Foods not to Eat During Chemotherapy (From a Cancer Thriver from Odisha-India)

Beat the unbeatable. Find out what not to eat to stay upbeat during chemotherapy.



This post may help Odisha cancer patient based on talking to a patient (my sister-in-law) who suffered from breast cancer and a cancer thriver.

Treatment of cancer using chemotherapy has multiple side effects (1) . One of the common side effects is nausea (2) and other major side effect that impacts the recovery is lack of appetite. Chemotherapy is administered every week. Your nutrition (bland food) through your entire week offers you strength for the next chemo which weakens you.

While real nutrition don’t appeal, patients may rely on junk food if they find some taste in them. But they help you in a negative way.

Let’s get it clear what not to eat as per the treating oncologist (s) when we asked. We hope this blog helps someone.

What Not to Eat During Chemotherapy

Foods to Avoid in General

  • Sugar in any form (raw, brown, honey, molasses)
  • Sour foods (oily and salty pickles)
  • Refined flour (chickpea flour, gram flour)
  • Red meat
  • Raw greens
  • Alcohol
  • Oily and spicy foods
  • Grilled /Charred vegetables
  • Guava and grapes
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Raw sprouted beans like moong and black beans

Beverages to Avoid

Tea (Caffeinated)


High sugar drink

Chocolate milk

Snacks to Avoid



Namkin -fried flour snack

Desert to Avoid

All sugary Indian Sweets-Rasagola, Gulab Jamun, Boondi ladoos

Rice kheer


Sugary fruits-Sweet mangoes, ripe papaya, grapes

Fast Foods to Avoid

Now the cities and even the smaller villages have McDonald, Starbucks and Burger kings available for takeout or sit in. It might be tempting to get some. However, refrain your mind from them. Our doctor recommends

  • Eat freshly cooked foods made at home
  • Every meal would be freshly cooked
  • No refrigerated food
  • Bring the meals to room temperature before you eat
  • No outside food


Every patient is different. Ask your treating physician for diet or particular food recommendation or you have questions about any specific food. You may be different than this particular patient we are writing the blog about.


Anusuya Choudhury

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