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Candida Diet Questions

I received a question from Mark about the Candida Diet and the antifungal Xtralac. Here’s what Mark had to say:

Hello Cynthia, I have severe Candida and need a little help with my diet.

Can I eat:

Tomatoes?

Chick peas?

Kidney beans?

Buckwheat flour?

And what can I eat for breakfast because I am a little stuck at the moment. I eat gluten free rice flake porridge, but I don’t suppose that’s allowed.

I just started taking an anti-fungal called xtralac. Its like Threelac to kill the Candida and its so strong. Now I have a real tightness in my chest, breathing difficulties, extreme fatigue and I get out of breath easy. I have also lost more weight since taking it but not sure why though.

Any help would be great.

Kind Regards Mark

Hi Mark,

You’re not alone; many people struggle with the Candida diet.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes are high in acid and this tends to aggravate Candida. Most people usually have to avoid tomatoes, particularly in the early phases of the diet. Once some progress is made in reducing yeast overgrowth, you may be able to bring them back in.

Chick Peas and Kidney Beans – Some people do okay on legumes (chick peas are a legume) and other people don’t. Each person has to gauge it for themselves on how they feel when they eat them. If symptoms develop when eaten then they need to be avoided. However, in my opinion, legumes should be restricted for special occasion because they contain substances that are destructive to the GI tract. Another problem with beans in relation to Candida is that they are very high in carbohydrates. Candida will feast on them.

Buckwheat flour – This flour is better than wheat flour, so if you’re going to make something that requires flour this is a good choice. However, flour should be avoided most of the time. Flour is a refined food and can easily be eaten by yeast. Flour is also high in carbohydrates that will also feed yeast. This is especially important in the early phases of the diet. Again, after some progress is achieved in reducing overgrowth, then it may be something that can be eaten a little more often.

Please read, my Paleolithic Diet page and my Candida diet page for more information on diet.

What can you eat for breakfast?

One of the things that must happen when following the Candida diet is that old ways of thinking must be let go of. We must let go of the standard way we are accustomed to eating.

Sitting down to big bowl of cereal is not a good choice regardless of whether it is bowl of wheaties or a bowl of rice flake porridge. The rice flake porridge is definitely a healthier choice, however it is very high in carbohydrates. This will give the yeast a very big and delicious to meal to devour and will probably incite a vast amount of Candida symptoms. Not only that it spikes blood sugar and insulin levels. Check out my Good Carbs Bad Carbs page and the Whole Grain Lie.

Breakfast, just like all meals on this diet, should be very low in carbohydrates. It should be high in protein and low carbohydrate vegetables.

A good breakfast, regardless of whether you have Candida or not, might include the following:

– Eggs with green peppers. Green peppers could be replaced with spinach, hot peppers, broccoli or any other low carb vegetable you prefer.

– Baked chicken breast and green beans.

– Ground turkey with spinach.

– Ground buffalo with steamed zucchini.

– Beef hamburgers with a salad.

In regard to the Xtralac, I don’t have personal knowledge with this particular product, however when I look over its ingredients, I see that it contains Enterococcus Faecalis, which is an opportunistic pathogen. This ingredient is also contained in Threelac. I got very sick from Threelac and I’ve talked with lots of other people who have as well. I developed a bacterial infection and my Candida flared terribly.

It is my suspicion, however I don’t know for sure, that it may be this particular bacteria that makes some people sick. Regardless, for some reason, some people do okay on products like Xtralac and other people don’t. If it makes you that sick, perhaps you should reevaluate whether you should continue taking it. I wouldn’t take it with those kind of symptoms.

It is also possible that you’re symptoms are die off. In myself and the people I’ve talked to who got sick with Threelac the symptoms are different from what you describe. We had symptoms that seemed to be a bacterial infection. Your symptoms sound like they could possibly be die off, but I can’t say for sure. However it’s also important to keep this in mind.

A certain degree of die off is good and acceptable, however if you become very sick or incapacitated then that isn’t good for the body. The liver can only process so many toxins at a time. It can get very overloaded with toxins during die off. When this happens, it usually best to cut back on whatever antifungal is causing the situation and go at a slower pace so the body can keep up or switch to a less potent antifungal and work your way up to a more powerful one.

If you need more help with the Candida diet or have other questions about Candida, I offer consultations by phone. You can learn more about that by looking at my Holistic Counseling page.

Additionally, I have a great little handbook called Candida Secrets that will provide you with a broad overview of all the facets related to yeast overgrowth and the best way to approach treatment. Inside this book you’ll also find a coupon for a discount on your initial phone consultation, if you still need further assistance.

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Adam March 9, 2009, 6:07 pm

    Actually the ingredients of Threelac and Xtralac are diffrent. Threelac has Enterococcus Faecalis whereas Xtralac uses Enterococcus Faecium. Enterococcus Faecium is the much better understood and researched of these two ingredients and I do not think its saftey is really in question.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins March 11, 2009, 8:54 pm

    Hmm, I’m not sure about that Adam. When I research Enterococcus Faecium it still says it is an opportunistic pathogen. So it seems they are pretty similar.

  • kevin April 24, 2009, 5:01 am

    Hie,

    Is it possible to rid yourself of the fungus without taking any antifungal preparation?-Like through probiotics, the diet and perhaps exercise.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins May 1, 2009, 2:20 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    Although diet, probiotics and exercise can help reduce symptoms of Candida overgrowth drastically, it usually isn’t possible to eliminate it completely without also using antifungals.

    Some people who have a very mild case, may be able to do so, but not most people.

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Gwendolen July 17, 2009, 6:31 pm

    Can you recommend a good anti-fungal? Also, what are symptoms of “die-off”?

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins July 19, 2009, 2:12 am

    Hi Gwendolen,

    You can find a lot of information about anti-fungals in this section of my site

    http://www.holistichelp.net/candida.html

    and you can learn about die off on this page

    http://www.holistichelp.net/candida-die-off.html

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Matthew February 17, 2010, 12:11 am

    Hello, thanks for sharing this information.

    I’m a male with candida and would really appreciate your advice on:

    OATS, I make my own porridge from oats, nuts, berries and coconut milk and eat this every night before bed. If I don’t, I get very hungry and have trouble getting to sleep. I’m naturally slim with a fast metabolism. I have tried eating protein instead – such as egg or just the nuts etc but nuts by themselves are not filling and the eggs were too heavy I found. I can’t eat dairy so it doesn’t leave me with many choices!

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins February 19, 2010, 11:52 am

    Hi Mathew,

    Well in my opinion that is way too high in carbohydrates. It contains all the foods that Candida loves. An effective Candida diet eliminates almost all carbohydrates and consists of meat and vegetables.

    If I ate that before going to bed I would be awake all night with Candida symptoms like anxiety, heart pounding and hyperactivity in my brain. Then I’d fell like crap in the morning.

    Typically a meal like that is a prime source of food for Candida. All those carbohydrates break down into sugar in the body and feed yeast. As a general rule, most people would be symptomatic with a meal that high in carbohydrates.

    However, everyone is different. The level of yeast overgrowth, the strain of Candida, the gut integrity, metabolism, digestion, genetics etc. will all impact how one responds to foods. Some people can eat more carbohydrates than others.

    You gauge what you should eat and shouldn’t eat by how your body responds to each food or foods. If you don’t have an increase in symptoms when you eat that many carbohydrates, then perhaps your body can process it. If you’re not noticing an improvement in Candida, then adjustments would have to be made.

    I eat meat, like chicken breast, buffalo patty, ground beef or turkey and steamed vegetables before I go to bed. This helps me sleep and keeps my blood sugar stable.

  • Caroline May 8, 2010, 3:52 am

    Hi there, Another candida sufferer here. Didn’t know what was going on for the past year – gyming everyday and not knowing what was going on – not losing a pound, severe bloating and wind, constant fatigue, headaches, etc. Went to a nutropatth/kineologist and she told me I’m riddled with Candida! Taking an anti fungal suplement now but I was hoping you could review my diet that I have concurred to beat the candida

    Breakfast: 2 eggs and cup of hot water with lemon

    Snack: Soya Yoghurt and green tea

    Lunch: Tuna and 50g brown rice salad (cucumber, tomatoes, onion, grated garlic and grated ginger) tblsp olive oil or balsamic vinegar

    3pm: cup of fennel tea

    Dinner: Meat/chicken/fish with brocolli, asparagus and peppers.

    8pm: fennel tea

    How does this sound?? Any advice would really help! Regards – Caroline

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins May 20, 2010, 10:50 am

    Hi Caroline,

    The diet should consist primarily of meat and low carb vegetables. Meat should be the largest portion of the meal. Eggs are good too. However, eggs shouldn’t be eaten every day or you may develop a food sensitivity to them. You can eat chicken breast, turkey, buffalo, beef etc. with steamed vegetables for breakfast.

    Each meal should consist of meat and vegetables. A small amount of fruit, nuts and seeds are acceptable, if tolerated.

    You can read this page for more on Candida breakfast foods.

    Soy should not be part of the diet, it has naturally occurring substances that are destructive to the pancreas, GI tract, and thyroid. It disrupts digestion and inhibits absorption of nutrients. It’s also high in phytoestrogens which upsets the level of estrogen in the body, leading to or aggravating estrogen dominance.

    Grains should not be part of the diet, or at least very restricted. Especially wheat and others with gluten. They destroy the GI tract and feed Candida. However a little brown rice now and then is not too bad. But it shouldn’t be eaten every day.

    If tuna weren’t contaminated with mercury it would be healthy. However, most fish, including tuna have very high levels of mercury. Mercury in the body aggravates the Candida condition.

    Vinegar should be avoided, it aggravates Candida.

    The diet I recommend is a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet. I encourage you to read more about it.

    Nothing wrong with herbal tea, but caffeine should be avoided.

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Jill October 19, 2010, 5:25 pm

    Is stevia ok to use on the anti-candida diet? – What about agave or other sweeteners?

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins October 27, 2010, 4:36 pm

    Yes, stevia is okay. It has no impact on Candida, insulin or blood sugar. Agave does feed Candida, but in my experience it is less offensive than sugar or honey. I reserve agave for special occasions. You can read this post I have on agave

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/is-agave-syrup-healthy/

    However, stevia is always a better choice.

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Alexandra November 8, 2010, 9:35 am

    Hi Cynthia,

    I’m a vegetarian, (I don’t eat fish either) and finding the candida free diet really hard because I feel tired easily. Any tips on some more stodgy-type foods to make me feel full and of energy? (I do eat potatoes, but try to avoid not eating them everyday)

    I assume quorn is not ok to eat because it is made of mushroom protein.

    Any suggestions appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Alex

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins November 16, 2010, 10:30 pm
  • Cheryl January 18, 2011, 4:35 pm

    I’m a vegetarian and I’m finding that the beans that I love (anything high in carbs) gives me that awful rosacea feeling, so I’m guessing its fueling the candida (I knew I had rosacea before the candida issue, long before). Any resources out there for vegetarians wanting a low carb, high protein diet? I do eat eggs (have my own pet chickens!)

  • Juan Mayer January 23, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Is calorie counting better then low fat diets?

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins February 11, 2011, 4:15 pm

    No it is not. A low fat diet is the worse thing you can do for yourself. Calorie counting is useless. The key is to return to the diet that the human body is supposed to have, which is high in animal protein and non-starchy vegetables, a small amount of nuts, seeds and fruit, and a healthy intake of fat. The Paleolithic diet is the diet I recommend. You can learn more on these pages

    http://www.holistichelp.net/paleolithic-diet.html

    http://www.holistichelp.net/good-carbs-bad-carbs.html

    http://www.holistichelp.net/insulin-resistance-symptoms.html

    http://www.holistichelp.net/healthy-diet-plan.html

    Cynthia

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins February 11, 2011, 4:25 pm
  • Becky September 25, 2012, 9:58 pm

    Hi Cynthia,

    “Enterococcus Faecalis – an opportunistic pathogen. Found in Threelac. I got very sick from Threelac and I’ve talked with lots of other people who have as well. I developed a bacterial infection and my Candida flared terribly.”

    I found this info. in your article interesting because I too feel I got and intestinal infection from taking Threelac four years ago.
    What did you do to get rid of yours. I’m seeing a gastroenterologist but no answer yet.
    Thanks, Becky O.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins September 27, 2012, 11:07 am

    Hi Becky,

    You can read more on this topic on the following pages

    http://www.holistichelp.net/threelac.html

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/is-threelac-safe-and-effective/

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Ann March 3, 2014, 2:49 pm

    Howdy! I too am struggling with eradicating candida while at the same time dealing with lupus. I have been juicing for a few months now… Mostly greens, celery, cukes, parsley, ginger, Granny Smith apples and a few carrots. I am worried now maybe this juice is toying with my blood sugar and thus candida?! I would sooo appreciate your input ! Thank you dearly

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins March 8, 2014, 1:13 pm

    Hi Ann,
    Juice with apples and carrots is high in sugar. Yes, indeed, it will feed Candida and affect blood sugar. The diet should consist primarily of animal protein and fat and a moderate amount of low-starch vegetables. This will not only help Candida, but Lupus as well. Diet is in detail on the following page.

    http://www.holistichelp.net/candida-diet.html

    Best
    Cynthia

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