Thanks to the Internet, we’re living in a world of diet trends and fads. In the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in people following keto diets, veganism, and more. A lot of people roll their eyes at others who jump on these diet bandwagons, but what if they actually work?
More specifically, what if some of these trendy new diets are able to aid someone through their recovery from addiction?
The Keto Diet
The ketogenic (or keto for short) diet shot to fame after the release of the somewhat controversial documentary The Magic Pill, which talked about how the diet helped one woman shrink a cancerous tumor. The diet has also been used as a treatment for epileptic seizures since the 1920s.
Keto is categorized as a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet. It runs off the principle of putting the body in a state of ketosis, so the body is using fat storages rather than sugar as its main energy source. A healthy keto diet includes lots of high-fat healthy foods like avocados, nuts, and eggs.
How can it aid addiction recovery?: Researchers have begun to study whether keto diets can help in managing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It’s still too early to say for certain, but fewer tremors and ill-like behavior was observed in trials of animals following the diet. The keto diet is effective at managing blood sugar. Due to the high sugar content in most alcohols, for alcoholics, this could be one benefit of following the diet.
Plant-based diets, also known as vegan diets, involve no ingredients from animals. Someone who follows a plant-based diet not only cuts out meat, but all dairy products, eggs, and sometimes honey as well. In this diet, protein comes from natural, whole food sources like beans, legumes, soy, nuts, and more.
Plant-based diets are great at reducing a person’s bad cholesterol and helping them lose weight easily, as foods typically consumed contain few calories, allowing a person to eat a higher quantity.
How can it aid addiction recovery?: Following a plant-based diet encourages a person to eat more vegetables. Certain vegetables contain certain nutrients that are extremely useful for getting the body back to normal following addiction. Read our post on nutrition during recovery.
Intermittent fasting is not so much about what a person eats, but about how they eat. Someone who practices intermittent fasting may only eat during a certain window of time (sometimes 8 hours, sometimes 4 or less), consuming all the calories they need for the day during this time, while fasting for the rest of the day. Intermittent fasting is often coupled with a keto diet.
How can it aid addiction recovery?: Some drugs can put people at a predisposition for developing type-2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting increases insulin sensitivity, helping to normalize a person’s blood sugar.
Some of the recent diet trends may positively affect someone recovering from addiction. However, it’s always recommended that you talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before making any major diet change.