National Nutrition Month 2018

Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) shines a spotlight on the importance of nutrition for Americans.  At Savor Health we appreciate this importance, and work to do our part by improving the lives of cancer patients and their caregivers through personalized nutrition and exercise solutions. 1

 

Go Further with Food

For 2018, the theme of National Nutrition Month is “Go Further with Food”, highlighting the importance of reducing food waste.  In 2010, the USDA estimated that over 66.5 million tons of food, or approximately 30% of the food supply was wasted and thrown out. 2 Reducing food waste isn’t just about the physical actions that we can take, but the mental ones as well.  Changing the way that we think about food and eating habits is a significant step in reducing food waste and improving health.  For those with cancer, this is important.

 

Go Further with Food During the Cancer Journey

Going further with food may be beneficial before, during and after cancer treatment.  Being smart about reducing waste may help optimize nutrition when experiencing side effects of treatment, cut back on food preparation time when fatigued, and help save money during an often financially challenging time.  For patients and caregivers, this can also be a powerful strategy to effectively recover from treatment and avoid any unnecessary weight loss.  Try the following strategies to go further with food, for cancer:

 

  1. During treatment, choose to purchase only foods that will power you through your day.
    • Limit sugary, fatty or processed foods daily. Instead choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein to keep energy levels higher during treatment and to enhance recovery.
    • Side effects of treatment may make it hard to eat. Find modified recipes that can work to alleviate the side effects and improve taste and enjoyment.
    • Saving food means saving calories. Calories are essential during the tougher times of treatment, so it’s important to always have nutrient dense foods easily available
  2. Ensure food safety and avoid waste by storing and preparing foods properly.
    • Utilize Tupperware, plastic bags, plastic wrap, and tin foil to properly store perishable foods in the freezer or refrigerator. Make sure to label and keep the older food items to the front of the fridge shelf, while the newer items can remain in the back.
    • When reheating items, make sure that the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid any issues with food borne contaminants.
    • During cancer treatment, food safety is priority. Wash hands, cook food appropriately, and avoid any cross contamination of raw produce and cooked meats.  To be safe, cook or blanch your vegetables.  If you have any doubt, throw it out!
  3. Plan ahead.
    • Prepare meals ahead of time to reduce food waste and ensure proper nutrition around treatment and procedures, like surgery. Having foods ready in advance will help to decrease the amount of work that you have to do following cancer treatments.
    • Portion out snacks and frozen bulk meals ahead of time to prevent unnecessary waste and leftovers that can spoil.
    • Before going to the grocery store, make a shopping list. Shopping lists can prevent the purchase of excess foods that may spoil and help you to save money.

 

RDN Day is March 14th

As part of National Nutrition Month, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics honors the hard work and important contributions that Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists (RDNs) make in the field of nutrition each and every day.  For cancer care, the oncology credentialed RDN is the specialized expert who focuses on evidenced-based clinical nutrition strategies specifically tailored to patients before, during and after cancer treatment.  Savor Health is proud of our experienced oncology credentialed team, who work tirelessly each day to provide personalized nutrition care for our patients.

On March 14th remember the RDNs in your life who work to make the world a more nutritious one.

Rebecca MacLean

Rebecca MacLean is a dietetic intern and graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University. Rebecca received her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science with a minor in Sustainable Food Systems from the University of Maine. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys home cooking and spending as much time as possible in the outdoors. She currently resides in New York City.

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