Dates in Cancer Diet

Diet Description

 The Cancer Diet is a balanced and healthy diet plan. It is specifically modified to ensure you take in enough calories. This is usually used before, during, and after your cancer treatment. Eating enough calories is important.  It is also essential to get enough of certain nutrients. These include protein, vitamins, and minerals.  It will ensure adequate nutrition status before and during cancer treatment.

Diet Purpose​

Diets designed for patients with cancer must take various factors into consideration. These include the changes to appetite during treatment. You’ll want to consider symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. These are some side effects of cancer treatment. Ultimately, there are three main goals of a healthy diet during cancer treatment. The first is to boost your immune system. It must also be tasty enough to maintain your appetite. It is also very important to prevent unintentional weight loss. 

Dates in a High Fiber Diet 

Dates fit nicely into the cancer diet. This is because they are a good source of carbohydrates! They provide naturally occurring nutrients like iron, B vitamins, Vitamin A, and vitamin C. 

Dates are specifically a source of antioxidants called carotenoids. This is the same nutrient in oranges, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Foods high in carotenoids can protect against damaged cells caused by free radicals. They may even and may help prevent certain cancers.

What to Eat

The Cancer Diet emphasizes heart-healthy fats, lean proteins, high fiber carbs, and fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a look at these in more detail. 

Healthy fats: Healthy fats are high in monounsaturated oil. Typically, the source of this nutrient comes from plants. Check out foods like avocado, olive oil, and peanuts! 

Lean proteins: Lean proteins come from sources of meat and dairy that are lower in fat. These options are protein choices like chicken and pork tenderloin. You may also check out turkey, fish, and shellfish. 

High-fiber carbs: High-fiber carbs are starchy foods like potatoes and beans. Lentils, quinoa, brown rice, and wheat products are also good examples. These carbs are healthy for us and essential for a quick energy source. This is because they are digested faster than other macronutrients. 

Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants. They also help boost our health on the cancer diet. Fruits to focus on include berries, apples, oranges, bananas, and pears. Vegetables to include are leafy greens, squash, carrots, peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers. 

What to Avoid

There are many supplements or vitamins that are marketed toward the cancer diet. The American Cancer Society offers a word of caution.: Vitamins offer antioxidants and may improve our health. However, an overabundance of these nutrients may actually be detrimental to some cancer treatments. Always consult with your doctor before implementing a change to your supplement or vitamin routine. 

Depending on where you are in treatment, you may be advised to avoid raw foods. Your doctor may ask you to eat only cooked foods to protect your immune system.

If you have concerns about a supplement or a diet change, ask your doctor for their recommendation based on your personal treatment plan. 

Conclusion

The Cancer Diet is designed to improve your health. This is done ensuring you are managing any symptoms of cancer treatment.  Focus on a variety of foods! Try including lean protein and high-fiber starches. Heart-healthy fats and colorful produce are also great!

Written by:
Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES
Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator
Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian

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