MD focused on integrative or functional medicine or a well-trained naturopath. As this article stated, a good nutritionist is a reliable source too.

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