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Nutrition is an important part of life, cancer treatment, recovery, and prevention. Food is one of the few things you can be in control of during your treatment. The oncology certified registered dietitians at the Stanford Cancer Center are here to help you make informed choices about nutrition, answer your nutrition-related questions, and help you to achieve and maintain good health.
Each individual's calorie and protein requirements will vary. For a rough estimate of calorie needs, plan on consuming 25 to 35 calories for each kilogram of weight (1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds). The current recommended daily allowance for protein is 45 to 60 grams per day. It is important to discuss your individual calorie and protein requirements with your physician or registered dietitian. With some cancers, the metabolic processes can cause a situation known as hypermetabolism that affects how the body uses proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. With hypermetabolism you may need to increase your calorie and protein intake. Discuss this with your physician or registered dietitian.
What foods are high in calories?
Listed below are some suggestions for adding calories and protein to your meals and snacks:
Add butter or margarine (45 calories per teaspoon) to puddings, casseroles, sandwiches, vegetables, cooked cereal, breads, and pasta.
Add wheat germ (25 calories per tablespoon and 2 grams protein per tablespoon):
To hot cereals
To meat dishes, cookie batter, and casseroles
Add avocados, mayonnaise or salad dressing (45 calories per teaspoon) liberally to sandwiches, salads, and as a dip for raw vegetables or sauce on cooked vegetables.
Add evaporated milk (25 calories and 1 gram protein per tablespoon) in place of whole milk in desserts, baked goods, meat dishes, and cooked cereal.
Add sour cream (26 calories per tablespoon) to:
Potatoes, casseroles, and dips
Sauces and baked goods
Add sweetened condensed milk (60 calories and 1 gram protein per tablespoon) to:
Pies, puddings, and milkshakes
1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and spread on toast
Add gravies (40 calories per tablespoon) liberally on mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, and meats.
Add peanut butter or any nut butter to bread/toast or shakes.
Broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are all cruciferous vegetables. This vegetable family contains powerful phytochemicals, including carotenoids, indoles and glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have been studied and shown to slow the growth of many cancers.