Eat Like An Athlete – Ruth Kilcawley

The following are some key notes from Ruth Kilcawley’s speech at the National Cancer Survivorship Conference in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 29 September 2017. Ruth Kilcawley is a Senior Oncology Dietitian at University Hospital Galway.

Ruth spoke about the similarities she has noticed between sports nutrition and nutrition during cancer. She talked about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight during a cancer journey. She talked about a recent important research paper recommending that people going through cancer should eat a similar diet to an athlete or professional sports player in the amount of calories and protein they consume on a daily basis.

Energy balance is also a very important issue. She talked about the dangers of creating a negative energy balance as a result of cancer diets and intermittent fasting. She urged anyone who has lost weight recently without trying and who has a poor appetite that they must get assessed for a state of malnutrition and work with an oncology dietitian to bring the body back into a state of healthy nutrition.

Her key recommendations from the research paper were to maintain a healthy weight, be as lean as possible, eat a healthy diet and be physically active.

Ruth’s advice was based on this research paper.

If you are currently receiving treatment for cancer, your hospital will be able to refer you to a hospital dietician who can help you with your diet, should you have any concerns at all in this area. Speak to your Cancer Nurse or Oncology Team to find out more.

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