Heading to the Hospital?

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Pack a Cooler From HOME!!

By Melanie Stewart

Melanie Stewart

Just over 20 years ago my younger brother was diagnosed with an “aggressive cancer of unknown origin”.  He had no real symptoms, no interruption of function and yet he was in stage 4b, the final stage of metastasized cancer. The doctors, having no specific treatment at that time and concerned with how advanced he was, took out the biggest drug in their chemotherapy arsenal and gave it a shot. Chemotherapy, as you may know, is designed to kill fast replicating cancer cells and can also target hair follicles and the cells that line the intestines. This is why so many of our chemo patients are bald and feel pretty terrible. During his treatments I noticed what they were feeding him. To me, it seemed logical that the appropriate diet would be easy to digest and supportive to the immune system. The food provided for him was anything but. Instead he was offered a steady stream of non-nutritive, difficult to digest, and even toxic foods including any and all forms of junk food. 20 years later I found myself at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. A dear friend was in the fight for her life having been diagnosed with a form of leukemia typically seen only in children.  In preparation for a stem cell transplant, she was given high doses of chemotherapy specifically programmed to bring her within inches of death by destroying virtually every cell in her body. Once again, I noticed the food provided for her sustenance and found myself shocked and appalled by what our hospitals are STILL feeding their most sick and fragile patients. Recently, a friend sent me a picture of the food provided for her elderly father who was being treated for bladder cancer at The Cleveland Clinic.  I am no longer shocked but remain completely dismayed by the clear and continued lack of decent, relevant, current, holistic and helpful nutrition education. The evidence of which can be found on a hospital tray.

Heading To The Hospital


What is wrong with this meal?  In a word:  EVERYTHING!!  There is zero nutritional profit from this meal because the nutrients have been either destroyed or effectively cancelled out by the sheer volume of anti-nutrients including:

  • Sugar – highly destructive, blood sugar spiking, cancer feeding sugar in the “French” toast, cereal, and orange juice.
  • High fructose corn syrup – contributes zero positive attributes, is 20 times sweeter than sugar, and is implicated in metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, cancer and a host of other maladies. (breakfast “syrup”)
  • Partially hydrogenated oil – a chemically unstable substance that contains toxic compounds that can damage DNA and cell membranes. (Pride® vegetable spread)
  • Commercially produced and processed, pasteurized and homogenized, non-organic milk –  The list of chemicals found in commercially produced milk is quite extensive and includes, among other things, hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides.

While the current hospital diet might make economic sense, it is definitely NOT in the best interest of the patient, in my opinion.  It would be wonderful if our hospitals would provide more nutrient-rich, healing diets with more wholesome foods and liquids to help revitalize and nourish (AND HEAL) the patients. Until they do, my advice if you are headed to the hospital…. PACK A COOLER FROM HOME!

Melanie Stewart has written 2 books for children (Yum Tum, Good Food is Fun! and Yum Tum, We Get it Done!) and one for adults (Yum Tum For Everyone!) all available on Amazon or at: https://www.yumtumnutrition.com/ All content is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech laws. It’s not meant to give individual medical advice or to make any health claims on the prevention or curing of diseases.

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