Diet plays an important role in cancer treatment. A nutritious and especially, a balanced diet can help a cancer patient maintain health and faster recovery.
While they should eat fresh, home cooked meals with suggested protein and herbs, they should also avoid certain foods in order to get maximum benefits of the care they are receiving. Here is a list of items which one must avoid:
1. Canned food
Food cans are typically lined with bisphenol-a (BPA), a chemical that has been linked to cancer and also other serious health problems. Especially anything which is acidic, is more likely to leech problematic levels of BPA from the can into the food. Stick to fresh food in order to avoid contamination.
2. Refined sugar
Research conducted way back in 1931 found sugar provides fuel for tumours, allowing them to grow in size. In addition to wreaking havoc on your metabolism, processed sugars may be more readily accessible to cancer cells. You can consider replacing it with natural sugar substitutes.
Although moderate consumption can lower your risk of heart disease, alcohol abuse is the leading cause of cancer behind tobacco use. A meta-analysis of drinking and cancer risk found an association between heavy drinking and an increased risk of mouth, colon, liver, and other cancers.
4. French fries and potato chips
Acrylamide, a chemical used in certain industrial processes that’s also found in cigarette smoke, can form in starchy foods like potatoes when they’re cooked at high temperatures. While we need more research, the American Cancer Society supports a continuous evaluation of acrylamide and its effects.
5. Processed meat
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified processed meat as a carcinogen after experts from 10 countries looking at more than 800 studies found eating 50 grams—about four strips of bacon or one hot dog—every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
6. Artificial colours
A 2010 report by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest called Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks concluded the nine FDA-approved artificial dyes approved in the United States may be carcinogenic, cause behaviour problems, and/or are inadequately tested.
7. Microwave popcorn
Some microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical that decomposes to produce perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA has been linked to an increased risk of liver, prostate, and other cancers. Another chemical used in artificial butter flavour, diacetyl, may cause lung damage. It’s easy to make your own microwave popcorn with a brown paper bag and some coconut oil.
8. Hydrogenated oils
In addition to being bad for your heart, hydrogenated oils can cause inflammation and cell damage that has been linked to cancer and other diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned partially hydrogenated oils in January of 2015, giving food manufacturers three years to remove them from their products.
9. Charred meats
The high temperatures used to heavily grill meat can produce carcinogens called heterocyclic aromatic amines and also polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons if you like your steak well-done.
10. Farmed salmon
Carcinogens more likely contaminate salmon raised on farms. According to the Environmental Working Group, farmed salmon have 16 times the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in wild salmon.
A Swedish study found men who drank one 11-oz. soda a day were 40% more likely to develop prostate cancer. An analysis by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and US Consumer Reports found an association between 4-methylimidazole, the chemical that gives some soda its caramel colour, and also increased cancer risk.
12. Red meat
The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans based on evidence showing a link between its consumption and the development of colorectal cancer in particular.
Pasta, bagels, and other “white” carbohydrates have a high glycemic index (GI), meaning they more rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. According to a recent study, people whose diets had a high GI especially had a 49 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer. Adding healthy fats (like olive oil) and protein to pasta helps lower the overall glycemic index of the meal it is a part of. Some pasta, like Braille ProteinPlus, has a lower glycemic index.
A 2004 meta-analysis found a positive association between milk consumption and prostate cancer. Some experts believe the animal fat in dairy products may increase cancer risk.
15. Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)
Studies indicate an association between GMOs—and the chemicals used to grow them—and the development of tumours.
Some tips to follow with proper diet
Drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) throughout treatment
Chemotherapy and other medications given during treatment can be hard on the kidneys and liver. It is important to drink plenty of fluids with a preference to water during treatment.
Especially be as active as possible.
Physical activity helps your body use the sugar in your blood more efficiently. Check your blood sugar before exercising. Your healthcare team can give you guidance on the type and amount of exercise that is safe for you.
Other foods like too much of frozen or junk can hamper your treatments, while taking a proper, healthy diet will help you improve the results of your treatment.