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Maintaining a healthy weight during cancer treatment

Maintaining a healthy weight is very important during your cancer treatment. Weight loss can lead to slow recovery, increased hospitalizations and longer treatment time. Treatment side effects such as nausea, decreased appetite and taste changes can make it difficult to eat and consume an adequate amount of calories and nutrients. Increasing your protein and calorie intake will help you maintain your muscle mass and weight during treatment, improving your chances for a speedy recovery. It is important to gain weight in a healthy way.

Below are some of the options to incorporate nutrient dense high calorie foods into your diet:

Dairy

- Switch to full fat yogurts and whole milk

- Add cheeses to sandwiches, soups, eggs and vegetables

Protein

- Snack on nuts and seeds as a source of protein and healthy fats

- Sprinkle nuts onto salads, soups, vegetables and cereal

- Spread peanut butter or other nut based butters onto sandwiches, yogurts and vegetables

- Spread hummus onto sandwiches and vegetables 

- Add beans to soups and salads

Healthy Fats

- Cook vegetables and meats in olive oil

- Drizzle olive oil over pasta

- Add avocado to your sandwiches 

- Have guacamole as a snack

Resources: https://www.rogelcancercenter.org/living-with-cancer/mind-body-and-side-effects/nutrition/gaining-weight-during-cancer-treatment

Courtesy of Taylor Singleton, VCU Health dietetic intern. Visit our Diet and Nutrition blog for more recipes and information about the connection between diet and cancer survivorship.

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: June 8, 2020

Category: Prevention & control

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