Cancer patients often find it difficult to maintain a balanced diet while undergoing treatment. Protein shakes are an easy, nutritious way to get the nutrients they need. In this article, we discuss the benefits of protein shakes for cancer patients, tips for making them, guidelines for choosing protein powders, potential side effects, and when to seek professional advice.
What is Protein?
Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps the body build and repair tissues, produce enzymes, and create hormones. It’s found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and legumes. Protein can be obtained through a balanced diet or through supplementation, such as protein shakes.
Benefits of Protein Shakes for Cancer Patients
Protein shakes can be a great way for cancer patients to get the nutrients they need while undergoing treatment. Protein shakes can help maintain muscle mass, reduce fatigue, and improve the patient’s overall quality of life. In addition, protein shakes can help cancer patients maintain their weight and reduce their risk of malnutrition.
Tips for Making Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are easy to make and can be tailored to the individual’s tastes. To make a protein shake, mix one scoop of protein powder with a liquid such as milk, water, or juice. Then add a few pieces of fresh or frozen fruit, some ice cubes, and a tablespoon of nut butter for extra flavor and texture. Blend the ingredients together until smooth and enjoy.
Guidelines for Choosing Protein Powders
When choosing a protein powder for a cancer patient, it’s important to consider the type of protein, the source of the protein, and the amount of added sugar. Whey protein is a good choice for cancer patients, as it is easily absorbed and digested. Plant-based proteins such as pea, rice, and hemp are also good options. It’s also important to check the label for added sugar and avoid protein powders with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
Potential Side Effects of Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are generally safe for cancer patients, but they can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Additionally, protein shakes can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, so those with diabetes should be cautious when using them.
When to Seek Professional Advice
Cancer patients should always consult with their doctor or a dietitian before adding any supplements to their diet. It’s important to discuss any potential risks.