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Nina Hasemann (Credit: St Mary Medical Center)

You know you’re supposed to eat healthy avoiding sodium, sugar and fats, but eating anything can be a challenge when undergoing cancer treatment. Nina Hasemann, a registered dietitian at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne suggests spicing up the food to make it more appetizing. Forget the salt shaker, instead, add fresh herbs and spices to give the food zest and to entice the patient to nibble. Often the treatment leaves patients with a metallic taste in the mouth, so Hasemann suggests avoiding the cutlery and using plastic tableware.

A loss of appetite can be a key issue, but there are ways to cope. She suggests eating several smaller meals through the day foregoing the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule. You can add calories with supplements and protein powders mixed into a favorite liquid. Don’t forget to take snacks to doctor’s appointments, peanut butter crackers, nuts and cut fruit are easy to keep on hand.

Don’t start popping supplements that a friend suggested will help or that you read about on the Internet. Many supplements are not FDA regulated and may contain harmful ingredients. Antioxidant based supplements also have the potential to interfere with your cancer medications therefore causing complications with your treatment. Prior to taking any supplements it is important to speak with your doctor and/or Registered Dietitian to learn more about what you should and shouldn’t be taking.






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