Having a healthy and balanced diet is an important aspect of recovery from breast cancer. Your body needs all the help it can get to recover from the surgery and therapy you underwent. A registered dietitian is your best source of information about your diet, but we have provided a few tips to help you on your way. If you want to get in touch with a dietitian, ask your doctor for a referral.
The majority of eating-related side effects caused by radiation, chemotherapy, or other treatments will start to go away after you finish you treatment. If you experience side effects, you will notice that they will gradually go away, and you will start to get your appetite back. In some cases, the side effects persist, in particular weight loss. If this happens to you, you should contact your doctor or dietitian, with whom you will be able to set up a plan to beat the problem.
After the cancer treatment ends, and the side effects start to wear off, you will want to start eating normally again. However, it is important that you eat right at such an important time in your life. Your body will not regain its strength from a high fat diet, but starving yourself won't help either. In order to regain your strength, rebuild tissue, and help you feel better you need to eat well balanced meals on a daily basis. There is no scientific proof that a well balanced diet will prevent cancer from recurring, but it will help you recover. A few tips:
- It is important that you eat a variety of foods daily, no one food contains all the nutrients you need to recover.
- It is important to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Raw, or cooked, vegetables, fruit, and fruit juices provide the minerals, vitamins, and fiber you need.
- Breads and cereals are also important, especially whole grain varieties. These types of food provide carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and fiber.
- Try to eat as little fat, salt, sugar, alcohol, and smoked or pickled foods. When buying milk products, choose the low fat varieties. You should also try to keep you portions of lean meat and poultry (without skin) small, no more than 6-7 oz. a day. You should also try to use lower-fat cooking methods, such as broiling, steaming, and poaching.
We also have a separate section on dieting before, during, and after treatment. If you have any questions about dieting, or any tips you want to share, feel free to visit our forum.