The Candida diet is a pre-formed menu in many ways and individualized to some extent.
For most people it usually feels rigid and difficult to follow, as it is a drastic change from the standard American menu. It takes a great deal of determination and self-discipline to adhere to. However, once you begin to see changes in your symptoms and experience relief, you'll become more motivated and it won't be quite as difficult.
As your taste buds become accustomed to healthier food and your blood sugar begins to stabilize over time, your cravings for the really bad food will diminish. In time you train your body, learn new eating behaviors and see the Candida diet in a new light. Eventually you'll begin to see that part of loving yourself is not doing something destructive.
The purpose of the Candida diet is to deprive the yeast organisms of their food sources. Candida thrives on sugar and carbohydrates. When it doesn't have food, it can't proliferate. But this is easier said than done because the candida makes you crave the foods that it wants. These cravings are usually very intense and can be completely overpowering.
It is very common for individuals following the Candida diet to cheat from time to time or even fall of the Candida wagon completely. This is just part of the process and requires that you be loving and forgiving of yourself when it occurs and start over again. You may find some of these holistic diet tips to be helpful.
Certain individualized factors must be taken into consideration when designing your Candida diet, however the basics must be incorporated as strictly as possible.
The Number One Enemy
The worse thing you can give your body in regard to the Candida Diet and in regard to health in general is sugar. It weakens the immune system and gives yeast a spectacular feast.
Sugar is Candida's favorite food. If you remove nothing else from your diet, it must be sugar.
You may think that you don't eat much sugar, but you eat sugar unknowingly many times a day, because sugar is added to almost every food on the market in the traditional store and is even common place in the health food stores. The health food stores usually carry items that contain organic sugar, but sugar is sugar when it comes to Candida and immune function.
To remove sugar from your diet you must read labels very carefully. All forms of sugar should be removed from the diet including the following:
- Beet Sugar
- Maple Sugar
- Date Sugar
- Organic Cane Syrup
- Organic Cane Juice
- Organic Cane Sugar
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Brown Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- Coconut Sugar
- Fruit juice sweeteners
- Barley malt
- Maple syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Alcohol is the most refined form of sugar you can consume.
Now granted, if you really must eat sugar, organic sugar is definitely a better choice, because it doesn't have pesticides in it and it hasn't been stripped of all its nutritional value, unlike refined white sugar. But in regard to Candida, sugar is sugar. It doesn't distinguish between organic or inorganic. It will be quite happy to eat either one of them and proliferate equally. The same applies to honey.
Not only that, organic sugar will also lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, neurotransmitter imbalances, addiction, hypoglycemia, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity etc., just like traditional table sugar.
The Candida Diet Basics
These Candida diet basics are essential to be successful in reducing or eliminating symptoms.
- No sugar
- No alcohol (alcohol is a sugar)
- No grains(breaks down into sugar very quickly and contributes to leaky gut)
- No high carb foods
- No yeast
- No caffeine (Caffeine prompts the liver to dump large doses of sugar into the blood stream)
- No preservatives and additives
- No refined and processed foods
- No moldy foods
- No dairy (except yogurt and butter on occasion) Cheese and milk contain lactose (milk sugar) which the yeast will feed on. (some people can do small amounts of cottage cheese)
- Low in Carbohydrates
- Animal Protein and Fat
- Low-carb vegetables
- Butter, ghee and heavy cream
The basic and most successful anti Candida diet should consist of nothing but animal protein, eggs, and low carbohydrate vegetables. A small amount of whole fruit, nuts and seeds on occasion may be acceptable if they don't flare symptoms.Meats to Include
- fish(be careful because fish is contaminated with mercury and other pollutants- buy Wild Alaskan fish)
- No processed meats like lunch meat, spam, bacon, sausage etc.
- green beans
- any green leafy vegetable is low in carbohydrates
- green peppers
- avocados (are excellent because they are also very good for stabilizing blood sugar)
- tomatoes are low carb but high in acid and often aggravate yeast, you'll need to monitor your symptoms to determine whether you should include them in your diet.
- carrots (can eat small amounts with other low-carb vegetables)
- sweet potatoes
- winter squash
Grains should be avoided completely on the Candida diet. Not only are they are highly allergenic and high in carbohydrates that feed yeast, but the human body does not digest them properly. They disrupt the gastrointestinal tract and contribute to mineral deficiencies and leaky gut. This is true of the alternative grains as well.
- Yogurt is okay on occasion, but it does contain lactose, which is milk sugar, so be careful.
- Cheese or cottage cheese should be restricted for special occasions, but they also contain lactose, so must be restricted.
- Eggs are a good protein and contain no carbs.
- Butter, ghee and heavy cream are acceptable as they contain only minute amounts of lactose.
Legumes, also known as beans are very high in carbohydrates, so they should be eliminated. Like grains, they too are not processed properly by the human body and contribute to inflammation, leaky gut, mineral deficiencies and autoimmune conditions.
- split pea
- -black, etc.
Some people can include nuts, while other's can't. However in the beginning phase of the Candida diet they are best avoided or reduced.
Nuts are moldy. Some of them are also high carbohydrate. They can also contribute to gut inflammation, leaky gut, mineral deficiencies and autoimmunity if eaten too frequently.
Cashews are high in carbohydrates.
Macadamia, Almond, Walnut, Hazelnut are lower in carbohydrates. Peanuts should be avoided, they are actually a legume, not a nut.Fruits
Most people need to cut down on fruit intake drastically while following the Candida diet. This is because fruit is high in natural sugar. Some fruits are higher in sugar than others.
Some people can eat fruit freely and other people can't eat it at all. On the other hand, some people can only eat fruit that is lower in sugar.Fruit High in Sugar
- Oranges (very moldy as well)
- Melons (also very moldy)
Special Occasions and Treats
Please keep in mind that sweets of any kind should be extremely limited.
I've found that it's much easier to stay on the Candida diet if you allow yourself treats from time to time, so you don't feel deprived. I allow myself to have something sweet, yet not too unhealthy a few times a month (derived from fruit and nuts).
There may also be special occasions and holidays when you would like to indulge in something tasty and delicious.
More than likely you will experience cravings from time to time that are uncontrollable and you must have something sweet.
For any of these occurrences it's best to indulge in healthier sweets that aren't as damaging to the immune system and won't make the Candida proliferate to the same extent as sugar.
Make your own desserts with sugar alternatives:
- fruit and nuts
Xylitol will not have any impact on yeast or blood sugar, but it can be problematic if you have SIBO in addition to Candida.
Candida Diet Phases
There are 3 phases in the Candida diet. We'll call them, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced.Beginning
In the beginning phase you must be much stricter with adherence and your choices will be more limited.Intermediate
In time, you'll see some improvement in your symptoms and as that happens you can bring back more fruit and nuts. You can be less strict with adherence.Advanced
If you've made a lot of progress in reducing Candida symptoms, then you may move into a Candida diet that consists of more complex carbohydrates and even less strict guidelines.
It's also common for individuals to alternate back and forth between phases. For example, you may have reached a point where your symptoms are really under control and you have a lot more food choices and can tolerate quite a bit of carbohydrate and then a set back occurs and you have to go back to the beginning phase again for a period of time.
A setback can occur in response to stress, hormones, you've overdone the sweets on a holiday, you've had the flu or some other illness or you've had to take an antibiotic.
The Candida diet can be very challenging to live with in the beginning, there's no way to candy coat it. Pun intended. It also takes time for your body to adjust. Initially you will feel tired and hungry as you adjust to the lower level of carbohydrates and your Candida screams for you to feed it.
However, it's important to keep in mind that the diet that yeast will force you to eat, is actually a very healthy diet and the one you should have been eating any ways. The human body was not genetically designed to eat sugar, alcohol, caffeine, white flour, refined foods, grains, potatoes, beans etc. The diet that I outline on this page is basically a low-carb version of the Paleolithic diet, which many health experts are now saying is the diet that we were supposed to eat and is what is needed to encourage optimal health on all levels. I encourage you to learn more about the Paleolithic diet.
By following the Candida diet, you are eating the foods that will decrease your risks of developing serious chronic health conditions, both physically and mentally, like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, clinical depression and anxiety disorders, to name just a few. It's better for you all around.
If you need support, guidance or education in setting up your diet, you may find a phone consultation with Cynthia to be very helpful.
Keep in mind that the anti Candida diet is only one aspect of treatment. It's also important to take antifungals and a variety of other steps to enhance effectiveness of the diet. It's vital that your treatment approach be comprehensive or progress in reducing overgrowth will be hindered. You can get all the facts you need about Candida and guidance on which way to go in this great little Ebook, "Candida Secrets." It's a quick and easy to read and will put you on the right track from the beginning.
When starting out on the Candida diet remember it's usually a process that takes time to incorporate fully. Be kind to yourself, don't beat yourself up if you give in. Forgive and start over. If it feels too overwhelming, begin with baby steps and work your way up to bigger steps.