Health Corner – Nutrition Episode
Nutrition plays a vital role throughout a patient’s cancer treatment. Up to 85% of cancer patients suffer from malnutrition, which contributes to 10-20% of cancer-related mortality (Silva et al, 2015). Factors like nausea, fatigue, and lack of time can inhibit patients with cancer from consuming adequate nutrition. Promoting the consumption of nutrient-dense meals and snacks allows patients with cancer to nourish their bodies with the essential calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals they need during treatment.
A healthful diet is not only important and challenging for our patients to achieve, but also for their caregivers and their care team. Clinicians are busy, tired, and often eat out of convenience. Clinicians must prioritize good nutrition to ensure they can continue to care for themselves and their families, along with their patients and caregivers.
A simple place to start is with nutrient dense whole foods. Examples include hard boiled eggs, roasted almonds, cheese sticks, fruit with nut or seed butter, or vegetables with guacamole or hummus. With a little preparation, you can have tasty on-the-go snacks that offer a bit more variety. Check out the included tasty, nutrient dense recipes for inspiration.
For more information on oncology nutrition, reach out to your team’s Registered Dietitian or visit the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics website (www.eatright.org) to find an expert in your area. You can also search for nutrition resources for patients and caregivers at cancerhelp.moqc.org.