People respond differently to cancer treatment.  In certain cases, some people develop serious eating problems, while others have little or no problem at all. It is therefore important to ensure one gets the most out of food, while ensuring this food is safe and free from infection.

How to get the most from food

Eat plenty of lean proteins and calories whenever possible. This helps to provide strength and rebuild tissues destroyed during treatment. Then eat when you have the biggest appetite, especially in the mornings, as it can also help with regulating consumption later in the day. You may have days when you do not want to eat at all. On days like these, drink as much as you can. Consider drinks that also offer energy such as smoothies.  Remember to eat or drink what you can tolerate as long as it takes. Let the people who are preparing them for you understand what you need, and with time you will be able to enjoy a variety of foods.

Keeping food free of infection

Cancer treatment can result in low immunity. It is therefore important to pay more attention while handling food to ensure it free of infections. This includes:

Keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparation. Further, defrost meat, chicken, fish and turkey in the refrigerator or defrost them in the microwave. Never leave them sitting out.  Also, scrub all raw fruits and vegetables, and avoid eating those that are difficult to clean. Further, wash your working surfaces and your hands before and after you prepare food, and when possible, use different chopping boards for meats and for fruits and vegetables. Alternatively, wash tools used on meats with soap before using them to handle fruits or vegetables.

Finally, avoid eating out, eating raw or partially cooked animal products, unpasteurized juices, milk products and honey or foods that are past their freshness date.


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