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Tasty treats for cancer patients can be healthy too

  Friday, 01 l 04 l 2011  Source: My Paper  
By: Gwendolyn Ng

sharingplatesWHEN Miss Michelle Vincent saw a video showing how sugar multiplied cancer cells, she immediately asked a doctor if it was true. She was concerned because her mother, Irene, 49, is suffering from ovarian cancer. Miss Vincent said: “The doctor said it was not true, but I thought I should play it safe.” The 21-year-old polytechnic student – who has two siblings, Maurice, 16, and Melissa, 24 – went about making cheesecake, her mum’s favourite dessert, but without adding sugar.

She was determined to prove that, even without sugar, the cake would still taste great. “Besides, eating less sugar is a healthier option,” she said. The result- Mrs Vincent enjoyed the cheesecake because the bread crumbs in the crust were sweet. The sugar-free cheesecake recipe is among 40 healthy recipes shared in a new cookbook called Sharing Plates: Cooking And Coping With Cancer.

The recipes are intertwined with 12 touching stories from cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers. The cookbook is the brainchild of a group of final-year students from the Nanyang Techno- logical University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, who worked in collaboration with the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS). The undergraduates said their inspiration for the cookbook came from their project supervisor, cancer survivor Angela Mak, 34. Group member Ng Jia Min, 23, said: “Dr Mak found that food had been important in helping her cope with her cancer. We wanted to share her belief with others.”

The recipes were given the stamp of approval by NCCS principal pharmacist Chang Yok Ying. Ms Chang said: “You will find these recipes palatable while still managing to avoid or minimize food items and cooking methods that have been found unfavourable in the fight against cancer.” The book is on sale for $15 on the NCCS website. All proceeds will go to the centre. For more information, visit

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