In cancer, healthy eating is of secondary importance – health and science

Where does this news come from?

doctor. Elisabeth de Waele (VUB) is a specialist in Nutrition and Cancer (Clinical Nutrition) at the University Hospital Brussels. In De Morgen of March 25, she states that healthy eating is very important, except for the period when you have cancer. Then it is about preventing malnutrition and eating as many calories as possible (1). After all, malnutrition is a major risk for people with cancer who are undergoing cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy. A few days later, a group of doctors, most of them committed to pseudoscientific theories, responded that cancer patients should go on a diet, eat as little as possible and preferably no sugar (2).

until 87% of cancer patients You will have to deal with it sooner or later Malnutrition And Weight lossBecause the food is tasteless or the treatment makes you feel nauseous (3).

  • One malnutrition unfavorable effect all over Cancer treatmentThe more side effects, the less successful the treatment, leading to a decrease in quality of life and life expectancy (4,5).
  • It comes to this stage Don’t lose a lot of weight And to stay strong. And if necessary with high-calorie unhealthy products. Healthy eating is now secondary to period (6).

it’s you with food or diet Cancer or cancer treatment useful It can affect, as the group of doctors claims (2), it has been studied many times, but still did not appear.

  • Cellular and animal research shows that A A low-sugar or ketogenic diet It could have a beneficial effect on cancer in the laboratory or in laboratory animals, but that is it Not tested on humans.
  • Cancer patients get advice here Not alone To begin with.
  • little food It does not have a beneficial effect on cancer either, although there are books about it.
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How do you explain this news?

healthy food It clearly plays a role in it It is forbidden Cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. There is enough scientific evidence for this. also to whom I got cured Is from cancer, is eating healthy Important.

  • during cancer treatment healthy food helps to Fewer side effects to experiment.
  • The condition is that you Continue to eat enough so you don’t lose too much weight. The latter usually does not work.
  • nope the cancer same like Cancer treatment Making healthy eating difficult.
    • This is because Complaints and side effectsFatigue, nausea, change in taste, aversion to certain foods…
    • This condition can quickly lead to: Weight lossand so on Malnutrition.

because Slow down the processDo Eat enough calories and protein priority.

  • They come from less healthy food he is from small.
  • after recovery You can then switch back to A healthy and balanced diet.
  • National and international guidelines on nutrition and cancer often state this not enough To eat healthy food alone Prevent malnutrition (6).

Especially for cancer patients good foodThe Cancer Foundation has a free program recipe book With high-calorie recipes (7). It contains the following tips:

  • spread your meals throughout the day;
  • Care Snacks Immediately High energy valuesuch as nuts, almonds, or dried fruit;
  • eat at your place sentence you have in
  • Adjust meal times The night fast is shortened;
  • consume as much as possible protein foodssuch as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products;
  • Do not hesitate to Soups and purees to enrich Cream, butter, eggs, cheese, or some oil;
  • Enjoy rich desserts b honey, sugar or jam;
  • Add a little flavour oil or bechamel sauce to cook it vegetables;
  • Take one Generous breakfast;
  • Drink enough;
  • Eat meals in one Relaxed and relaxed atmosphere.
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To maintain strength and prevent malnutrition, it is best for cancer patients to follow an energy-dense diet. Because they often suffer from a lack of appetite or nausea due to illness or treatment, good food comes first. And for those who want: with butter, cream or other high-calorie “unhealthy” products. A healthy eating pattern is not a priority at the moment. Diets have no proven effect on cancer treatment. So we advise against them. Elizabeth de Wiley’s advice is based on recognized scientific guidelines.


(3) Cancer Foundation. Malnutrition in cancer. Don’t underestimate the effect!

(4) Mariani L, Lo Vullo S, Bozzetti F; SCRINIO working group. Weight loss in cancer patients: a plea for better awareness of the issue. Cancer Care Support 2012; 20 (2): 301-9. doi: 10.1007/s00520-010-1075-7.

(5) National Dietitian Oncology Working Group. National guideline: Malnutrition in cancer patients. Version 1.0. Holland, 2012.


(7) Nutrition and lifestyle advice from COMPAS for malnourished (former) cancer patients

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