This theoretical overview stresses the importance of a personalized approach to the study of the relationship between nutrition and prevention by the use of a cognitive approach. An adequate nutrition program should play a fundamental aspect of patient-centered care, but also is the best prevention strategy in disease-free subjects. We argue that an integrated methodology, based on a patient-centered and tailored approach, must assess all the factors involved within individual food choices in order to recognize values, beliefs and needs related to food intake, both in cancer patients and in disease-free patients. An integrated approach is advocated, since the tailoring process requires both biological and psychological data in order to appraise the individual’s needs and promote adequate action plans. This process of integrating information delivered from different sources is what we call a “cognitive approach” to nutrition.