Breast Cancer Diet Plan To Follow
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Deciding and following proper nutrition is an important step in both recovery and reducing the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Following a breast cancer diet plan and maintaining body weight before the treatment starts help you cope with side effects better and helps you stay strong.
Let’s discuss the diet plan to follow during breast cancer treatment.
Breast cancer diet plan to follow
1. Include more Plant-based foods in your breast cancer diet plan:
A plant-based diet includes legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These are rich in minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and phytochemicals. Decrease animal-based foods and include more plant-based foods in your diet.
a. Choose whole grains. They are a valuable source of nutrients and provide numerous health benefits. You can eat naturally occurring whole grains such as corn, brown rice, oats, barley, or foods prepared from whole grains such as pasta, slices of bread, popcorn, etc.
b. Lentils, beans, and dried peas are nutritious alternatives to meat. They provide a low-fat source of protein. They also provide B vitamins, iron, and fibre.
c. Try to take at least one orange vegetable and dark green vegetable every day, such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc as a part of your breast cancer diet plan. Prefer steamed, baked, or stir-fried vegetables over deep-fried vegetables.
2. Ways to limit fats in your cancer diet plan:
Achieving a healthy body weight through your cancer diet plan becomes important in reducing the recurrence of breast cancer. It improves overall health and survival. Body mass index (BMI) in the range of 18.5 – 24.9 is a healthy weight. It is calculated from your weight and height. BMI= Kg/m2.
A low-fat diet will help you achieve a healthy body weight.
- Choose skim milk.
- Remove skin from the poultry.
- Avoid fatty meats, butter, full-fat dairy, and hydrogenated oils.
- Monounsaturated fats are rich in avocados, olives, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and vegetable oils. These are beneficial fats.
- Eat fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, ground flax seeds, and walnuts which also provide healthy fats.
3. Bone-friendly cancer diet plan
Bone loss may occur as a side effect of cancer treatments. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and under 50 years of age, you require 1000mg calcium daily, and women above 50 years of age require 1200mg calcium daily.
a. Calcium-rich foods (bone-building mineral)
Milk, white beans, figs, broccoli, cabbage, almonds, sesame seeds, sardines, salmon with bones, kale, Brazil nuts, etc.
b. Vitamin D rich foods (vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium)
Milk, eggs, fortified soy beverage, fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring).
- Drink 3 to 4 litres of fluids every day. Fluids are an essential part of a cancer diet plan. They help to protect your kidneys from cancer medications.
- Try fruit juices, soups, milkshakes, yogurt, decaffeinated tea, and coffee.
- Drink green tea, which has catechins, a flavonoid possessing strong anti-cancer properties.
- Avoid coffee and tea as they promote water loss. Avoid alcohol.
5. Soy foods:
- Soy foods are an excellent source of protein, fibre, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and isoflavones.
- Soybeans, soy beverages, and soy milk are safe to include in a breast cancer diet plan.
- They are rich in plant estrogens (similar to the female hormone estrogen).
- Soy may also help in maintaining bone health.
- Before adding any soy supplements in your cancer diet plan, discuss with your dietitian or physician whether the supplement is safe for you.
Eat right and stay healthy
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, all you have to do is maintain a healthy body weight. This can be achieved through limiting fats in your diet, consuming large amounts of plant-based foods, and engaging in physical activity. Your treatment will be based on what type and stage of breast cancer you have. Formulate your breast cancer diet plan with the help of a dietitian. Eat right and stay healthy.