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A healthy diet is an integral aspect of supporting your body when confronting cancers such as mesothelioma. Research shows that almost all cancers — 80-90 percent — are caused by environmental factors, and of these, 30-40 percent are directly linked to diet. This leaves no question as to the importance of proper nutrition during cancer treatment program, including those for mesothelioma.
It’s essential to know which foods can be detrimental to your health. Here are some of the types of foods that should be avoided if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or if you’re undergoing mesothelioma treatments.
Processed sugars, including white and brown sugar and corn syrup, should be avoided or limited by those with mesothelioma. Consuming too much processed sugar can lead to high insulin levels, which can contribute to increased inflammation and worsen outcomes. Cutting back on sugar-loaded foods such as candy, baked goods, sugary cereals and sodas can help strengthen the immune system and increase energy levels.
Avoiding excess alcohol consumption is part and parcel of any healthy lifestyle, and certainly holds true for mesothelioma, too. Research specifically shows that patients treated for mesothelioma who also smoke and drink alcohol lessen their disease-free survival time significantly.
Refined white flours are stripped of their natural oils, fiber and minerals. Over-consumption of foods based on refined flour has been shown to be linked with poor blood sugar balance, which can increase the risk of inflammation and chronic disease. Choose whole grains for better nutrient density and overall health.
It’s known that consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of bad LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of good HDL cholesterol. High consumption of trans fats has been shown to be linked to certain types of cancer and should be avoided when aiming for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Smoking, curing or salting meats as well as adding preservatives, creates cancer-causing substances which can damage the cells in your body. Conversely, studies have shown an antioxidant-rich plant- based diet that is very low in animal products provides key support for the body during mesothelioma treatment.
Cooking foods over high heat and deep frying can increase the presence of carcinogens. Mesothelioma patients should focus on steaming, baking boiling, and sautéing when preparing meals. When grilling foods, be sure to cook at a lower temperature to avoid the formation of carcinogens.
Avoiding these foods and focusing on a plant-based, nutrient-rich, whole foods diet plan provides an excellent foundation of nutritional support for the body during treatment and recovery from mesothelioma. For more individualized support, nutrition professionals can be sought out to help create plans that are tailored to your personal needs.