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ACS and bad food advice

peterz54's picture
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012



Food is medicine. 

So why does the American Cancer Society advocate these kind of snacks- Angel food cake, ice cream, and cookies?  

Scroll down to "quick and easy snacks":   https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition/nutrition-during-treatment/once-treatment-starts.html

Why not present scientific and clinical findings which clearly show that excess and junk calories are drivers of tumor growth?  

With all the rigor that's demanded to poison the body with chemo and radiation and to deal with side effects, often to no avail, and not advocate a high quality diet (which has many options) with the same rigor makes no sense.   










Posts: 266
Joined: Dec 2013

Because when you are dealing with the effects of nausea, loss of appetite, and just feeling crappy, any calories you can consume is better than nothing.  You'll find oncologists will say the same thing.  If you're able to eat well during treatment without having to resort to junk foods, great.  If you're having appetite issues during treatment, load up on what ever you can to keep the weight on and calories up.

SandiaBuddy's picture
Posts: 1103
Joined: Apr 2017

Peter, I am with you.  After surgery, my doctors advised me to "resume normal diet'"  Initially, I ate like a pig to try to regain weight and stregnth.  But after some research, I determined that my "normal diet" was not very healthy.  Many things the doctors advise, or fail to advise, puzzle me.

Posts: 104
Joined: Jan 2018

I can only talk from helping DH, but I absolutely agree with both sides. DH lost so much weight with his symptom, then coly prep, next morning surgery and recovery that when he was able to eat anything was a blessing to help him build his strength. I pushed ensure, fixed everything he wanted and eventually he slowed down. Seeing how weak he became in just a few weeks and the muscle he lost I was just happy to keep some calories in him as I kept thinking he is just steps away from being back to a feeble state. During some of his chemo days, I remember giving him chocolate as someone suggested just so it could melt in his mouth, not hurt and give him some much needed calorie. He has finished the folfox, Avastin and 5 fu. He just started the Xeloda and Avastin. For now we are focused on the healthy diet and avoiding many of these suggestions Of poor food choices and feeding our bodies for health and not as much of the no no foods. However, if DH is unable/ unwilling to eat or has another occurrence I will do my best to ensure he is getting nutrition, but also enough of anything that he wants to keep his energy up. I went into all of this thinking never any of this or that again, but soon my objective changed to just make sure hubby had energy. I will say lucky for me that hubby likes the healthy stuff cause when I said the little Debbie's were out of here i thought he was going to put me out on the side of the road! He is feeling much better and I know the healthy diet is greatly helping!!! Hubby says it's so hard to not focus on what if's I wouldn't have done this or are that, but he also says I just gotta keep on keeping on! 

lizard44's picture
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

the "unhealthy" snacks except  in the  instances  zx10guy mentoned, and for a short time. The site linked to  notes, just above the list of possible snacks, "During cancer treatment your body often needs extra calories and protein to help you maintain your weight and heal as quickly as possible. If you’re losing weight, snacks can help you meet those needs, keep up your strength and energy level, and help you feel better. During treatment you may have to rely on snacks that are less healthy sources of calories to meet your needs. Keep in mind that this is just for a short while – once side effects go away you can return to a healthier diet."


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6549
Joined: Feb 2009

My weight loss concerned my doctors and they just told me to eat whatever sounded good.  It was better for me to have calories in whatever sounded good, than to lose more weight and be subject to not only a low immune system, but no strength to even move or to try to get up and move.  When you have lost weight where it is a concern, doctors are not wanting you to eat that salad, but want calories to build up some type of resistance (at least mine did).  Although a good diet is great to follow as you need all your nutrients for your body to have the best fighting chance.


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