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Food choice and nutrient intake among patients on a low-fat, low-lactose diet: experience from a prospective randomized study

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Objective: To describe the food consumed in order to achieve a low-fat, low-lactose diet, and to evaluate the effect of food choice on nutrient intake.

Method: This was an open prospective randomized study. The patients were randomly allocated either to receive a low-fat, low-lactose diet or the regular hospital diet during radiotherapy. Dietary intake pretreatment was measured by a 48-h recall method. A 4-day food record method was used to collect data 3 weeks after start of radiotherapy and during the last week of treatment.

Subjects: 143 women with gynaecological malignancies undergoing pelvic radiotherapy.

Results: At baseline there were no significant differences in energy intake, food choices and nutrient intake between the two groups. During radiotherapy, the average percentage of energy from fat was 23% in the intervention group and 35% in the control group (P< 0.01), energy percentage from protein was 18% and 15% (P< 0.01) and carbohydrate 58% and 50% (P< 0.01). The intervention group received less energy from milk products, meats, fats and sugar than the control group and more from vegetables and fruits, cereals and fish.

Conclusion: The intervention group had a qualitative different diet than the control group during radiotherapy. The fat reduction was achieved through a reduction of milk products, fats and meats.
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Keywords: adverse effects; female; genital neoplasm; low-fat diet; low-lactose diet

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Gynaecology, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway 2: Norwegian Food Control Authority, Department of Food Law and International Affairs, Oslo, Norway 3: Palliative Medicine Unit, Department of Oncology, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: 01 August 1999

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