Okay, well to start things off I received a question from a visitor named Joe in regard to the Candida diet. Here’s what Joe had to say.
“I feel that, for the most part, my diet is very healthy–lots of veggies, not too much fruit, almost no processed foods, and very little added sugar. I do, however, eat vast quantities of beans and yams, quite a bit of oatmeal, a fair amount of beer, and I take my coffee with cream and sugar. I was not surprised to find beer and sugar on the no-no list, but I was surprised by the beans, yams, and oatmeal.
Okay, so I can cut back or eliminate the beer, beans, yams, and oatmeal, but any thoughts about acceptable substitutes for the cream and sugar in my coffee? I have tried stevia and found it unpalatable. I would rather give up coffee altogether than to put some horrid substitute in it. What about honey? I noticed honey was curiously absent from your “types of sugar” list.
I am also curious about yogurt. Dairy is on the Candida diet no-no list, but yogurt is acceptable? I understand that yogurt has all those good cultures and whatnot, but doesn’t yogurt–even the really good, plain, unsweetened stuff–contain the same sugar that dairy does? I swear I’ve seen sugar on the label. Can you please explain to me why this isn’t a contradiction? Thanks so much, Joe.”
That’s a great question Joe, so here’s the story. First of all anyone with a Candida yeast problem should not be drinking alcohol at all in any form. It is impossible to reduce Candida overgrowth if you’re drinking. Alcohol is a simple sugar. In addition to all the other health problems that alcohol contributes to, it makes yeast overgrowth proliferate as much if not more than white refined sugar. It is one of the worse things you could have in your diet.
In addition to that, anyone with a yeast problem should not be drinking caffeine. Caffeine is an addictive drug. It destroys your adrenal glands. The adrenal glands need to be strengthened when you have a Candida problem. So coffee and any other products with caffeine should be eliminated when following the Candida diet. It can be replaced with caffeine-free herbal teas if you must have something to drink in the morning.
Yes, stevia takes a little time to get used to. When you make healthy changes in your diet, it takes your taste buds a while to adjust, but they will. Stevia is a little difficult to work with and tastes good with some things, but not so good with other things. There are a couple other good choices for sweeteners too, however they should be used sparingly as well. Xylitol is said to not aggravate Candida and it can be use just like sugar, however it can have a laxative effect if too much is ingested at one time. Agave is less destructive than any other sweetener not only for Candida, but blood sugar as well. Honey should be avoided as well, it is very bad for the blood sugar and all yeast, bacteria and viruses love it. It’s okay to have a little honey once in a while, but not every day. Keeping the blood sugar stable is necessary, because when blood sugar levels drop then you have cravings for sugar and carbohydrates.
Beans, Yams and Oatmeal are not on the “no-no” list for all people. They should be eaten sparingly because they are high in complex carbohydrates. Yes complex carbohydrates are healthy for you, however, yeast will feast on any kind of carbohydrate. It depends on how severe your Candida infestation is and what strain you have. Some people can eat complex carbohydrates without too much problem, while other people can’t eat them at all. You have to gauge it by how many or how severe your symptoms are when you eat them.
Yogurt does naturally contain lactose (which is the sugar that occurs naturally in milk) however keep in mind that this is completely different than white refined sugar. Yogurt is healthy for you because it also contains calcium, protein and most importantly healthy bacteria. Anything with healthy bacteria is beneficial in the diet to help restore balance. Some people can have trouble with the lactose in the yogurt, and yeast can feed on it if you’re eating too much at one time. So you want to eat it sensibly and always make sure that is the unsweetened brand. It should also be organic so you’re not loading your body with antibiotics and hormones that are found in main stream food.
It’s important when following the Candida diet to find a healthy balance that works for you. The brain and the body need a certain degree of natural sugars to work effectively. However the key words here are “natural sugars” and “balance.” You don’t want to eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet because this will cause other problems like loss of energy, mental confusion, inability to concentrate etc. On the other hand, to make progress in reducing yeast overgrowth, sugars in all forms need to be reduced. Any sugar that you ingest should be as whole as possible. When it is taken into the body as a whole food it doesn’t feed the yeast as much and helps keep blood sugar stable.
For those of you who need more information about diet, it can be found on the Candida diet page. Also keep in mind that the diet is only one important piece of the puzzle when dealing with yeast overgrowth. There are a variety of other factors that must be addressed. I provide a helpful little guide that covers all the basics and has a lot of great resources called Candida Secrets if you’d like to check it out.