Eat small meals, but eat more often

Weight loss and malnutrition are serious threats to patients battling cancer, who can find that their tumours or treatment sap their appetite, cause nausea and other side effects and block absorption the nutrients they do force down.

Weight loss and malnutrition are serious threats to patients battling cancer, who can find that their tumours or treatment sap their appetite, cause nausea and other side effects and block absorption the nutrients they do force down. Here are some tips from cancer specialists and dietitians to help:

• Try to eat five or six small meals throughout the day rather than three large ones.

• Cancer patients tend to need more protein than healthy people. Peanut butter crackers, yogurt and fruit, a hard-boiled egg and piece of toast are good mini-meals.

• Drink between meals, not with them, to avoid filling up on liquid.

• Don’t try your comfort food if you’re vomiting. It may create an aversion.

• Foods high in fat or fibre make nausea last longer.

• White, bland foods tend to help with nausea, such as Cream of Wheat, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese.

• Odours often worsen nausea, and foods served at room temperature rather than warm tend to have milder odours.

• Fresh ginger about 30 minutes before eating also can take the edge off nausea, but not ginger flavouring common in many sodas. A study published last week found ginger capsules work, too.

• Certain cancer medications, particularly painkillers, cause constipation, so keep up the fibre whenever the nausea passes.

• Take special care to stay hydrated when diarrhea strikes. Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast are good options.

• Many patients find foods that once tasted good now taste metallic. Citrus sometimes counters that; try sucking lemon drops, or drinking lemonade with meals, or using citrus-based marinades. Other patients may have a treatment-caused, and correctable, zinc deficiency.

• Tell your doctor about any over-the-counter dietary supplements. Some, such as St. John’s wort, can cause dangerous interactions with numerous anticancer medications. Even high amounts of acidic vitamin C can worsen stomach problems.

• Staying hydrated and eating foods moistened with sauces and gravies helps dry mouth; doctors also can prescribe an artificial saliva.

• High-protein, high-calorie milkshakes and canned supplements like Ensure help sneak in extra nutrients and are especially helpful for patients with mouth sores. Make your own with whole milk and a few tablespoons of dry milk or protein powder.

• Ask for a consultation with a dietitian who specializes in cancer before you start losing weight. Specially designated cancer centres often have dietitians on staff.

• Look for recipes targeted to cancer patients. The American Cancer Society posts some at http://www.cancer.org,

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

Come play at Medicine River Wildlife Centre

Grand opening of new playground

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

TORONTO — Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off… Continue reading

In Franklin’s anthems, women heard an empowering message

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.… Continue reading

Happy birthday Boler: 100s of cute campers in Winnipeg for anniversary gathering

WINNIPEG — Angela Durand sits outside her camper which is decorated to… Continue reading

Merkel, Putin share a headache: Donald Trump

FRANKFURT — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will… Continue reading

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

TORONTO — The president of Tim Hortons says a plan to conquer… Continue reading

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump is suggesting Canada has deliberately been… Continue reading

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault while on the job

TORONTO — A Toronto newspaper photographer said he opted to file a… Continue reading

Annual inflation rate jumped to 3.0% in July, highest reading since 2011

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says higher gasoline prices helped push the country’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month