Tag Archive for Nutrition

Debunking Common Nutrition Myths

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By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD

For cancer patients, a healthy, balanced diet is important for managing symptoms and promoting survivorship and overall wellness. But in a world where it’s nearly impossible to tell one fad diet from the next, it can be difficult to determine which foods are actually good for you. We’re debunking some of the common myths about certain foods:

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Should I Take Vitamins and Supplements During Cancer Treatment?

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Getting the nutrients your body needs isn’t always easy, especially when certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, may make food less desirable. Many people consider taking vitamins and supplements to ensure optimal health, but, according to Dana-Farber nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, it is important to think about the benefits of “food first.”

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Is Cancer More Serious If You Also Have Another Disease?

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When cancer develops in someone with other diseases, it can be more serious, according to a recent annual report from several national cancer organizations.

“Cancer does not occur in isolation,” says Lawrence Shulman, MD, in commenting on the report. “It occurs in a human being, who may have other medical problems.”

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How to Ease Chemotherapy Side Effects with Food

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Cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy, can make eating well and enjoying food a challenge for many patients. Food may start to taste strange, appetite may diminish, and other symptoms, such as fatigue, bowel changes, nausea, and mouth sores, may make finding nutritious, delicious foods difficult.

“During chemotherapy, it’s very common for patients to not feel like eating, for appetite to be low, or the taste of food to be off,” says Dana-Farber nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, who stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy diet to manage symptoms. In the video below, Kennedy explains how to combat symptoms by incorporating tart or sour flavors, eating small and frequent meals, and staying hydrated:

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Six Healthy Holiday Foods and Recipes

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The holidays are here and so are holiday parties, potlucks, and sweet treats. But the season doesn’t always have to be about rich, high-calorie food.

“Many holiday foods can be nutritious as well as delicious,” says Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, a nutritionist with Dana-Farber.

Whether you’re filling your plate or planning a holiday gathering, it’s important to aim for variety, including fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy proteins. Kennedy also recommends drinking lots of water and getting plenty of exercise.

Here are six healthy party foods and recipes you can try this holiday season:

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Is there a Link Between Dairy and Cancer?

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While some people claim dairy products can prevent cancer, others argue that dairy could actually increase the cancer risk. There are also concerns that dairy can potentially spur growth in hormone-sensitive cancers, including some forms of ovarian and breast cancer.

Is there a relationship between dairy and cancer? We consulted with the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) Nutrition Department to find out.

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Foods That Help Ease Cancer-Related Nausea

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Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and certain medications can take a toll on patients, with side effects such as nausea. Although you may experience  a loss of appetite during treatment, it is important to find ways to give your body the nutrients it needs.

Here are simple strategies to help you manage nausea. Read more

Four Simple Tips for Eating Healthy

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By Robert Foley

There is a vast amount of information available on nutrition and how to live a healthy lifestyle, but according to Dana-Farber Nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, “the best approach is to start small.”

“When it comes to nutrition, small changes can make a big difference,” Kennedy says.

One of those changes can be as simple as eating an extra piece of fruit every day. In a recent study, done by the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland, men and women who ate two or more apples a day reduced their risk of colon cancer by 50 percent. That extra apple a day also helped decrease pancreatic cancer by 25 percent, the study said.

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Foods to Keep in Your Diet Before and After a Mastectomy

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During cancer treatment, a nutritious and well-rounded diet can help you cope with side effects of chemotherapy, maintain energy and support the immune system. If you are preparing for a mastectomy or other major surgery, a healthy diet will also provide nutrients to help optimize healing time.

Most patients who undergo a mastectomy can return to regular eating habits two weeks after the surgery, but nutritionists recommend a healthy diet to be ideally implemented before the procedure to help you heal and set up long-term healthy eating habits. There are several foods we suggest make it to your plate both before and after the procedure:

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Keeping a Healthy Weight During Cancer Treatment

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by Eric Schuller

When you think of a cancer patient, you might envision someone frail and thin. But while weight loss can be a side effect, gaining weight during cancer treatment is also quite common. That’s why it’s important to find a healthy balance during treatment. Here are some tips. Read more