Foods to Avoid While Eating Out with Breast Cancer

Foods to Avoid While Eating Out with Breast Cancer

Making good dietary choices while being treated for breast cancer reduces any further chances of weakening the immune system. Certain foods, however healthy or nutritious they may sound, are best avoided for breast cancer patients. These foods carry the risk of airborne or foodborne illnesses and viruses that may affect the already weak immune system. There are several common side effects of breast cancer treatments and nausea, vomiting and mouth sores are common complaints among patients of this condition. While planning meals for these patients, care must be taken to avoid foods linked to breast cancer.

Here are certain foods linked to breast cancer that must be avoided while eating out:

  • Raw sprouts like alfalfa sprouts
  • Undercooked eggs such as soft boiled, poached, or over easy
  • Sushi variants that contain raw fishes must be avoided since they harbor harmful pathogens. Although the label suggests “sushi-grade” or “sashimi-grade”, a quick check with your doctor for his advice is a good idea
  • Raw or unpasteurized eggs or foods made with raw eggs. Raw cookie dough is an example of this
  • Unwashed fruits, herbs and vegetables, especially leafy vegetables and salad veggies can hide dirt and other infection-causing germs. Unwashed produce may also harbor insects, bacteria, and parasites. Thus, wash them thoroughly and scrub and peel them if that is possible
  • Smoked fish
  • Undercooked or raw shellfish, like oysters. They may carry the hepatitis A virus and therefore should be cooked thoroughly to destroy these germs before consumption
  • Deli-prepared salads with egg, ham, chicken or seafood.
  • Cold hot dogs or (cold cuts) deli lunch meats. It is necessary to reheat till the meat is steaming hot.
  • Uncooked, dry-cured salami
  • Raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products such as yogurt. Pasteurization heats the liquid and food to a high temperature that kills the germs and other harmful bacteria that can cause infection and illnesses
  • Soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. Examples include blue-veined cheese, Brie, Camembert, feta, goat cheese, and queso fresco/blanco. These veins are actually molds where bacteria and other germs harbor
  • Alcohol
  • Refined fats
  • Added sugars
  • Processed foods
  • Red meat
  • Fresh salsa and salad dressings refrigerated and sold in cases. Since these batches are claimed to be fresh, they may not have the same standards of preservation as that of canned and bottled stock. They may, therefore, be contaminated.
  • Water-packed tofu. Potentially harmful bacteria thrive in moisture and can quickly multiply in numbers in moist environments.

Balanced nutrition and a healthy diet are important, especially for breast cancer patients as nourishing meals help the body heal faster from the treatment. Certain foods like fruits, green vegetables, legumes, and protein-rich sources are good for these patients. Alcohol, artificial preservatives, and processed foods are foods linked to breast cancer. Breast cancer patients must also lead an active life. Along with dietary changes, exercises play an important role in keeping the condition under control.