Eating Right

Guidelines for Good Health

The foods you choose can make a difference in your health and survivorship. Eating right may help you regain your strength, rebuild tissue, and feel well. 


There are no guarantees that anything you do will keep cancer away, but being Patient Active means doing everything you reasonably can to maintain your health. Eating right is one of those things, and this session is devoted to helping you understand how to do that after treatment. 


Eating right starts with selecting a variety of foods every day because no one food contains all the nutrients you need. Here are the fundamentals of eating a healthy and varied diet: 


  • Focus on plant-based foods
  • Go for color with fruits and vegetables—nature’s food rainbow of deep yellow, orange, and red. Raw or cooked vegetables, fruits, and fruit juices provide the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need
  • Emphasize whole grains and legumes like whole wheat bread or tortillas, oats, brown rice, and beans and lentils. These foods are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. 
  • Go easy on fat, salt, sugar, alcohol, and smoked and pickled foods. Try lower fat cooking methods such as broiling, steaming, and poaching rather than frying or charbroiling
  • Select low-fat milk products and small portions—no more than 6 to 7 ounces per day—of lean meat, fish and/or skinless poultry. The key here is healthy protein, which is also available from vegetable sources such as soy products


Following these guidelines can help you heal well and feel stronger.  Maintaining a healthy weight is a desirable goal and a benefit of following the guidelines to eating right. Since obesity has been linked to poor prognoses for cancer survivors, eating reasonable portions of a well-balanced diet can help you maintain a weight that’s healthy for your height.

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