Good nutrition when you have cancer is vital. Eating well throughout treatment has multiple benefits, these include;
- maintaining your muscle mass, strength and energy
- improving recovery from surgery, wound healing and rebuilding damaged tissues
- better managing side effects from treatment
- improving immune system function to better fight infections
However, following a well-balanced diet can be difficult at the best of times. This is compounded when you are experiencing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, altered sense of taste and smell, dry or sore mouth or difficulty chewing and swallowing food.
Inadequate nutritional intake can result in rapid, unintentional weight loss. This can leave you feeling tired and lethargic and unable to do your usual activities. You may not cope as well with your treatment either. If you are finding it difficult to eat enough food to meet your body’s nutritional requirements and maintain your weight, you may find including a nutritional supplement beneficial. There are a wide variety of nutritional supplements available. It is important that you choose one that meets your body’s nutritional requirements and that you enjoy.
Some nutritional supplements are ready made, which means they require no effort to prepare and are convenient to take with you when you are out. Fortisip is a milk based nutritional supplement which is nutritionally complete. This means that it can meet your body’s full nutritional requirements if consumed in adequate amounts. Most people however only require it to supplement their diet. In these cases, it is great to consume as a snack between meals 2 to 3 times a day.
Fortisip Compact Protein is another milk based, nutritionally complete supplement which has been condensed to a smaller volume. This is beneficial if you are unable to consume large amounts, fluid restricted or need a lot of extra calories and protein.
If you dislike milk-based products, Fortijuice is a juice based nutritional supplement. It is suitable to consume as a supplement to food but is not nutritionally complete and therefore can’t be used as a sole source of nutrition. Fortijuice does not contain fat and is considered a clear fluid, so is a great way to boost your nutritional intake if you are on a restricted diet.
As an alternative to the ready-made nutritional supplements, Sustagen®Hospital Neutral Formula can be used to boost the nutritional content of the foods and fluids that you are already consuming. It is best added to wet foods such as soups, stews, casseroles, porridge or custard. As it has a neutral flavour it shouldn’t affect the taste of your food. Sustagen powder can also be added to drinks such as milk, milkshakes, smoothies, tea and coffee to boost their nutritional content.
If you are concerned about the adequacy of your nutritional intake, are struggling to eat due to nutrition impact symptoms from treatment or are interested in optimising your overall health through improved nutrition you may benefit from speaking to an Accredited Practising Dietitian with experience in Oncology. A dietitian can help advise you if you are interested in taking a nutritional supplement as to what supplement is most suitable for you, when to take it and how often.
If you are here in Perth, Empower Oncology Nutrition can provide you with at home nutrition consultations. And a special thank you to Emma from Empower Oncology Nutrition for guiding us with this collection. You can contact Emma directly (by clicking on the link above) or via referral from your oncology team.
*Please note delivery times for nutritional supplements can be longer as they are specially ordered items - please contact us for exact delivery time frames. Freight is calculated on an individual order basis by weight and location. If the total weight is less than 5kg our standard shipping rates will apply*