By: Candance Gabel,
MS, RD, LD,
Associate State Nutrition Specialist,
Family Nutrition Education Program,
College of Human and Environmental Sciences, Nutritional Sciences
Department Adapted from: Preventive and Therapeutic Nutrition
Nutrition and Lifeskills
for Missouri Families
People who undergo cancer treatment have
many side effects, which cause them to loose their appetite, become
dehydrated, and nauseated. Consequently weight loss and malabsorption may
occur. The following are methods to improve appetite, nutrient absorption
and to maintain a healthy weight while surviving cancer.
- Eat 5- 6 small meals per day
- Share meals with family and friends
- Try new locations for meals to help
stimulate appetite such as the backyard, park, in bed, scenic
- Drink a milkshake or nutritional
supplement 1-2 times per day.
- Select nutrient dense snacks such as
dried fruits, yogurt, custard, and puddings made with 2% milk, cottage
cheese with fruit.
- Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement
which supplies 100% RDA each day, but not on an empty stomach.
- Get plenty of fluids (water, juices,
soups, juice Popsicles/ice cubes)
- Women being treated for breast cancer
should consume low-fat, high-protein foods during therapy including:
low-fat (1%) mild, lean meats, poultry and fish, low-fat yogurt,
low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt, beans, lentils.
- Check your weight twice a week. If you
begin to lose greater than one pound per week, contact your physician
- Exercise after meals rather than before
to maintain a good appetite.
- For drug-nutrient interactions and diet
prescription contact a registered dietitian or your physician.
To Reduce Nausea
- Try saltine crackers, soup, or dry
- Wait one hour after your meal to drink
- Eat cold foods (they have less of an
Other Diet and Disease
Educational Support Materials:
Heart Disease Hypertension