Cancer Healthy – Nutrition Goals During Cancer Treatment | El Camino Health

Cancer Healthy – Nutrition Goals During Cancer Treatment | El Camino Health


[Music] I’m Charis Spielman, certified specialist in oncology nutrition at the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center. We’re going to talk about nutrition goals during cancer treatment because a common question I receive is, “what can I eat and what should I eat?” And we want you to be able to eat your best to feel your best during cancer treatment. The three goals are eating adequate calories to prevent unplanned weight loss, increased protein and increased fluids. Adequate calories is important because you need energy for tissue healing and repair, so it’s a good idea to eat intentionally during treatment. That means sometimes you may have to eat according to the clock instead of according to hunger cues. You’ll be weighed about once a week when you come to clinic or infusion, and most people’s weight goes up and down a little bit, but what we want to do is prevent deep dives or increase in weight. The second goal is increased protein. Studies have shown that those going through cancer treatment have a higher need for protein. Protein comes from your animal sources, skinless poultry, fish, limiting red meat but using it not more than 18 ounces per week. Not forgetting about nuts and seeds and legumes, as well as dairy and plant proteins like soy and soy yogurts. To determine how much protein you need, it’s about a half a gram of protein per pound of body weight, so for instance, a hundred and fifty pound person would need at least 75 grams of protein a day, and a hundred and twenty pound person, sixty grams. We weigh ourselves in pounds and you measure protein in grams. And to make sure that you get adequate protein, a tip is every time you have a meal or snack, make sure one of these protein foods is part of that meal or snack. The third nutrition goal is increased fluids. You want to aim for eight to ten cups of fluid each day. Fluids can be anything that melts at room temperature. Your go to will be water, but it could also include seltzer water, 100 percent fruit juices, broth based soups, smoothies and decaffeinated teas. We can’t count coffee and tea as a hydrating fluid because they dehydrate you, but you certainly can have some of those as well. Keeping in mind these three nutrition goals of adequate calories to prevent unplanned weight loss, increased protein, increased fluids will help you eat your best and feel your best during treatment for cancer. I’m Charis Spielman, certified specialist in oncology nutrition at the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center. [Music]

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