Diet for Pancreatic Cancer Patient

Ask the Nutritionist

Q:What is the best diet for someone with pancreatic cancer?

Ana, Ponta Delgada, Portugal 

A: We recommend that all cancer survivors eat a plant-based diet. This means choosing healthy, minimally processed foods high in plant products, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables in varying colors (red, orange/yellow, dark green, blue/purple, and white, such as garlic or cauliflower)
  • Protein such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, whole wheat breads, and pastas

It is also important to maintain adequate hydration with water and natural fruit juices. In general, we also recommend a standard multivitamin (without iron).

With pancreatic cancers, blood sugar control might be affected. Choosing plant-based sources of carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains is preferred over foods that include high-fructose corn syrup or a significant amount of table sugar. Eating smaller meals, more frequently during the day, is another important strategy. Be sure to include a protein source with all of your meals and snacks to help blood sugar control and boost energy levels. Good sources of protein include beans, fish, nuts, and eggs.

We encourage you to meet with a registered dietitian or other qualified nutrition professional in your area to help provide more individualized recommendations.

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