Dietitians work with cancer patients to help them maintain their diet and nutrition during their treatments. They can help you modify your eating plan if the side effects of treatment are affecting your appetite, provide recipes, menu suggestions and information on ready-to-use nutritional supplements. Dietitians also address dietary issues and current developments that may affect cancer treatment outcomes.
The Bruno Cancer Center’s Registered Dietitian provides expertise for our cancer patients in many areas of nutrition including weight loss, loss of appetite, meal options, making healthy choices, etc. Nutritional counseling is offered in the Bruno Cancer Center by appointment.
The following suggestions from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) may be helpful if you have difficulty eating or a loss of appetite even when you are feeling well with cancer:
- Eat small, frequent meals (every one to two hours).
- Eat high-protein and high-calorie foods (including snacks).
- Avoid foods low in calories and protein, and avoid empty calories (such as soda).
- To avoid nausea and improve your appetite, do not drink liquids with your meals.
- Try to eat when you are feeling the best, no matter what time of day.
- Use meal substitutes, such as high-calorie, high-protein drinks, when you do not feel like eating.
- Try to increase your appetite through light exercise or appetite stimulants including a glass of wine or beer, if allowed.
- Add extra calories and protein to food using foods such as butter, skim milk powder, honey, or brown sugar.
- Take your medications with high-calorie fluids.
- Eat foods at room temperature.
- Avoid spicy foods or foods with strong odors