People diagnosed with cancer have increased need for nutrition. Muscle wasting and loss of body weight can render the patient weak. But, eating food does not come easy to patients fighting against cancer. They face a number of side effects like nausea, loss of appetite or swallowing difficulties that make food intake a daily challenge. Ergo, it becomes necessary to make each meal count and ensure that high calorie food is taken.
High Calorie Diets For Cancer Patients
High Cal Soups
Cancer patients have a high need for nutrition. Soup, is not a high calorie food all by itself, but is easier to swallow and digest. To make soup count as a high calorie food you can make the base of the soup with cream milk and add more fresh cream to thicken it, in case the patient is lactose intolerant, opt for lactose free milk and cream. You can add a number of other things to make a simple soup a haven of calories and nutrition.
Rice noodles, shredded meat, beans, tofu or grated cheese are high in calories and add some nutrition to the soup too. You can add powdered supplements of protein to ensure the patient gets enough dietary protein to avoid loss of body mass. Many patients have problem eating vegetables so it easier if you blend vegetables and add it to the soup to add some nutrition.
High Calorie Drinks
Cancer patients find it easier to take in hick drinks that are easy to swallow and high on both nutrition and energy. You can try different recipes of chocolate-cream smoothies, hot chocolate, fruit-cream smoothies, yoghurt-fruit smoothie etc.
All these drinks are very high in calories and provide atleast 500 cal per 180ml. You can also opt to use high calorie drinks that are now readily available in the market.
If the patient has trouble eating food, smash some boiled potatoes, add butter and milk and mash well. The butter will not only add taste but also increase the calorie count.
Corn is a high calorie food. You can have cream corn or sweet corn. If the patient has trouble eating it you can puree the corn.
Nuts in all form are stuffed with calories and omega-3 essential fats. You can use nuts in any way you like with desserts, salads or just as dry fruits. You can also substitute normal butter with peanut butter. Peanut butter sandwiches provide high number of calories too.
Milk shakes, ice cream, chocolate mousse, puddings etc are high calorie desserts. They are easy to eat (no problem with swallowing) and delectable too. If the patient is young, this will really be helpful in adding a huge amount of calories to their food. You can use whipped cream or heavy cream to prepare them.
Use lots of chocolates and nuts. Nuts also provide a lot of calories along with essential fatty acids. You can top the desserts with a handful of almonds, cashews, pistachios or whatever nuts you can lay your hands on.
The easiest way to turn a simple food into a high cal food is use substitution. Add butter and cheese to sandwiches, casseroles, gravies, curries, breads and pastas. Use condensed milk, evaporated milk or sour cream to make desserts and other food instead of skimmed milk or normal cream.