Over the next few posts, we are excited to have guest expert and registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist Julie Lanford from CancerDietian share her expertise on how to eat healthy and stay nourished during cancer treatment.
Cancer survivors may feel overwhelmed by the variety of information that’s out there about nutrition and “diets.” What are key points that you would like to pass along to cancer survivors?
Information overwhelm is a huge problem when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating. It seems that everyone has an opinion. And the truth is that not every opinion is an expert opinion, but it’s hard to tell the difference!
Here are a 5 tips to keep you sane while trying to provide your body with good nourishment.
- Use your common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, you should think twice. Many people offering nutrition advice don’t have medical training or legitimate degrees in nutrition. They are also often selling you something. Stick to getting your information from science-based resources!
- There is no toxic food, and no miracle food. Your pattern of eating is what’s most important. If you eat plenty of plants (fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts & seeds) and moderate amounts of meat and dairy, then your eating pattern will support good health. Alternatively, if you eat mostly refined grains, meat, dairy and sweetened beverages and lack adequate plant foods, then your body may not have the tools it needs to function at its best. Watch my webinar on healthy eating patterns.
- Your body prefers nutrients in food form, not pills, powders or supplements. Taking supplement form of nutrients can’t make up for a diet that is lacking. Supplements are needed if you have clinically deficient levels of certain nutrients. However, taking a multivitamin or other supplement will not benefit your health on its own. Our bodies are designed to get the full array of nutrients that are found in food form. There are seasons of life when getting food from nutrition supplements is necessary, like during cancer treatment when eating is difficult. However, as much as possible, we encourage food intake to meet needs.
- Check the claims. If a piece of nutrition information is making claims regarding how it affects your health, you should be able to find the science behind those. And it should be published in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal! Watch my webinar on evaluating nutrition information.
- Don’t follow restrictive eating plans or strict diets. You should be able to find a nutritious eating pattern that is enjoyable to you, and allows you to include the foods you love. One of the biggest causes of unnecessary weight gain is restrictive eating plans and yo-yo dieting. Rather than focusing on the scale, focus on the behaviors that we know are healthy. Be physically active, eat a common sense nutritious diet, take care of your mental health and find ways to ENJOY EACH DAY!