The Best Foods to Eat When You Have Breast Cancer
Contributor: Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDE
If you or someone you care about has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, there will be questions. These may include: What should I eat?
During any cancer therapy, remember these four diet tips:
- Stay hydrated. Aim for at least 2 liters to 3 liters of fluid per day — about 66 ounces to 99 ounces— mostly from caffeine-free fluids.
- Get enough calories. Forget the calculator — the best way to know whether you are eating enough calories for energy is to weigh yourself once or twice a week. If your weight is trending down week after week, speak with a dietitian to make a plan. Remember to eat regularly throughout the day. Small meals five to six times a day typically work well.
- Focus on nutrients and get the most nutrients per calorie. Choose foods from the food groups — things like fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, meats/eggs and dairy products. A balanced diet helps ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to keep your body strong.
- Don’t forget protein. Protein helps maintain lean body mass/muscle. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, soy and dairy products. Smaller amounts of proteins are found in vegetables and whole grains.
If you don’t have nutrition-related side effects from your cancer treatment that limit your ability to eat and/or digest food, you can follow a generally healthy diet that includes the following foods.