When an individual is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there are many lifestyle changes that must take place. One of those changes has to do with how, what, and when you eat. While the exact form that your pancreatic cancer diet will take depends a great deal on the state of your cancer, there are several guidelines that are likely to apply in any situation.
While undergoing treatment for the pancreatic tumor, you will need to abandon the idea of three meals a day. In order to allow your body to process protein, carbohydrates, and various essential nutrients to best advantage, scheduling a series of smaller meals throughout the day would be to your advantage. There is a good chance your pancreatic cancer diet will include five or six small meals that are more or less consumed at regular intervals during your waking hours.
The structure of those five or six meals will also be different from what you have done in the past. Keep in mind that a pancreatic cancer diet calls for a low intake of fat coupled with an increased consumption of carbohydrates. The extra carbohydrates provide energy that you need to get through the day. Limiting your fat intake places less stress on your body and also helps to minimize the chances of clogging your system with excess amounts of cholesterol.
While you watch the fat intake, there is good chance you will need to consume more calories. This is especially true if you are recovering from surgery. When this is the case, your doctor and nutritionist will probably urge you to enjoy foods like yogurt, milk-based products, and puddings. This type of fat will place less stress on your system while still providing the calories you need to keep your weight within a healthy range. The simple carbohydrates in puddings, chocolate milk, and yogurt mixed with fruit will give you energy throughout the day.
Helping you to develop the most efficient nutrition plan requires professional assistance. Any other health issues must be taken into consideration when compiling a list of foods that can or cannot be consumed. For example, if you have diabetes in any form, your doctor and nutritionist are likely to provide a list of foods that have acceptable amounts of complex carbohydrates that you can consume in moderation. Along with that list of acceptable carbohydrate sources, you will also receive a list of foods containing simple carbohydrates to either avoid or include no more than a couple of times a week.
Keep in mind that your pancreatic cancer diet will be adjusted from time to time, depending on the status of your health. Some changes will take place as a result of how you respond to various modes of treatment. If you have recently undergone surgery as part of your pancreatic cancer treatment, you may find that some foods that were acceptable before the procedure are now off limits, while others that your nutritionist discouraged before are now encouraged.
There is no single pancreatic cancer diet that is ideal for all situations. Using these general guidelines, your physician will assess your condition and work with a nutritionist to develop a general diet that will help you maintain energy while also supporting your need for proper nutrition. Your nutritionist can help you design a rotating list of small but nutritional meals that ensure you have everything you need in terms of fat, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins each day. As you become more comfortable with the process, you can begin to come up with meal plans on your own, adding some variety to your meals.