If you’re recovering from an opioid use disorder, your eating habits might’ve slipped for a while. But you can get back on track with some simple, healthy changes.

Your goal is to eat a balanced diet. It’s easier and tastier than you might think. You’ll fill up on nutritious whole foods, and you’ll cut back on processed foods with lots of fat, sugar, and salt. You’ll drink more water and sip less sugary, caffeinated stuff, too. If your doctor or a dietitian tells you that you’re too low on certain nutrients, they might also recommend supplements to help you fill in the gaps.

One of the best parts of a balanced diet is the variety. You’ll focus on eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, lean proteins, healthy oils, and low- or no-fat dairy. Here are healthy examples of each:

Vegetables

Fruits

  • Berries
  • Citrus (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
  • Tree fruits (apples, peaches, mangoes)
  • Others (figs, raisins, avocados)

Whole Grains

  • Whole wheat
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Millet

Protein

  • Lean meat or poultry
  • Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, tuna)
  • Eggs
  • Beans, peas, lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Tofu

Dairy (and Substitutes)

  • Low- or no-fat milk and yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese or cottage cheese
  • Kefir
  • Unsweetened plant-based milks

Oils

  • Olive
  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Peanut
  • Safflower
  • Soybean

What to Avoid

  • Sugar (candy, baked goods, soda)
  • Too much caffeine (coffee, soda, energy drinks)
  • Ultra-processed foods
WebMD Medical Reference Medically Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on May 13, 2021

Sources

SOURCES:

The Association for Addiction Professionals: “Early Recovery Nutrition Education.”

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Revised 2018 Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (Competent, Proficient, and Expert) in Mental Health and Addictions.”

Utah State University: “Diet, Nutrition, and Substance Use Disorder.”

National Institute on Aging: “Know Your Food Groups.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Back to Basics: All About MyPlate Food Groups.”

American Heart Association: “Healthy Cooking Oils.”

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