The Wellness Library

5-Day Sample Cancer Diet Plan – Building Healthier Habits

by | Jun 20, 2024 | Cancer Care

Sample cancer diet plan to encourage healthier habits

This sample cancer diet plan was created by a MIMC professional to help patients support healthier habits. Before reading the plan, learn about how food choices and cancer are correlated, as well as what helpful food types were selected for this plan and why!

How Diet Relates to Cancer

Different types of cancer can result in a variety of side effects, many of which can affect eating habits and a person’s quality of life. Those currently undergoing cancer treatment will want to maintain healthy meal habits to support their body as they experience treatment and bodily changes. This means lowering the consumption of harmful foods like salty, processed meats and instead balancing your diet with a variety of nutrients to maintain a healthy body.

Utilizing diet plans catered to your personal needs can help improve your quality of life while receiving cancer care. Some symptoms of cancer can affect your eating habits, and change the way you receive nutrients. It is highly recommended to work alongside a professional to better understand your body’s needs and how to provide it with sufficient nutrients.

However, we understand that changing your food habits is not always easy. It is arguably just as important to have an interesting diet as it is to have a healthy diet, otherwise eating can start to feel boring, or even like a chore. To help bring you some healthy ideas for a cancer diet plan, we’ve provided a sample diet plan below—containing 3 meals per day for 5 days, plus a daily snack for some nutritious inspiration. You can also learn more about cancer diet plans and nutrition goals with Cancer.gov.

RELATED: How to Meal Prep: 4 Simple Steps You Can Start Today

MIMC Sample Cancer Diet Plan

This 5 day long sample cancer diet plan emphasizes the importance of incorporating complex carbohydrates, plant-based fats, and grass-fed pasture-raised meats into your meals—as well as avoiding processed and preserved meats. The plan balances macronutrients and includes nutrient-dense, whole foods to support overall health and well-being, particularly for those undergoing cancer treatment. Read more about these suggested nutrients below:

  • Complex Carbohydrates: Essential for fiber, aiding in digestion for regular bowel movements, detoxification, and maintaining steady blood sugar levels.
  • Fats from Plant Sources: Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and olive oil support overall health without harmful additives.
  • Grass-Fed Pasture-Raised Meat: Provides higher nutrient levels (minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids) and fewer pollutants compared to conventionally raised meat.
  • Vitamin C: Crucial for collagen production, wound healing, and energy—often found in fruits and vegetables like berries, citrus, and bell peppers.

Now that you know about the purpose of the foods used in this sample diet plan, explore the daily meals below for some nutritious ideas!

Day 1

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Berries and Nuts

  • 1 cup cooked steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 oz chopped almonds
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad

  • 4 oz cooked chicken breast (pasture-raised)
  • Mixed greens (spinach, arugula, kale)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers
  • Olive oil and lemon vinaigrette

Snack: Apple Slices with Almond Butter

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 2 tbsp almond butter

Dinner: Baked Salmon with Quinoa and Steamed Broccoli

  • 4 oz baked salmon (wild-caught, preferably)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • Lemon wedge for seasoning

Nutritional Focus:

Day one of this sample cancer diet plan incorporates complex carbohydrates from oats and quinoa to provide fiber for detoxification and blood sugar regulation. It also includes vitamin C from berries and broccoli, to support collagen production and energy levels.

Day 2

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt Parfait

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (organic if possible)
  • 1/2 cup granola (low-sugar, whole grain)
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds

Lunch: Quinoa and Black Bean Bowl

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black beans (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • Lime juice and cilantro for seasoning

Snack: Carrot Sticks and Hummus

  • 1 cup carrot sticks
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Dinner: Grass-Fed Beef Stir-Fry

  • 4 oz grass-fed beef strips
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, snap peas)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Soy sauce (low sodium)

Nutritional Focus:

The complex carbohydrates from quinoa and brown rice provide fiber and energy. You’ll also gain benefits from the vitamin C found in the bell peppers and pineapple, to enhance wound healing and energy levels.

Smoothie bowl with kiwi, berries, and granola

Day 3

Breakfast: Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Blend and top with granola and sliced kiwi

Lunch: Lentil Soup with Whole Grain Bread

  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 slice whole grain bread

Snack: Orange Slices and Walnuts

  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented
  • 1 oz walnuts

Dinner: Herb-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

  • 4 oz herb-roasted chicken breast (pasture-raised)
  • 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup steamed asparagus
  • Olive oil and herbs for seasoning

Nutritional Focus:

Complex carbohydrates from sweet potatoes and whole grain bread provide fiber and slower digestion. Vitamin C from the orange slices and berries boosts collagen and energy!

Day 4

Breakfast: Avocado Toast with Eggs

  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 2 poached eggs
  • Sprinkle of chia seeds
  • 1 cup herbal tea

Lunch: Chickpea Salad

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Lemon juice and parsley for seasoning

Snack: Berry Mix

  • 1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

Dinner: Grilled Grass-Fed Lamb Chops with Millet and Green Beans

  • 4 oz grilled lamb chops (grass-fed, pasture-raised)
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 1 cup steamed green beans
  • Mint and garlic seasoning

Nutritional Focus:

Day four of this sample cancer diet plan includes complex carbohydrates from whole grain bread and millet, to promote regular bowel movements. You’ll also get vitamin C from the berries and tomatoes to support collagen and energy levels.

Chia seed pudding with berries

Day 5

Breakfast: Chia Pudding with Fresh Fruit

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit (mango, berries)

Lunch: Grilled Vegetable Wrap

  • 1 whole grain tortilla
  • 1/2 cup grilled zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grilled bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • Spinach leaves

Snack: Citrus Salad

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Dinner: Baked Cod with Wild Rice and Brussels Sprouts

  • 4 oz baked cod (wild-caught)
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Olive oil and herbs for seasoning

Nutritional Focus:

Finally, the last day of this sample cancer diet plan includes complex carbohydrates from wild rice and whole grain tortillas, to provide essential daily fiber and to regulate blood sugar. Vitamin C from the citrus fruits and Brussels sprouts enhances wound healing and energy levels.

MIMC and Cancer Care

Cancer diet plans and nutrition are just one part of integrative medicine that MIMC incorporates into our patients’ treatment and care. Our professionals look into all aspects of a patient’s life to determine how we can best support them during cancer treatment—to better their quality of life and lessen the intensity of side effects. While integrative care cannot completely replace conventional cancer treatment, we want to help empower our patients through their health journeys and provide them with the supportive therapies they need.

RELATED: Integrative Cancer Care: Enhancing Healing and Well-Being 

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