Making changes to your diet
How can you choose and eat healthier foods?
We encourage you to keep your focus on your health and wellness. You can start small (once or twice a week), or you may choose to dive into including healthier foods in your daily meals. See Which foods to eat (and what to avoid) ›
Before you begin, consider your medical condition
In general, a plant-based diet is considered safe. However, adapt the diet to your needs, allergies, and other medical conditions. Discuss your diet with your healthcare team and determine if you need to make adjustments due to side effects, symptoms, or health conditions.
Example: If you experience diarrhea from radiation damage to your colon, you may temporarily need to eat refined grains instead of whole grains. This could mean eating white rice rather than the brown rice recommended as part of a whole-foods diet.
If you’re not able to eat well because of symptoms and side effects of your cancer or other medical condition, you may need to address those symptoms and side effects as part of Eating Well.
Some symptoms and side effects that can interfere with Eating Well:
- Changes in appetite due to altered taste
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Oral symptoms
Diagnostic tests may determine if you have nutrient imbalances or deficiencies. Ask your healthcare team whether tests may be right for you, then work with a qualified oncology nutritionist or dietician to interpret results and create an eating plan.
Get started: recommended aids to start eating well
You may want to ask your oncology care team for a referral to a nutritionist or dietican. Or perhaps you’d like to find an online resource for information and recipes. Maybe you want a small group, whether friends or an online community, to talk with and share support. We offer several suggestions here, but also look to see what’s available locally to help you make changes at your pace.
Whether with a program, an online course, a book, a video, or a dietician to guide you in making changes, match the format with your learning style and how you find motivation to act.
Recipes, blogs, and online resources
Videos and podcasts
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 frozen banana
2 teaspoons almond butter
1 tablespoon toasted carob powder
1/2 cup ice
strawberries to taste (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.