I will be in cancer treatment this holiday season. Should I change anything about what I eat?

Consider the side effects you’re experiencing and what foods can help alleviate them or what foods you should avoid. If you are hosting the dinner, you will be able to control what you cook. If other people are creating part of the meal, there is a good chance they will ask you if you have any specific dietary restrictions. If they don’t, make sure that you create your own items so you know that you have some food you can eat.

If you are unsure of what is best for you, consult a registered dietician or ask your doctor or nurse to provide a consultation. Additionally, the library at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge has cookbooks and materials on nutrition available to anyone to check out.

It is also smart to make healthy replacements. Focus on using spices for flavor instead of just depending on salt and use low-sodium broth when possible. Eat a roasted turkey instead of a fried version. Try wild rice instead of a traditional stuffing. Have fresh fruit for dessert or make healthy substitutions during baking, such as egg whites or applesauce instead of oil. Avoid alcohol, instead opting for water or a club soda.

Perhaps one of the best suggestions is simply to focus on family and friends instead of food. Take time to talk with those you might not see often and make plans for other activities outside of eating.

For more information, contact Courtney Britton, librarian at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, at (225) 927-2273, cbritton@cancerservices.org, or visit the Education Center at 550 Lobdell Ave., Baton Rouge.

ä Internet Resources:

Healthy Holiday Eating – Mayo Clinic


This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.