Foods That Support Cancer Patients

Foods That Support Cancer Patients

6:11pm Jun 16, 2014
A variety of vegetables and fruits support the bodies of cancer patients as they undergo difficult treatments.
Hayworth Cancer Center

A Triad group is helping people fight cancer one bite at a time.

Guide Posts of Strength is a non-profit advocacy group based in High Point. It’s hosting a survivorship series to educate cancer patients about various aspects of how to survive their disease.On June 16 at High Point Regional Hospital, the group is presenting a free cooking and dining event. People will learn what types of food can best support their bodies while getting cancer-fighting treatments. Erin Kline is an oncology dietician at the hospital’s Hayworth Cancer Center. She explains while every patient is different, there are some nutritional standards that will help everyone. “You want to incorporate fruits and vegetables, they have cancer fighting properties and all of the vitamins and minerals we need," says Kline.

She also urges patients to eat fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors. "It’s also important to choose whole-wheat products, grains, breads, brown rice, whole-wheat pastas," explains Kline. "When thinking about sugar, stay away from cookies, cakes, pies and lean more towards fruits and vegetables to get your carbohydrates.” Kline also recommends cancer patients eat low-fat foods. But because many experience significant weight loss during cancer treatments, she suggests adding higher fat dairy items to a meal, such as cheese or  smoothies with liquid nutritional supplements. There are also certain foods known as 'clean' while there are others dieticians consider 'dirty'. Learn more here.

According to Kline, food can taste differently from week to week for cancer patients. She says tart flavors can help. “If water has a funny taste, add lemon to your water. Suck on lemon drops or gum or mints. Marinade meats in lemon juice can bring out the flavor," says Kline. "If people have a metallic taste, use plastic utensils. It’s also important to keep your mouth healthy and clean, brushing your teeth and rinsing after meals and before bed.” 

On June 16, Guide Posts will host a cooking event in the Resource Room at the Hayworth Cancer Center on Westwood Avenue. Dinner begins at 6 p.m.  Afterwards, chef, TV personality and cancer survivor Chuck Hayworth will demonstrate nutritional recipes that are easy to prepare. On August 11, it will focus on managing finances during treatment and discuss steps patients should take to return to work. 

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