A neutropenic diet may be needed if you have lower than normal levels of neutrophils. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. Neutropenic precautions may need to be taken if you are looking to reduce certain foods that contain high levels of bacteria.
People that have been diagnosed with certain types of cancers such as Leukemia may benefit a great deal from a neutropenic-type diet. A diet of this nature can actually help the person to recover more quickly from the disease.
A neutropenic diet can be quite simple if you are willing to follow a dietary chart. For example, while on a diet of this nature, you can eat a variety of dairy products including certain cheeses. It is permissible to eat Cheddar cheese and Swiss cheese while on a neutropenic diet. In addition, if you enjoy yogurt, you are in luck because yogurt and ice cream are permitted while following a neutropenic diet.
Neutropenic Precautions (with Chemo Therapy)
We have been told for decades that vegetables are good for you. Therefore, the neutropenic diet does permit nearly all vegetables as long as they are cooked or frozen. However, you may not eat any type of raw vegetable while following this diet.
Fruits can certainly be eaten as long as they are canned or frozen. Absolutely no raw fruit or nuts of any kind should be eaten. Raw fruits or nuts can cause harmful bacteria to enter your system, possibly causing more damage.
Nearly all breads, rolls and popcorn are permitted as part of this diet. In addition, you can enjoy pasta and rice as long as they are fully cooked.
A neutropenic diet does allow you to eat nearly all cooked or canned meats. Meats such as lamb and chicken are also permitted as part of this diet. In addition, shellfish and fully cooked fish may also be eaten.
Eggs are permitted as long as they are fully cooked. Absolutely no uncooked or raw eggs may be eaten due to the possible high levels of bacteria present. Keep in mind, bacteria can be extremely harmful to someone who has had a serious illness such as leukemia.
Finally, a neutropenic diet can be quite beneficial to anyone recovering from a serious illness such as cancer. The diet can actually help to strengthen the immune system and help you feel better. To make it easier, just keep in mind that you need to stay away from anything that is raw or under cooked.