Health & Wellness

Video: How Nutrition Can Help Your Cancer Recovery

Written By:
Aug 09, 2012
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Written By: Nadia Persaud,
August 9, 2012

Health & Wellness blogger, Faith Franz, discusses the importance of reading the nutrition labels when undergoing mesothelioma cancer treatment. The top items you should be looking at are the calorie content, the fats included, as well as the amount of protein. If you have questions or if there is a topic you would like Faith to discuss, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.


“Hi guys, I’m Faith and I’m the Health & Wellness blogger with The Mesothelioma Center. Today we’re going to be looking at nutrition labels and talking about how you as a mesothelioma patient can use them to help fuel for optimum recovery.

Now the first thing that you’re going to see on a standard nutrient label is the calorie content of the food. Now your calories are going to tell you how much energy you get out of the product. Things with a higher calorie count are going to give you more energy, and things on the lower end of the spectrum your body will process a little bit quicker. Now the amount of calories you need each day is going to depend on your body size, your gender, your activity level and your weight goals.

Now if your doctor thinks you might need to gain some weight because you are losing too much from chemotherapy, you’re going to want to increase the amount of calories you take in a day. The best way to do that is to choose  calorically dense foods like peanut butter or cream-based gravies, that give you about 200-300 calories per serving.  Now if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re going to want to make sure your foods fall on the lower end of the calorie spectrum.

As you move along down towards the bottom of your ingredient list, you’re going to come across a section that talks about total fats. This incorporates four different types of fats. You’ve got your trans fats, your saturated fats, your monounsaturated fats, and your polyunsaturated fats. You’re going to want to try to reduce the amount of trans fat and saturated fat in your diet, but the trick is food companies don’t have list these ingredients if there’s less than half a gram per serving. To make sure that you’re not eating these without knowing it, you can take a quick peek at your ingredient list to make sure there are no partially hydrogenated oils.

Now your fat can take up about 25 percent of your daily diet. Depending on how many calories you’re eating this could be between 50 and 65 grams of fat per day. You can scale back towards the lower end if you’re experiencing nausea or diarrhea from chemotherapy or radiation therapy, because sometimes it’s hard for the body to break down extra fats and it can lead to extra digestive distress.

The next thing you’re going to find on your nutrition list is protein. Now this one is especially important when you’re undergoing recovery because your muscles need a lot of protein to repair themselves correctly. You might want to shoot for about one gram of protein per pound of body weight while you’re recovering from cancer. Some good sources are yogurt, lean meats, beans, and nuts.

Now that you understand how these nutrients help your body recover, you’re on your way to being able to fuel yourself properly through treatment. Of course you shouldn’t make any of these changes before you talk to a dietitian or nutritionist.  But if you do implement them, and they work for you, come on over to and let us know. See you next time!”

What do you think? If you have questions or if there is a topic you would like Faith to discuss, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

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