Nutrition

Why getting enough protein is important

You need protein!

Having cancer leads to a significant increase in your need for protein. That’s why it’s important to make sure you get enough. Experts recommend about 1.2 to 1.5 g of protein per kg of body weight per day. If you have severe inflammation, you’ll have to up this to 2 g per kg of body weight per day.

This means that if you weigh 60 kg you will need to consume about 72 to 120 g of protein per day.

The following foods are rich in protein:

  • meat and fish
  • Eggs
  • milk and dairy products
  • pulses such as lentils, peas, beans, soya, and tofu
  • nuts and peanuts
  • cereals and cereal products

Author: Dr. Volker Henn | Reviewer: Dr. Christian Keinki

 

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Picture credits: © YanaIskayeva – stock.adobe.com, Info-Icon: © Comauthor – stock.adobe.com


Nutrition

Adding protein to your daily meals

Easy ways to add 90 g of protein to your daily diet.

The following example corresponds to the protein needs of a person with a weight of 65 kg who is currently receiving treatment for cancer.

  • Breakfast: Bircher muesli (about 12 g of protein).
  • Snack: energy balls made of dried fruit and nuts (6 pieces) (about 8 g of protein).
  • Lunch: pan-fried salmon fillet with fennel (about 35 g of protein).
  • Snack: Greek yoghurt with walnuts and honey (about 12 g of protein).
  • Dinner: 2 slices of farmhouse bread with spreadable fat, 45 g ham, 20 g of gouda and vegetable garnish (about 23 g of protein).

Author: Dr. Volker Henn | Reviewer: Dr. Christian Keinki

Sources:

Picture credits: © Yulia Furman – stock.adobe.com


Nutrition

What to do when you have no appetite

Here are some tips that can help if you have no appetite:

  • Arrange food in an appetising way.
  • Eat several small meals instead of a few big meals.
  • Eat slowly and chew well.
  • Try cold or lukewarm meals.
  • Avoid foods that are difficult to digest and cause flatulence.
  • Prepare food gently: little cooking liquid, low heat.
  • Choose unprocessed foods.
  • Avoid intense spices if you find their smell unpleasant.
  • Stock up on food so that you are always prepared if your appetite comes back.
  • Eat lots of protein: meat, fish, tofu, eggs, dairy products, and wholemeal products.
  • Try bitter foods, they can stimulate your appetite.

Avoid enhancing metallic tastes by using plastic cutlery

Author: Dr. Christiane  Hübbe | Reviewer: Dr. Christian Keinki

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Nutrition

What should your diet consist of?

A healthy diet plays an important role while you are receiving cancer treatment. It strengthens your body and helps you better cope with the consequences of cancer. But the focus isn’t on individual foods here, instead, it is on your diet as a whole. Maintaining a varied and balanced diet will provide you with the best support you can ask for from food.

The European Code Against Cancer recommends that you:

  • prepare all food from scratch and avoid fast food
  • eat less than 500 g of red meat a week
  • avoid high-fat and sugary foods
  • choose wholegrain cereals (daily if possible)
  • eat enough fruit, vegetables and pulses (at least 400 g per day)
  • restrict your salt intake to 6 g per day.

Besides receiving guidance from your medical team, you can also seek additional information and assistance from dieticians and nutritionists.

Author: Dr. Volker Henn | Reviewer: Dr. Christian Keinki

Sources:

Picture credits: © Yulia Furman – stock.adobe.com


Nutrition

Dietary tips for nausea and vomiting

Here are some dietary tips to help with nausea and vomiting

  • Eat what, when, and as much as you like.
  • Eat a variety of foods during treatment.
  • Eat smaller portions, more often.
  • Take your time and chew thoroughly.
  • Avoid fatty and very sweet foods.
  • Stay away from strong cooking smells.
  • Go for dry, starchy foods, such as bread or crackers.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes.
  • Separate eating and drinking.
  • Choose cold foods.
  • Ginger, chewing gum, and ice cubes can do you good!
  • Increase your intake slowly – first liquids, then soft foods, then bland whole foods.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Take care of your mouth and teeth.
  • Keep track of triggers.

Author: Dr. Christiane  Hübbe | Reviewer: Dr. Christian Keinki

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Nutrition

What to keep in mind if you are vegetarian or vegan

Avoiding meat may make it harder for you to get enough protein on a daily basis. Try choosing vegetarian meals that contain a lot of protein. In addition, certain food combinations can help your body to absorb protein. The following are good examples:

  • Milk and wheat flour.
  • Sweet corn and beans.
  • Potatoes and eggs.

It is usually perfectly possible to maintain your weight on a vegetarian diet. There are many high-fat foods that supply a lot of energy such as cream, butter, nuts, and oils.

But you may lack vitamin B12, zinc and iron. To be on the safe side, ask your medical team to run a blood test.

What about going vegan?

You can eat a vegan diet without jeopardising the success of your cancer treatment. But you will have to plan your meals very well. As a vegan, you may find it much more difficult to meet your protein requirements.

In addition, a vegan diet can result in the following deficiencies:

  • iron
  • zinc
  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin D
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • calcium
  • iodine

You may need to take supplements to cover these needs. Please discuss this with your medical team.

Author: Dr. Volker Henn | Reviewer: Dr. Christian Keinki

Sources:

Picture credits: © YanaIskayeva – stock.adobe.com, Info-Icon: © Comauthor – stock.adobe.com


Nutrition

10 Dietary tips that can help with fatigue

The following dietary tips can help with fatigue.

  1. Choose high-calorie foods
    If you can only eat small amounts of food, it should provide as much energy, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as possible. Supplementary liquid foods can help you with this, as they have a good balance of these valuable ingredients. Especially when you are low on energy, you can increase your energy and nutrient intake with little effort!
  2. Eat what you feel like eating
    If it is exhausting to eat, you should pay special attention to what you find appetizing. This will make it easier for you to enjoy your food and to eat more of it. Don’t force yourself to eat foods you don’t feel like eating.
  3. Eat smaller meals more frequently
    It’s much easier to eat smaller meals (“snacks”) than larger meals. Try to eat 5 to 6 smaller meals a day. A large meal can be a demotivating sight if you are weak and also lack appetite.
  4. Stock up
    Stock up the fridge, freezer and pantry. Healthy products that keep for a long time are great for your health and save time and energy. These include, for example:

    • Dry foods such as wholemeal pasta, rice, dried pulses such as peas and lentils, as well as semolina, oatmeal or quinoa.
    • Canned foods such as peeled, cooked potatoes, strained tomatoes, cut, cooked beans
    • Frozen vegetables have a long shelf life and can be prepared quickly. They are also very rich in vitamins. You can save yourself a purchase or two and also your energy by stocking up.
  5. Pre-cooking
    If you have the energy to cook, prepare a larger quantity right away! Freeze the remaining portions so that you can eat them during busy days. Ask friends and family if they can support you if you need help.
  6. Try alternatives
    Fortunately, there are now many ways to get healthy meals with very little effort. For example, there are many delivery services available and a lot of them also have a healthy selection of treats. You’ve probably also heard of cooking boxes. Here you get the ingredients and instructions for a dish of your choice delivered to your home. Delivery services, cooking boxes or ready meals from the freezer are acceptable temporary solutions!
  7. Accept help!
    Have friends and family offered to help? Accept the support. They can take some of the work off your hands by doing the shopping for you, cooking delicious meals, helping with the housework or keeping you company. Think about what you need help with the most and what costs you the most energy.
  8. Snacking is allowed!
    Keep a reserve of snacks that you like to eat. For example, put them in bowls where they are easy to reach. That way you can help yourself whenever you get hungry!
  9. Keep yourself hydrated
    If you drink too little, you risk developing a fluid deficiency. This can cause headaches, for example, but can also reduce physical performance and cause concentration problems or fatigue. The symptoms of fatigue are thus intensified. It’s best to drink at least 1.5 litres of water, unsweetened tea or juice cordials throughout the day. You should always have a glass of water or a water bottle handy.
  10. Choose the right time for your meals
    It can be very helpful to keep an energy diary. This will show you at what time of day you have the most energy. It will allow you to organise your day around your energy levels. For example, you can prepare and enjoy your meals during times when you feel more energised. Your food intake should be one of your most important priorities.

Author: Dr. Volker Henn | Reviewer: Dr. Christian Keinki

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