It’s important to eat a healthy diet to keep your body and immune system strong. But when you have cancer, there may be times when you don’t feel like eating. You may be too nauseated by traditional cancer treatments to eat. Stress and anxiety can also cause loss of appetite and nausea.
There are no hard and fast nutrition rules for cancer patients. It is common for appetites to fluctuate during cancer treatment. The key is to be flexible and maximize nutrition when you do feel like eating.
Try these healthy snacking tips to find out what works for you:
- Eat your main meal when your appetite is biggest. Many cancer patients prefer a big morning meal and smaller or liquid meals at lunch and dinner.
- Try sipping protein shakes or smoothies when you don’t feel like eating.
- Use powdered or liquid meal replacements to boost calorie and protein intake.
- Make sure you drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.
- Eat the foods you can, even if it is just one or two foods. Add additional foods as your appetite improves.
- Have small, frequent snacks instead of regular meals.
- Keep snack foods in easy reach so you can nibble when you’re hungry.
- Choose high-calorie, nutrient-rich foods to maximize nutrition when you do feel like eating.
- Change the form of a food to make it more appetizing. Mix fruit and vegetables into a smoothie instead of eating them whole.
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