To find out more information on nutrition, please visit
our Cancer Project website at http://www.cancerproject.org.
You’ll find lots
of good information on cancer and diet. Diet’s effect on multiple myeloma (for example)
has not been thoroughly studied. But, research suggests that the effect of
good nutrition is to strengthen the immune cells that can attack and destroy
cancer cells, perhaps to weaken cancer cells directly.
Unfortunately, many cancer
patients undergoing chemotherapy find it hard to eat anything at all. That
doesn’t mean, however, they shouldn’t be eating at all and what they eat can
help speed their recovery. Below you will find information on what do eat
Meeting the Special Needs of the Cancer Patient with a Vegan Diet
Coping with taste changes:
a.. For those with an increased sense of strong or bitter tastes, the mild
flavor of some soy products can be a welcome change.
b.. For those with a metallic taste in their mouth, use plastic dishware
c.. Peanut butter, tofu and beans are bland foods that may be appealing.
d.. If taste blindness is a problem, using marinades and seasonings for
tofu and tempeh can enhance the flavor.
a.. Dry beans and peas, nuts, peanut butter, and seeds are examples of
foods commonly eaten by non-vegetarians, but perhaps not very often or in
small quantities. These can be maximized to supply a greater percentage of
calorie and protein requirements.
b.. Shakes can be made with soy milk, tofu, and non-dairy frozen desserts
and can be flavored with fruit, chocolate syrup, or extracts to make a
tasty, calorie-rich treat.
c.. Many varieties of trail mixes are readily available and great for
Quick and Easy High Calorie Vegan Snacks:
Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts
Soy Yogurt, Custards, and Puddings
Peanut Butter on Crackers or Fruit
Bean and Chunky Vegetable Soups
Dried Fruit, Nuts and Seeds
often the side-effect of medications; avoid strong odors; eat dry
foods such as toast, crackers, pretzels or other dry foods before getting up
and up to every 2 hours; avoid greasy, spicy, super sweet or fried foods;
avoid favorite foods at bedtime; choose cold or room temperature foods
Diarrhea: increase intake of fiber with pectin
Constipation: increase intake of fluids & fiber, including hot beverages &
What About Micronutrients?
A multivitamin/mineral supplement is often recommended for patients
undergoing cancer treatment, as you may not be able to eat a variety of
foods in sufficient amounts to meet your needs, whether following a
vegetarian diet or not.
If the patient does seem to have an appetite, I would encourage him to eat
the fruits and vegetables as recommended but I would avoid chicken
Even free range chicken and cold water fish contain fat and
cholesterol (fat may stimulate cancer growth) and neither contain the fiber
and antioxidants that can boost immune function.
For more information on
what diet is best for cancer prevention and for boosting the immune system,
please read our fact sheet on Food Choices for Health at
Brie Turner-McGrievy, MS, RD
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20016
202.686.2210, ext. 310
|Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.|
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