Nutrition

After treatment, maintaining a healthy weight and consuming a nutrient-rich diet are important to promote overall health and longevity when recovering from cancer. Nutrition during cancer survivorship is key to achieve a healthy living after cancer.

Nutrition for Cancer Survivors

Nutritional advice for cancer survivors

Guidelines for a healthy nutrition, appropriate to cancer survivors, can be used as a basis to create and follow a cancer survivor diet plan able to enhance physiological well-being and to reduce long term cancer treatment side-effects.
The important nutrients appropriate for people recovering for cancer and its treatment side effects are highlighted in this section.

​Fat

Healthy diet advice for cancer survivors

Fats are an essential component for a balance diet. However, not all fats benefit the human organism in the same way. There are different types of fats: Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Saturated and Trans-fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats mainly are derived from vegetables oils such as: canola olive, peanut oils, sunflower, corn, safflower and flaxseed should be preferred compared to the other types 

 

Source:
NHS Choices (n.d.). Fat: the facts. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/fat.aspx

Protein

Protein diet for cancer recovery

Adequate protein intake is important for the body to grow and repair itself.
Fish is an alternative essential source of protein, and contains a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Aim for at least two portions of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids

 

Source:
NHS Choices (n.d.). Eating a balanced diet - Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx#pulses

​Carbohydrate

Healthy carbohydrates for cancer survivors

Healthy sources of carbohydrate, such as vegetables, fruit, (apples, turnips, sweet potatoes, oats and pulses) whole grains and legumes, are rich in essential nutrients and a healthy source of energy. Among the different types of grain, it is better to select wholegrain varieties, or eat potatoes with their skins as they contain a major quantity of fibers.
It is important to note that fibers benefit the bowel, maintaining it healthy and providing a feeling of satiety.

 

Source:
NHS Choices (n.d.). Starchy foods and carbohydrates. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/starchy-foods.aspx

Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarian diet for cancer survivors

Vegetarian diets can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on your food choices.

Fish and dairy foods contain a sufficient quantity and quality of protein. In fact, compared to an omnivorous diet, a vegetarian diet can have many healthy characteristics tending to be low in saturated fat and high in fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals.

 

Source:
NHS Choices (n.d.). The vegetarian diet. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetarianhealth/Pages/Vegetarianmealguide.aspx

​Vegan Diets

Healthy vegan diet advice for cancer survivors

A vegan diet, which excludes all animal foods and animal products, can meet protein needs if nuts, seeds, legumes and cereal grain products are consumed in sufficient quantities, although supplemental vitamin B12 is likely to be necessary. As dietary vitamin D comes primarily from fortified dairy foods, a vegan diet may also need to include supplemental vitamin D if adequate exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light is not obtained.

 

Source:
NHS Choices (n.d.). The vegan diet. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetarianhealth/Pages/Vegandiets.aspx