Calorie and protein guidelines during cancer treatment
Each individual’s calorie and protein requirements will vary. For a rough estimate of calorie needs, plan on consuming 25 to 35 calories for each kilogram of weight (1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds). The current recommended daily allowance for protein is 45 to 60 grams per day. It is important to discuss your individual calorie and protein requirements with your physician or registered dietitian. With some cancers, the metabolic processes can cause a situation known as hypermetabolism that affects how the body uses proteins, fats and carbohydrates. With hypermetabolism you may need to increase your calorie and protein intake. Discuss this situation with your physician or registered dietitian.
What foods are high in calories?
Listed below are some suggestions for adding calories and protein to your meals and snacks:
- Add butter or margarine (45 calories per teaspoon) to puddings, casseroles, sandwiches, vegetables, cooked cereal, breads and pasta.
- Add wheat germ (25 calories per tablespoon and 2 grams protein per tablespoon):
- To hot cereals.
- To meat dishes, cookie batter and casseroles.
- Add mayonnaise or salad dressing (45 calories per teaspoon) liberally to sandwiches, salads and as a dip for raw vegetables or sauce on cooked vegetables.
- Add evaporated milk (25 calories and 1 gram protein per tablespoon) in place of whole milk in desserts, baked goods, meat dishes and cooked cereal.
- Add sour cream (26 calories per tablespoon) to:
- Potatoes, casseroles and dips.
- Sauces and baked goods.
- Add sweetened condensed milk (60 calories and 1 gram protein per tablespoon) to:
- Pies, puddings and milkshakes.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and spread on toast.
- Add gravies (40 calories per tablespoon) liberally on mashed potatoes, rice, noodles and meats.
The following snack ideas can be eaten as a meal or in addition to meals.
Meal or snack idea
Calories per serving
1 oz. cheese
175 per slice
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk
2 slices bread
|Bagel with cream cheese, jelly and juice|
1 large bagel
2 slices of cheese pizza
|Egg and cheese on an English muffin|
8 oz. yogurt
|Peanut butter and banana on toast|
1 slice toast
|Chili cheese fries|
1 c. French fries
Nachos with beans and cheese
1 oz. tortilla chips
1 cup Cap'N Crunch®
|Tuna salad on crackers|
1/2 cup tuna salad
|Granola bar and yogurt|
8 oz. fruit-flavored yogurt