Senior nutritionist Dr Krishna Priya gives us a Maharashtrian meal plan along with some ideas for eating better during cancer
Cancer nutrition is a field that is gaining much attention from medical professionals and patients alike. Research shows that a good cancer diet can be a decisive factor in the success of your treatment.
This does not mean you need to make drastic changes to your existing diet during your treatment. Very often, you will already be overwhelmed with adjusting to your treatment and related side effects. Further burdening yourself with a completely new diet that you may not be familiar with, is often unnecessary.
This is why Onco.com is helping you with free diet plans for every time of Indian cuisine.
In this article, we look at how you can follow a Maharastrian diet while also ensuring you get the best possible nutrition during and after your cancer treatment. We also answer a few FAQs on cancer diets.
How will a cancer diet help me?
Cancer treatment usually lasts for several months and can be quite intensive. This means your body will need to cope with the treatment and move towards recovery.
- Your diet will ensure that you get the required calories and nutrition to sustain you through the treatment.
- A good diet will also help you reduce several side effects of your treatment like fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, constipation, loose motion etc.
- It will help you manage your weight during treatment, preventing excessive weight loss or gain.
Overall, your diet ensures that you can continue your treatment without interruptions and can recover at a better pace.
Do I need a customised diet plan?
To get the best out of your diet, you will need a customised diet plan that considers your type of cancer, stage of cancer, age, body weight, co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, any allergies or food preferences, and your overall health.
You will find many general diet plan on our blog pages like the Bengali meal plan, south-Indian non-vegetarian meal plan, north-Indian meal plan, Indian meal plan etc. These can be downloaded and used for free. These diet plans cater to the average person and are not made specifically for you.
You can get a customised diet plan from our senior nutritionist. You can read about Onco’s nutrition services here.
Maharashtrian Cancer Meal Plan
A Maharastrian diet contains many commonly prepared dishes that are rich in proteins like different types of dals and beans, making it suitable for cancer patients. Milk and dairy products like paneer and curd can also be good sources of protein.
This cuisine also includes a good mix of different sources of whole grain carbohydrates like jowar, millets, wheat and rice. Milk and dairy products like paneer and curd can also be good sources of protein.
Avoid deep fried foods as they decrease the nutritional value of the meal. You can read more about which oils are best for cooking here.
Cancer patients may find it difficult to eat spicy foods as many suffer from side effects like ulcers in the mouth. You will need to reduce the quantity of spice in the recipe to suit your taste.
During cancer treatment, foods that are of room temperature tend to be consumed more easily. Avoid very hot foods, and foods that have very strong smells as these may increase nausea.
Below is a Maharashtrian meal plan, you can also find the recipes for these dishes by downloading the pdf version here Maharashtrian meal plan and clicking on the name of the dish.
How can I add non-vegetarian dishes to this meal plan?
Non-vegetarian foods, particularly eggs and lean meats like fish and chicken are very good for a cancer diet. This is because these foods tend to be rich in proteins that are required for the body to regain strength and muscle after surgery and chemotherapy.
Fatty fish are also rich in omega 3 which is a very important micronutrient. You can include locally available fatty fish in your diet as possible.
Remember to avoid deep frying the meat and to keep the level of spice between medium and low.
How can I improve my appetite during cancer?
Loss of appetite is a common complaint during cancer treatment. Here are a few tips to eat better:
- Try eating smaller meals, more times a day. Instead of three big meals, try having five smaller meals.
- Ensure a gap of two hours between meals to allow time for digestion.
- Moving about helps digest food better, leading to hunger. Try to be physically active as much as you can.
- Try to take fruit juices and soups when you are unable to have a complete meal.