March is National Nutrition Month®, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This annual celebration focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Nutrition and lifestyle also plays a key role for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. After a cancer diagnosis, making food choices that improve your wellbeing can be a challenge. Due to side effects of cancer and treatments, your appetite and zeal for eating may decrease. Additionally, many people with cancer have other health conditions to manage like blood pressure, glucose levels and digestion issues that can make eating well more difficult.
How a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Can Help
Ask your healthcare team for a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who is experienced in working with people who have your type of cancer. An RDN can:
- Discuss the benefits of healthy food and lifestyle choices
- Teach you to choose a variety of foods from all the food groups each week
- Suggest strategies to improve nutrition and manage side effects
- Answer questions you may have about cancer and nutrition
- Share tips for meal planning and grocery shopping
- Help you make food safety part of your everyday routine
- Give you healthy portion sizes for your nutritional needs
- Identify the pros and cons of popular diets in cancer care
- Share trustworthy nutrition resources both online and in your area
- Develop strategies for caregiver who are caring for a loved one during cancer treatment
There is no one-size-fits-all nutrition plan for people with cancer. Therefore, the RDN will personalize the process to your needs:
- First, the RDN will ask you for an overview of your health and cancer type. The RDN will assess your habits around meals, eating, and physical activity. Food allergies, dietary restrictions, budget, and cultural food practices will be included.
- Next, you and the RDN will identify your personal nutrition goals based on your health needs. You will work together to develop nutrition strategies that fit with your life.
Nutrition that works for you may be very different from the information you hear in the media, advertisements, or from friends or family. Registered dietitian nutritionists provide sound, easy-to-follow, personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences, and health needs.
For National Nutrition Month®, check out these recipes and resources from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Easy Migas Recipe
- Napa Valley Glazed Salmon Recipe
- Cheesy White Bean Cakes Recipe
- Chicken Pot Pie Bundles Recipes
- Spinach-Almond Pesto Recipe
- Panzanella with Cucumber Recipe
- Spicy Indian Salmon Recipe
- Get To Know Your Spice Rack
You can view the key messages for National Nutrition Month® here.