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Nutrition Guidelines are Inconsistent

Posted 3/31/2013

Posted in

In a nutshell, here is what we know about nutrition and cancer: Not Much. If you Google nutrition/cancer or stand in a bookstore or look on Amazon, you will be rapidly overwhelmed by all the advice. The problem is that very little of it is based on sound research and much of it is contradictory and misleading. Since diet is something that we can contol, most of us wonder what we should or should not be eating. Will be make the cancer grow if I eat sugar? What about dairy? (I chose those two examples as it is easy to find, in the unproven press, prohibitions against those foods)

  There is sound research about diet and heart disease, but very, very little about cancer. I have known some women who embarked on a macro-biotic diet; I know no one who stuck with it. That particular diet is both high energy and does not taste so good. I know many women who make some dietary changes, and they are often sound in the context of general good health. We know that it is wise to eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and less red meat. We also know that no diet prevents cancer or its recurrence.

  The danger, I think, is becoming a slave to diet anxiety. If you worry about every bite you put in your mouth, you most certainly are diminishing the enjoyment of meals and, to my mind, your quality of life. If you can afford to buy organic produce, it is likely healthier--but comes with no cancer guarantees. If you like fish, eat more of it. If you crave carbs, especially while on chemotherapy, eat up. There is an old joke about the perfect chemo meal being mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and white bread. During treatment, we all revert to our own comfort foods and whatever sits easily in an unsettled stomach. After treatment, my own decisions and advice are to eat a generally healthy diet, but not to make yourself nuts about it.

  This is an article from Eurkea about the inconsistent advice on the Web. As in, even if you are trying to do your research and make sound choices, it is confusing.

Many cancer institution websites lack nutritional guidance, others give mixed messages

New analysis revealed that online dietary recommendations for cancer patients appear

to be consistently inconsistent

PHILADELPHIA—Radiation oncologists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are stressing the

PHILADELPHIA—Radiation oncologists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are stressing the

need for evidence based, standardized guidelines on dietary recommendations for cancer patients—

and with good reason. A new analysis revealed that online dietary recommendations for cancer

patients, if even present on an institution's website, appear to be consistently inconsistent.

A review of all 21 of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions

found that only four provided nutritional guidelines, with seven linking to external sites. What's

more, many of the sites with recommendations contradicted each other.

The results were published online March 26 in Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal.

Given that recent data reveals that dietary factors may influence outcomes in patients undergoing

cancer treatment, and that over 60 percent of patients head to the Internet for guidance on diet,

it's imperative that information is as accurate and uniform as possible, says senior author Colin

Champ, M.D., a resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson .

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