What Do Chemo Patients Eat?


Quick Answer

Patients undergoing chemotherapy must eat a healthy diet rich in low-fat foods, fruits, beans, peas, leafy greens and other vegetables, according to the American Cancer Society. Chemotherapy patients should avoid eating pickled, smoked or processed foods but increase their intake of foods rich in protein, such as yogurt.

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Full Answer

Other foods that chemotherapy patients can eat include low-fat milk, granola, cereal, soups and ice cream. They can add butter, whipped cream, regular mayonnaise and jam to their meals. Patients should aim to consume at least 2 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables daily to have a well-balanced diet, claims the American Cancer Society. Chemotherapy patients can eat the foods that they want, but they should try to make healthy choices and strive to maintain their appetite, states WebMD. Although a decrease in appetite is a common side effect of chemotherapy, patients can add condiments such as ketchup, soy sauce or barbeque sauce to increase the flavor of food and encourage eating, notes Mayo Clinic.

Because chemotherapy patients need to maintain a healthy weight, they are encouraged to consume snacks often, asserts the American Cancer Society. Foods that are high in calories and loaded with protein help promote healthy weight gain for chemotherapy patients who may be losing weight as a consequence of therapy.

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