Candida Overgrowth and Diet

Great question from a visitor this week about why diet is such an important factor for Candida overgrowth.

I am starting a diet to correct Candida overgrowth. I eat a lot of processed meat, pickled herring, and consume a lot of caffeine. I have seen references saying all three of those things are problematic but no explanations. What are the issues with those items? Don

Hi Don,

The issue with these foods is that each one of them contributes to Candida overgrowth. In order to reduce yeast overgrowth, foods that cause Candida to proliferate must be avoided. Candida thrives on sugar and refined foods.

Processed meat is pumped full of synthetic chemicals, additives and usually sugar or corn syrup. It is not a whole food. So Candida will eat it and grow. Additionally, these ingredients weaken the immune system, are void of nutritional value and damage the colon, which also contributes more to yeast overgrowth. A weakened immune system, a body that doesn’t receive adequate nutrients and a colon that isn’t functioning properly are all contributing factors to Candida overgrowth, as well as a variety of other chronic health conditions. Processed meats is one of the worst foods you can eat regardless of whether you have Candida or not.

Foods that are moldy or fermented may also aggravate yeast or cause an allergic reaction for the person with overgrowth, so that’s why pickled foods should be avoided.

Caffeine has a variety of negative impacts on our health such as leading to or perpetuating drug and alcohol addiction, diabetes, depleting the adrenal glands and putting the endocrine system out of whack, hypoglycemia, weight gain, increased stress and reduces the ability to cope with stress, excessive fatigue and high blood pressure to name a few.

However in regard to Candida, the biggest concern with caffeine is that when you drink caffeine, it causes your liver to dump large amounts of sugar into the blood stream. Candida then feeds on this sugar and grows more out of control. Additionally, caffeine destroys the endocrine system and a malfunctioning endocrine systems is another contributing factor to allowing yeast to proliferate as well as many other chronic health problems. Caffeine also leads to hypoglycemia and when you have hypoglycemia you will crave sweets and carbohydrates, and when you eat sweets and carbohydrates, then you feed the Candida.

The more a food is processed the less nutritional value it contains. Foods on the Candida diet should be eaten in their natural state as much as possible.


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