Alberta Cancer Foundation

Managing Fatigue Through Diet


Balanced options

Marshall advocates choosing balanced meals and snacks that provide long-lasting energy, especially for her patients who are struggling with fatigue.

“For a snack, some Greek yogurt with berries is going to give you both carbohydrates and protein, and a little bit of fibre as well.That’s going to give you a lot more balance and energy than a few white crackers, for instance.”

Steer clear of sugar

“One other thing we should mention is that really refined sugars — like having a lot of cakes, cookies and things like that — are going to give you a short burst of energy, but they are not really going to give you that long-lasting energy,” Marshall says.

Instead, Marshall recommends seeking out treats like peanut butter and banana on toast, a smoothie made with frozen fruit, or hummus and veggies.


Meal Patterns

Marshall works with patients to help them develop a regular eating pattern, to ensure they get the nutrition they need throughout the day.

“They often feel so fatigued that they’re not going to prepare the same kind of meals they once were,” Marshall says. “They might even be feeling so fatigued that they’re going to skip meals.”

With Marshall’s support, patients can plan meals and snacks in advance, which can help them stay nourished and on track during their treatment and recovery.