Integrated Health Clinic Cancer Care Centre introduces individualized patient focused, cancer specific nutritional counselling for our patients.
Cancer and Nutrition:
It is well-known that the cancer rates are increasing each year, particularly in the industrialized nations. One of the biggest factors contributing to this rise is the types of foods being eaten, and not eaten, by those living in these nations. In fact, up to 85% of cancers are preventable, and are caused by diet, smoking, excessive alcohol, and environmental carcinogens. We are able to assess the effects of modern diets on health, as there remain many cultures that eat a traditional, unrefined, whole-foods diet. Not surprisingly, the rates of cancer and other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, in each of these societies is still relatively low.
What is a Whole Foods Diet?
A whole foods diet can be referred to by names such as: Paleolithic Diet, Hunter Gatherer Diet, Traditional Diet, Ancestral Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, and others. Although there are differences in the dietary histories and philosophies of these diets they do have a few dietary principles in common. All these diets only allow foods in their unprocessed, whole form, such as: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fish, and varied amounts of wild and/or organic animal products. They do not include foods that have been processed, refined and/or packaged.
The Role of Diet in Cancer Treatment:
Not all cancers require the same dietary and nutritional interventions. During cancer treatment, the requirements of certain macro and micro nutrients change; therefore it is important to address an individual’s specific dietary needs on an ongoing basis. Through the management of diet and the educated use of nutritional supplements, our cancer patients can assure themselves that their nutritional needs are being met.
With more than a decade of experience treating cancer patients at the Integrated Health Clinic, we are aware that making dietary changes is one of the most challenging parts of a patient’s healing journey. Therefore, we recommend that an individual incorporate dietary changes slowly, one step at a time. To assist an individual in making these changes, we have developed a nutritional counselling program that offers one on one consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor. Dietary recommendations will be adapted to target the idiosyncrasies of varied cancers and treatments being used. The following is a summary of the kinds of resources that are provided during a nutritional consultation, all of which are cancer specific.
- Cancer specific diets plus 7-day menu plans
- Specific dietary guidelines for common side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatments (constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite & weight )
- Dietary guidance including a Recipe booklet for patients who have an ”ostomy”
- Recipe booklets (broths, juicing, smoothies, etc)
- Dietary handouts on the macronutrients and the recommended daily intakes (fiber, glycemic index, healthy fats & oils, protein)
- Cooking guidelines (grains, legumes)
- Information about the top anti-cancer foods
- Information about common food intolerances and/or allergies, and the alternatives (dairy, egg, gluten, wheat)
- Meal planning resources (cookbooks, Recipe booklets, websites)
- Shopping resources (grocery store shopping list, organic and whole food retailers in the Fraser Valley)
Some Food for Thought – Here are some of the Basics.
Eat & Drink more of the following:
- Colourful fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole oats, etc)
- Nuts, seeds, olives and fish
- Ample purified water and moderately green tea
- Garlic, onions, and ginger
- Dark greens (kale, spinach, etc)
- Spices (turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon, etc)
- Wild mushrooms (shitake, maitake, reishi, etc)
Eat and drink less of the following:
- Processed foods of all types
- Preservatives, food colourings and flavourings
- Simple sugars (“cornerstore foods”)
- Hydrogenated or Trans fats (margarine, etc)
- Alcohol and soft drinks
- Smoked and processed meats
- Refined carbohydrates (white flour products)
- Too much food! (Eat to maintain healthy weight)