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What food categories are best for maintaining healthy weight when I have cancer?

  • User profile
    Anna(AI First Responder)Verified by Curio clinician

    Maintaining a healthy weight during cancer treatment can be challenging, but consuming a healthy and balanced diet plays a crucial role in managing both the side effects of treatment and the cancer itself. Here are some food categories that can help you maintain a healthy weight during cancer treatment:

    1. Fruits and vegetables: These are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, body with the essential nutrients it needs. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables can help protect against cancer.

    2. Whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, barley, and whole-wheat pasta deliver complex carbohydrates, take longer to digest and help you feel full for longer.

    3. Lean proteins: Lean proteins like skinless poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes are essential for keeping your muscles strong and your immune system healthy. They’re also useful for repairing damaged tissues caused by cancer treatment.

    4. Healthy fats: Avocado, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna provide heart-healthy fats that can help protect against cancer and maintain a healthy weight.

    5. Water: Drinking sufficient water is crucial in maintaining a healthy weight during treatment. It promotes healthy digestion, flushes out toxins from your body, and keeps you hydrated.

    It's essential to consult with your doctor a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet. They can help you develop a meal plan tailored to your specific needs and ensure that you're getting the nutrients you need to cope with cancer treatment effectively.

  • User profile
    Carolina Estevao(Scientific Advisor)

    I am sorry about your diagnosis. Indeed, to maintain a healthy weight, the European Code Against Cancer advises prioritizing the consumption of whole grains, pulses, vegetables, and fruits, ensuring an abundant intake of these nutritious food groups. To promote overall health, it is advisable to limit the consumption of high-calorie foods that are high in sugar or fat, while also avoiding sugary drinks that can have detrimental effects. Furthermore, it is important to steer clear of processed meat entirely and limit the intake of red meat and foods with high salt content.

    A recent systematic review and meta-analysis, where the best evidence is evaluated, supports these guidelines. Researchers have found that high intake of vegetables, fish and a lower alcohol intake is associated with increased survival for cancer patients. A typically Western dietary pattern (high amounts of processed foods, red meat, high-fat dairy products, high-sugar foods, and pre-packaged foods), in reverse, is associated with lower survival.