15 high calorie vegan foods for cancer patients. background: avocado, beans, carrots, berries, spinach on a heart shaped white dish with legumes on the side

15 High Calorie Vegan Foods for Cancer Patients [Free Meal Plan]

Following a vegan diet while aiming to maintain or gain weight may feel tricky. But, high calorie vegan foods can help!

While undergoing cancer treatment, it is crucial to maintain weight and consume adequate nutrition. 

Whether you’re new to a vegan diet or have been following for years this article will give a background on a high calorie vegan diet, list 15 vegan high calorie foods, and provide meal and snack options with those high calorie vegan foods!

Importance of Nutrition for Cancer Patients

Maintaining nutrition status while undergoing cancer treatment is crucial. It’s equally important while in the survivorship stage.

While undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, some diet adjustments may be necessary for best outcomes. 

Focusing on adequate intake of nutrients and protein is vital during this time. 

Lack of nutrient intake can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition can lead to poorer outcomes of cancer patients. According to The Cancer Institute, malnutrition is responsible for 20% of cancer related deaths.

Furthermore, during treatment your body requires an increased amount of calories and protein. So, high calorie foods may be necessary when you’re looking to maintain weight or gain weight during this time.

After treatment, it’s still important to ensure adequate nutrient intake daily. High calorie foods are encouraged if you have lost a significant amount of weight.

Lastly, following a plant based diet has been shown to promote overall health. 

So, if you are undergoing treatment or finished treatment and are looking to gain or maintain weight while also following a plant based diet, high calorie vegan foods are the way to go! 

Circle back to the Prostate Cancer Nutrition Blog Page to learn about nutrition’s role in prostate cancer!

Vegan Lifestyle

Vegan or plant based diets have been shown to have numerous health benefits. A plant based diet has been shown to improve prostate health and may be beneficial for prevention and progression of prostate cancer.

But what is a vegan diet?

People who follow a vegan diet do not eat anything that was once living or came from something that was living. 

Not allowed on vegan diet:

  • Meat or poultry
  • Eggs and products made with eggs 
  • Dairy (milk, cheese, cream, yogurt)
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Honey

Benefits of a High Calorie Diet for Cancer Patients

A high calorie diet is often essential for cancer patients undergoing treatment, as it provides numerous advantages to support their overall well-being.

Maintaining Energy Levels During Treatment

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can be physically taxing, leaving patients fatigued and depleted. Consuming high calorie vegan foods ensures an adequate energy supply to help patients cope with the demands of treatment. 

Nutrient-dense plant based foods offer a concentrated source of calories while providing essential vitamins and minerals. By fueling the body with sufficient calories, cancer patients can combat treatment-related fatigue and maintain their stamina throughout the healing journey.

Preventing Unintended Weight Loss

Unintended weight loss is a common concern for cancer patients, and it can have detrimental effects on their overall health and treatment outcomes.

 A high calorie vegan diet helps address this issue by supplying ample energy to prevent drastic weight loss.

Calorie-rich plant based foods offer valuable protein and healthy fats, supporting the preservation of muscle mass and preventing significant weight fluctuations. 

Maintaining a stable weight can contribute to improved tolerance to treatment and enhance the body’s ability to recover.

Supporting Immune System Function

A strong immune system is vital for cancer patients, as it aids in fighting infections and contributes to a better treatment response. 

A high calorie vegan diet that includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables can provide essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to bolster immune system function. 

A robust immune system enhances the body’s defense mechanisms, enabling cancer patients to better cope with the challenges of treatment.

Considerations for Vegan Diets for Cancer Patients

Vegan diets, when properly planned, can offer a wealth of benefits for cancer patients. A few things need to be considered prior to starting a vegan diet.

Ensuring Adequate Nutrient Intake

Vegan diets can be rich in nutrients, but it’s essential for cancer patients to pay close attention to meeting their nutritional needs during treatment.

To ensure adequate nutrient intake, focus on a diverse range of plant based foods. Incorporate high calorie vegan foods such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, and whole grains, which offer essential fats, proteins, and calories.

Try to include plant based protein daily and speak to your doctor about vitamin supplementation.

Additionally, include a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified plant based milk to obtain vital vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, iron, and vitamin B12.

Balancing Macronutrients for Optimal Health

Balancing macronutrients is key to maintaining overall health and well-being during cancer treatment.

While vegan diets can be naturally high in carbohydrates, it’s crucial to include sufficient proteins and healthy fats to support recovery and immune function.

Incorporate plant based protein sources like tofu, tempeh, lentils, and quinoa into meals.

Additionally, opt for healthy fats found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds to provide a steady source of energy and promote heart health.

Striking the right balance of macronutrients helps cancer patients manage energy levels, support tissue repair, and maintain a stable weight throughout treatment.

Managing Potential Side Effects of Treatment

Cancer treatments can lead to various side effects that may impact dietary choices and preferences. Nausea, taste changes, and mouth sores are common challenges faced by cancer patients.

When dealing with these side effects, it’s essential to find high calorie vegan foods that are well-tolerated and easy to consume.

Smoothies and pureed soups can be excellent options to pack in nutrients without causing discomfort. Additionally, cold or room-temperature foods may be more appealing for those experiencing taste alterations. Staying hydrated and avoiding trigger foods can also help manage treatment-related side effects effectively.

Adopting a high-calorie vegan diet can be beneficial for cancer patients, but it requires careful consideration and planning to ensure optimal nutrition and well-being during treatment.

Top 15 High Calorie Vegan Foods

So, what are the top 15 high calorie vegan foods for cancer patients?

#1 Avocado

Avocado is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and is a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies.

Serving Size: 1 Medium Avocado, Calories: 320kcal

#2 Nuts

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews are calorie-dense and rich in healthy fats. The highest calorie nuts are macadamia and pecans.

Serving Size: 1 ounce of Raw Pecans, Calories: 106kcal

#3 Nut Butter

Like nuts, nut butters are calorie dense and a source of healthy fat. Examples: almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon of Peanut Butter, Calories: 94kcal

#4 Seeds

Flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are nutrient-dense and high in healthy fats and fiber.

Serving Size: 1 ounce of Pumpkin Seeds, Calories: 126kcal

#5 Oil

Olive oil, coconut oil, and other vegetable oils are calorie-dense and can be used for cooking, dressing, and adding flavor to dishes.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil, Calories: 117kcal

#6 Coconut

Shredded or ground coconut is rich in healthy fats and can be added to dishes or snacks.

Serving Size: 1 cup of Shredded Coconut, Calories: 283kcal

#7 Legumes

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are legumes higher in calories compared to some other vegetables and are versatile in cooking. They also provide protein.

Serving Size: 1 cup of Chickpeas, Calories: 268kcal

#8 Quinoa

This whole grain is high in protein and complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy.

Serving Size: 1 cup of Cooked Quinoa, Calories: 222kcal

#9 Tofu

Tofu is another high calorie vegan food. Its a great source of protein and can be used in stir fry and shakes!

Serving Size: 1/2 cup, Calories: 94kcal

#10 Tahini

Tahini is a sesame seed paste used in Middle Eastern cuisine is calorie-rich and can be used in dressings and dips.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon, Calories: 89kcal

#11 Dried Fruit

Dates, raisins, apricots, and figs are concentrated sources of calories due to their natural sugars. If you are going through cancer treatment, start slow. Dried fruit can cause stomach pain.

Serving Size: 1 Medjool Date, Calories: 66kcal

#12 Whole Grain Bread/Pasta

These complex carbohydrate sources can be calorie high and provide sustained energy. Whole grains are also heart healthy!

Serving Size: 1 slice of Whole Grain Bread, Calories: 69kcal

#13 Vegan Cheese

Some vegan cheeses, especially those made from nuts, can be calorie dense. Calorie content will vary based on type and brand.

Serving Size: 1 slice, Calories: 70kcal

# 14 Coconut Milk

This creamy milk alternative is used in cooking, baking, and curries, offering a source of healthy fats.

Serving Size: 1 cup, Calories: 552kcal

#15 Dark Chocolate

High quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains healthy fats and antioxidants. Most dark chocolate is vegan but check labels to confirm.

Serving Size: 1 oz, Calories: 155kcal

Calorie estimates are from CalorieKing, Nutritionix, and the USDA.

Meal and Snack Ideas Using High Calorie Vegan Foods

  • Avocado toast with nut butter
  • Quinoa salad with mixed nuts and seeds
  • Lentil soup with coconut milk
  • Tofu stir-fry with vegetables
  • Bean salad with vegetables
  • Hummus and whole grain crackers
  • Trail mix with nuts, coconut, dried fruit, and dark chocolate
  • Whole grain bread with nut butter and shredded coconut

Vegan High Calorie Meal Plan

Breakfast: Avocado Toast with Nut Butter

  • Two slices of whole-grain bread
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons of almond or peanut butter
  • Sprinkle of chia seeds for added nutrients
  • Fresh fruit (such as berries or a banana) on the side

Snack: Trail Mix

  • A handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • Dried fruits (raisins, apricots, cranberries)
  • Pumpkin seeds for extra crunch and nutrition

Lunch: Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • Chopped vegetables (cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes)
  • Chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley)
  • Lemon-tahini dressing (whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a bit of water)

Snack: Smoothie

  • Blend 1 banana, 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and a handful of frozen mixed berries for a nutrient-packed smoothie.

Dinner: Lentil and Coconut Curry

  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • Chopped vegetables (carrots, zucchini, bell peppers)
  • Coconut milk for creaminess
  • Curry spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger)
  • Serve over brown rice or quinoa

Dessert: Vegan Energy Bites

  • Mix rolled oats, nut butter, dates, shredded coconut, and a drizzle of maple syrup
  • Form into small balls and refrigerate for a quick and tasty energy boost.

Remember, individual nutritional needs can vary based on factors like age, gender, activity level, and health status. This meal plan is just a sample and may need to be adjusted to meet your specific requirements. It’s always best to consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet.

Vegan High Calorie Meal Plan
Breakfast: Avocado Toast with Nut Butter
Two slices of whole-grain bread
1 ripe avocado, mashed
2 tablespoons of almond or peanut butter
Sprinkle of chia seeds for added nutrients
Fresh fruit (such as berries or a banana) on the side
Snack: Trail Mix
A handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
Dried fruits (raisins, apricots, cranberries)
Pumpkin seeds for extra crunch and nutrition
Lunch: Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked chickpeas
Chopped vegetables (cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes)
Chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley)
Lemon-tahini dressing (whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a bit of water)
Snack: Smoothie
Blend 1 banana, 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and a handful of frozen mixed berries for a nutrient-packed smoothie.
Dinner: Lentil and Coconut Curry
1 cup cooked lentils
Chopped vegetables (carrots, zucchini, bell peppers)
Coconut milk for creaminess
Curry spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger)
Serve over brown rice or quinoa
Dessert: Vegan Energy Bites
Mix rolled oats, nut butter, dates, shredded coconut, and a drizzle of maple syrup
Form into small balls and refrigerate for a quick and tasty energy boost.

Conclusion

A high calorie diet consisting of vegan foods can offer significant benefits for cancer patients undergoing treatment. By maintaining energy levels, preventing unintended weight loss, and supporting immune system function, a well-balanced plant based diet can positively impact their overall well-being and treatment journey.

Furthermore, a vegan diet may help those recovering from cancer by promoting overall health and decreasing chance of cancer recurrence. High calorie vegan foods can help promote weight gain if needed.

There are a lot of vegan food options to enjoy. High calorie vegan foods such as legumes, tofu, and avocado can benefit cancer patients during and after treatment.

By focusing on adequate nutrient intake, balancing macronutrients, and managing potential side effects of treatment, individuals can harness the power of plant based foods to support their recovery and overall health.

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Portions of this article were auto generated using GPT-3 by Open AI. Upon generating draft language, the article was reviewed and edited accordingly. ProstateCancerNutrition.com takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. 

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