Nutrition & Diet Before Treatment Begins

If you have some time before your treatment begins, it's a good idea to make sure you are in good nutritional shape. Here are some tips:

  • Maintain your current weight if you are at or above a good weight for you.  This is not a good time to lose weight.
  • Try to gain some weight if you are underweight.
  • Make sure you are eating good protein sources like fish, lean meat, poultry, milk and eggs. If you are a strict vegetarian, focus on legumes (beans/peas) and nuts/seeds including peanut butter.
  • Get plenty of vegetables and fruits so your body is full of cancer-fighting nutrients.
  • Balance your digestion if you tend to have any problems. Find out and practice what you need to manage diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, etc. (If you need some help, please contact our dietitian.

Here are some other things you can do to prepare for your treatment:

  • Think positively! Many people have few or no eating related side effects from treatment. When side effects do occur they often can be managed very effectively.
  • Plan ahead to get good nutrition even if you are feeling poorly. Stock fluids like bottled water, juice, decaffeinated tea, clear sodas and ginger ale.
  • Have available easy to prepare healthy foods that you enjoy. For example, you might freeze small containers of homemade vegetable soup or some other dish you usually like and is easy to eat.
  • Have foods that require little or no preparation: peanut butter, cheese and crackers, tuna, fruit cups, single serving frozen vegetables, cereal bars, etc.
  • Talk to family or friends about help with shopping and cooking.