Opioid Use Disorder: What to Eat as You Recover

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on May 28, 2023
2 min read

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:

  • Berries
  • Citrus (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
  • Tree fruits (apples, peaches, mangoes)
  • Others (figs, raisins, avocados)
  • Whole wheat
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Lean meat or poultry
  • Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, tuna)
  • Eggs
  • Beans, peas, lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Tofu
  • Low- or no-fat milk and yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese or cottage cheese
  • Kefir
  • Unsweetened plant-based milks
  • Olive
  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Peanut
  • Safflower
  • Soybean
  • Sugar (candy, baked goods, soda)
  • Too much caffeine (coffee, soda, energy drinks)
  • Ultra-processed foods