Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nutrition For Recovering Meth Addicts: Foods For Recovery Part 1

Abusers of meth may stay up for days at a time and suffer dehydration and electrolyte imbalances during these prolonged episodes as well as liver damage and malnutrition. Meth addiction and abuse ravages the body and nutrition for recovery meth addicts can play a large role in the recovery process.

Return to normal diet can be difficult if there has been profound weight loss. Regular mealtimes are recommended daily. A meal plan that focuses on a low-fat diet, with increased intake of protein, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber is recommended. Due to deficiencies in vitamins caused by irregular eating habits during the period of meth abuse, supplementation with vitamins and minerals during recovery may be helpful. Specific vitamins supplementation may include B-complex, zinc, and vitamins A and C.

Make sure you're eating the right kind of fats. Yes, you do need Good fats.

Recommendations For Fats:
• Choose lean, protein-rich foods such as soy, fish, skinless chicken, very lean meat, and fat free or 1% dairy products.
• Eat foods that are naturally low in fat such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
• Get plenty of soluble fiber such as oats, bran, dry peas, beans, cereal, and rice.
• Limit fried foods, processed foods, and commercially prepared baked goods (donuts, cookies, crackers).
• Limit animal products such as egg yolks, cheeses, whole milk, cream, ice cream, and fatty meats (and large portions of meats).
• Look at food labels, especially the level of saturated fat. Avoid or limit foods high in saturated fat.
• Look on food labels for words like "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" -- these foods are loaded with bad fats and should be avoided.
• Liquid vegetable oil, soft margarine, and trans fatty acid-free margarine are preferable to butter, stick margarine, or shortening.
Food Sources For Complex Carbohydrates:
Complex carbohydrates, often referred to as "starchy" foods, include:
• Whole grain breads and cereals
• Starchy vegetables
• Legumes

Relapse to using meth is also more likely when blood sugar levels fluctuate due to the irregular intake of food, which is why regular meals are so important. Meth addicts often forget what it's like to be hungry and instead interpret this feeling as a drug craving, so they should be encouraged to consider the possibility that they may be hungry when cravings become strong. Yet another reason why nutrition for recovering meth addicts is so important.

Foods To Help Keep Blood Sugar Normal:
Help to keep your blood sugar level steady by eating frequent meals and snacks. Health suggestions for snacks:

• Dried fruits and nuts
• Whole-grain crackers or bread with peanut butter
• Yogurt
• Fruit
• Low-fat cheese or cottage cheese
• A baked potato
• Cut veggies with low-cal dip
• A hard-boiled egg
• Hummus and pita slices

Meth addiction and abuse ravages the body and nutrition for recovery meth addicts can play a large role in the recovery process. In following parts of this series we will look at the foods, meal plans, snacks and more resources that aid in the nutrition for a recovering meth addict in more detail.

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