Editor’s note: Each week, our Friday Fix series offers pancreatic cancer patients, their families and caregivers a new topic related to health, diet and nutrition. In June, we’re focusing on how to best approach the core meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. For today’s post, we talk about the importance of lunch and offer some recipe ideas.
Breakfast gets the credit as the most important meal of the day, and Oscar Wilde famously wrote he would never go without dinner.
But what about lunch?
The goal of lunch is to find the right balance and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs. A balanced diet of healthy fats, carbohydrates and proteins can help beat fatigue and may help patients ward off weight loss.
For patients experiencing nausea, it is especially important to keep the right amount of food in the stomach, as too much, or too little, can trigger nausea. Some pancreatic cancer patients may find it helpful to eat smaller meals and increase the number of snacks throughout the day, as it may be difficult to take in large amounts of food.
Remember the importance of protein, too, when it comes to lunch. For pancreatic cancer patients, lean meats (skinless chicken, turkey and some red meats), eggs, beans and lentils are some of the easiest ways to incorporate protein into your diet and can aid in increasing energy and weight maintenance.
Also important to note, when the pancreas doesn’t function like it should, it fails to produce the enzymes needed to properly digest food.
This can lead to abdominal pain, changes in the stool, weight loss and more. Replacing missing enzymes is critical, and patients should speak with their doctor about a prescription for pancreatic enzymes supplements.
A recently published paper in the journal Pancreas and presented by PanCAN and other collaborators, described how appropriate use of pancreatic enzymes can make patients living with pancreatic cancer feel much better.
Luckily, lunch can be delicious without being complicated. Below, you can find some of our favorite recipes from the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) to try.
- Green Goddess Buddha Bowl
- Salade Niçoise
- Spinach Saag with Golden Tofu
- South of the Boarder Beans and Rice
- Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap
Pancreatic cancer patients often have many questions and concerns about nutritional care. MyPlate, American Institute for Cancer Research and Cooking. Comfort. Care., can be used as resources for healthy diets on a budget. Since each patient has their own nutritional needs, we recommend patients consult with a registered dietitian for nutritional advice.