Q: What is your job title? My name is Dr. Keith Kantor and I am the CEO of Named Program LLC, www.namedprogram.com.
Q: What is the relationship between processed foods and substance abuse? Processed foods have a similar effect like drugs and alcohol on our nervous system, specifically the opiate receptors. The ingredients in processed foods like high fructose corn syrup, processed fats, excessive sugar, and sodium can all become physically addictive. When a patient is in a rehabilitation program they should consume a diet high in whole unprocessed foods, specifically vegetables, low sugar fruits, heart healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, and protein, specifically from all natural sources like chicken, fish, eggs, etc. A whole foods diet will suppress the opiate receptors, while avoiding any dopamine effect allowing the patient to progress in their rehabilitation more quickly and safely.
> Q: What can be done to prevent this?
Consumption of processed foods is common during rehabilitation simply because the focus on nutrition is often overlooked, not realizing the significant impact nutrition has on the body. Simply implementing a nutrition program into all rehabilitation centers is a great way to prevent consumption of processed foods.
> Q: Would you say that a lot of people know about this? Or, is it a new
finding? Most people do not realize that consuming foods rich in sugar, gluten, some dairy and processed fats can actually trigger the opiate response and promote relapse and substance cravings. It is starting to get a lot of press in recent months.
> Q: How do you think this relates to and affects college students in
particular? College students are at risk due to the lack of supervision, their recent feeling of freedom, being away from home and peer pressure. They are also not taught the relationship between proper nutrition and substance abuse.
> Q: Is there anything else I did not ask that you would like to say? Implementing a whole food nutrition plan specifically not stimulating the opiate receptors is the best compliment to overcoming substance abuse in a controlled environment.