Nutrition lessons might help substance abusers

January 2, 2018 in Brain Health, Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News

Nutrition lessons might help substance abusers

Working with nutritionists might improve drug addicts’ odds of recovery.

Experts believe that registered dietitian nutritionists could help patients at addiction recovery centers think about the ways food affects mental health, eating disorders and cravings.

Nutrition therapy could include cooking classes, mindful eating, and exploration of food fads and myths, they suggest. 

The lead study author, a registered dietician nutritionist, is the founder of Nutrition in Recovery LLC in Beverly Hills, California, which focuses on incorporating nutritionists into treatment centers. Poor nutrition and eating disorders are often secondary health effects that stem from substance abuse, both during use and after recovery. 

The research team from the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, said that weekly group sessions on emotional eating and eating for mental health could focus on dietary deficiencies that alter mental status and ways to combat them with healthy food. They also suggest talking about the harms of inflammation, caffeine, and nicotine, as well as the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods, fibre, slow and mindful eating, and exercise. 

Hands-on nutrition classes covering easy recipes, snack preparation, grocery shopping, and budgeting may help addicts transition to a healthy life at home after leaving the treatment center, they suggest. 

At the same time, the efficacy of nutrition interventions in substance use disorder treatment settings is unproven. This type of data is difficult to obtain given the small sample sizes at treatment centers and poor patient follow-up.

Source:  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, online November 6, 2017.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.