Health Magazine

What to Eat on Chemo Day And….

Posted on the 20 March 2012 by Jean Campbell

Most of us haven’t a clue what to eat the day of chemo treatment and for a few days after treatment. Given how nervous an impending chemo treatment makes many feel, eating at all on the morning of chemo treatment can be a challenge.

In their book, “Eating Well Through Cancer”, which has won awards and sold over a million copies,  Holly Clegg, chef and best selling cookbook author and  Gerald Miletello, M.D. a Board Certified practicing medical oncologist, team up to help cancer patients maintain a healthy nutritional status during chemo. In addition to an extensive section on suitable recipes and what to stock your pantry with for eating well during treatment, they have a section on what to eat the day of chemo and for 24 hours following chemo.

chemo hydrationThe day of chemo, they recommend a low fat, light meal prior to treatment, suggesting such foods as cereal, toast, oatmeal, grits, fruit cocktail  and peach or pear nectar. For 24 hours following treatment they recommend liquids, puddings, soups and sandwiches, suggesting ham and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese toast, raisins, noodles with cheese and 6-8 cups of liquids that can include water, nutritional supplement shakes, and sports drinks.

Ms. Clegg and Dr. Miletello, caution against eating friend foods or greasy foods during the first 24 to 48 hours after a chemo treatment. They suggest eating six small meals a day rather than three large meals a day. They stress the need to keep liquid available at all times as keeping hydrated is very important.

They also advise against foods that might irritate the inside of your mouth including: oranges, lemons, tomato sauces, and alcohol. They suggest avoiding hot or extremely cold foods as they can irritate  the mouth. They recommend using a straw to drink as it may make drinking easier.

“Eating Well Through Cancer” contains over 200 quick recipes to ease side effects, gives a nutritional analysis for each recipe, provides diabetic exchanges for those trying to keep their blood glucose in check while going through chemo treatment, and offers ideas for caregivers.

Published over 10 years ago, the book can be purchased at a significant discount from Amazon. Before purchasing, check out your local library.


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