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Tackling Cancer & Weight Loss

By Hilary Wright, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 3)

  • Rest after eating. Activity can slow digestion and may cause discomfort.

  • Food smells cause nausea. Keep a person with cancer out of the kitchen while meals are prepared; even have them leave the house, if possible. Cold foods tend to have fewer odors, so try serving more dairy products, chicken or tuna salad sandwiches, cold soups and cool desserts with fruit.

Change of Taste and Smell

Some therapies and treatments can change the way food tastes and smells. Here are some tips that may help alleviate these symptoms:

  • Serve food cold or at room temperature to decrease its smell and taste.

  • Choose foods that provide texture and crunch to help give a real sense of eating that is not provided by soft, bland foods.

  • Use seasonings and condiments such as salt, lemon juice, catsup, pickles and olives that donít rely on smell to enhance food.

  • Avoid the area where food is being prepared, as odors may increase the chance for nausea.

  • Eat several small meals during the day rather than three large ones.

Soothing Mouths and Throats

Some treatments can make mouths and throats uncomfortable, dry and sore. Here are some tips that may help to eliminate some of these problems:

  • Try moist and liquid foods such as soups and stews. They may be easier to chew and swallow.

  • Try soft, cold foods such as ice cream, frozen fruit-juice bars, watermelon and grapes. They may feel and taste better than other foods.

  • Drink through a straw to make swallowing easier.

  • Avoid using spices.

  • Avoid carbonated beverages and highly acidic foods, like citrus juices and tomatoes.

  • Try fruit juices such as apple and nectar instead.

Caregivers have an opportunity to play an active role in helping people with cancer. By understanding the importance of nutrition in the treatment of cancer, and applying useful strategies and tips, caregivers can help people with cancer regain weight and reclaim quality of life.


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