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Are There Foods Multiple Myeloma Patients Shouldn’t Eat?

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Published on March 13, 2018

Eating well is one of the simple, effective healthy habits multiple myeloma patients can adopt to make a difference in their everyday quality of life. So what are the dos and don’ts of a myeloma diet? How can patients still experience the joy of eating food they love after treatment? Registered dietitian and wellness expert, Julie Lanford from Cancer Services, shares guidelines on foods to emphasize and what to avoid in order to maintain a nutritional balance and give your body the strength it needs to combat your myeloma disease. Watch now for tips on eating well and enjoying food when you have multiple myeloma.

Produced by Patient Power. We thank Celgene, Takeda, Amgen and AbbVie for their support.

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Transcript | Are There Foods Multiple Myeloma Patients Shouldn’t Eat?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:         

Julie, so, dos and don'ts. Are there, some people say, guardrails in diet related to cancer that you'd apply to multiple myeloma that you probably tell people regularly?

People come in with all sorts of questions, and we all wanna do—we wanna take back control, and we have well meaning spouses, and children, and grandchildren, and next door neighbors, and Uncle Harry down the street, and they say, "Eat this. Try this. This will boost your immune system." So give us some of the guardrails that you think of.

Julie Lanford:             

Sure. Yeah, I mean, everyone has that experience, and they come to me. I tell them, "Bless their hearts. They're well-intentioned, but misguided oftentimes." Just give us alittle checklist.

What I usually tell people, remind them, is that there's not one food or food substance that's going to magically cure or treat cancer. There's no one toxic food, but there's certainly some things that we want you to be cautious about, as Danny said, kind of stack the deck, or put the odds in your favor.

The things that I tend to say you should maybe consume less of would be processed meat, or excess sodium, or, of course, we don't want people consuming lots and lots of extra sugary foods, butthere certainly is room to have some of that in your life because the purpose of eating is to fuel a good life. If your diet or something someone has told you to do is ruining your quality of life, it's not a good thing.

Andrew Schorr:         

Okay. Let's go over that processed food for a minute. Let's say somebody likes bacon, which can have nitrites, or have a deli meat turkey sandwich, or bologna sandwich, or whatever regularly for lunch, you are saying not so much?

Julie Lanford:             

Right. The way I sort of work with my clients is to help them figure out what are your habits. I describe something as a habit if you do it three times a week or more. What we wanna do is make a habit out of those really positive, good for you kinds of things, and not make a habit out of the less nourishing things.

If we're talking about you love bacon, if you're only having bacon and sure, if it's once a month, I don't even care what kind of meat you're having, probably not gonna be enough to cause all kinds of problems.

If you're somebody who wants to have bacon a couple times a week, you might wanna choose a type of bacon that doesn't have those added nitrites in it, and I certainly would not make a habit out of eating bacon. Three times a week or more, probably wouldn't have it that much.

The same thing with the deli meats, if you're somebody who eats a deli meat sandwich every single day, you probably wanna make sure you're getting the kinds without additives in them. Sometimes, remind people, "You can  have this and put it on a sandwich," but that's certainly not as easy. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.