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What do MD Anderson Dietitians Eat?

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by Adelina Espat, MD Anderson Staff Writer

Carrots in a bowlYour food choices can impact your chances for developing cancer.  And if you're being treated for cancer, what you eat can affect your treatment outcomes.

Every day, MD Anderson dietitians teach patients and survivors how to make healthier food choices. They do this to reduce the possibility of a cancer returning or to increase the chances for successful treatment.

So, what are MD Anderson dietitians eating to stay cancer-free?

To answer this question, we spoke with Rachel Murphy, senior clinical dietitian in MD Anderson's Department of Clinical Nutrition, and Clare McKindley, clinical dietitian in MD Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center.

Here's what they had to say.

How do you get your fill of fruits and vegetables each day?

"Dried fruits are my go to or 100% juice. Dried fruit I can easily add to cereal or just have it as is. Because I don't always tolerate milk well and I'm not as good with my fluid intake, despite my active schedule, I drink an 8 oz glass of calcium fortified orange juice (100% juice). This keeps me hydrated, meets my dietary calcium needs and supports my fruit intake.

"For vegetables, I pre-slice bell peppers to snack on during the day. For example, I'll take the sliced veggies with me to a Mexican restaurant I go to after climbing. I use the vegetables to dip in the salsa. Or, when I go to a pizza restaurant, I'll order lasagna and a salad (no dressing because I generally do not like the taste.) Then, I place a small square of the lasagna on top of my salad. These two techniques help me to maintain my vegetable intake goals." Clare McKindley


How do you make sure you get enough whole grains in your diet?

"I make sure that all the carbohydrates I eat each day are whole grain. I try to minimize my intake of refined carbs as much as possible.'" Rachel Murphy

What's your go-to snack?

"My favorites are fruit or vegetables with string cheese, nuts and dried fruit, granola bars, boiled eggs, carrots and bell peppers." Clare McKindley

What's the one piece of nutrition advice you always find yourself giving patients?
"My advice is simple - increase your fruit and vegetable intake! Research shows that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help protect your body from cancer." Rachel Murphy


Find out more about our dietitians say about diet and cancer in this month's issue of Focused on Health.

Learn how to rein in unhealthy food cravings, find out what foods to include on your plate and get a list of low-cost, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

For more nutrition tips, follow us on Twitter and join our conversations on Facebook.

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