The Candida Diet Protocol - Part 1
If you missed last week’s blog diving into Candida infection I highly suggest you head back and catch up on it before getting into the nitty gritty details of an anti-candida diet.
This week I want to help you really understand why I use the guidelines that I use in my protocol for eliminating Candida so that you can feel more confident jumping into the program.
The most important part of any anti-candida diet is to avoid sugar. Usually when I say this to a new patient I get an immediate response of “oh I really do try to stay away from sugar most of the time!” Unfortunately what most people really mean when they say this is that they are staying away from added sugars like cakes, cookies, candy and soda. However, when I ask them what they typically eat, it’s full of carbohydrates.
Many people simply don’t realize that all carbohydrates break down into sugar, even the “healthy” ones like whole grains. The biggest difference between whole grains and processed grains (like white bread and pasta) is that they have a few more nutrients and that they break down into sugars more slowly. This does matter because it helps our blood sugar stay more regulated, but it doesn’t do a whole lot to prevent fungal infections like Candida.
Candida and its fungi friends adore sugar, in fact, it’s what they require to thrive. Some of the current research shows that certain feedback loops in the body can be skewed when overgrowth of Candida is present causing you to crave the sugars that they need. Creepy right? How dare they hijack your systems! This does make it more difficult sometimes to adhere to a strict anti-candida diet, but I’ve found that knowing about this can make it easier to resist those sugar temptations.
Another component of a proper anti-candida diet is to remove foods that already contain any type of mold, since mold is a type of fungal growth and will hamper your progress. These types of products most commonly end up on your meal as a side, added ingredient or condiment. There are some, like mushrooms or blue cheese that are pretty darn obvious, and then there are others that most people never even consider. Foods that contain or help mold grow are:
Cultured dairy like sour cream and buttermilk
Vinegars (watch your condiments especially here, favorites such as ketchup, mustard and most salad dressings contain vinegar) Apple Cider Vinegar is an exception to this rule
Foods containing yeast such as bread, beer and baked goods
Sauerkraut and most fermented foods- plain yogurt is an exception to this rule
So back to sugar. I find that my version of the anti-fungal diet is a bit more strict than some. If you’re saying “whyyyyyy Dr. Caroline”, the reason is that I found I got much better and lasting results having patients do it this way over the years than when I tried other formulas. We discussed carbohydrates that most people think of like bread, but we didn’t talk about fruit, which tends to pop up as a surprise. After all, don’t we usually talk about eating our fruits and veggies every day? Well not during the next 30 days. Fruits, although full of good nutrition, are also full of sugar, and for most people who are having a problem with sugar cravings and candida overgrowth they will be the Achilles heel of their progress if not removed.
You’ll see in the recommendations that this also includes tomato. While most people don’t consider themselves big tomato eaters, we sure do use them in lots of dishes like pasta sauces, many curries, pizza sauces, ketchups, barbeque sauces and the list goes on. So watch your menu when you’re meal planning or ordering to be sure there aren’t any tomatoes hiding in there!
Luckily, even though we’ve restricted quite a few foods, there aren’t that many rules to this program. There won’t be any counting calories, macros or even pounds on the scale. No portions to measure out (except your carb servings if you add them), and no food diaries to write. Just a simple list of foods to avoid! Speaking of that, here is the full list of foods to skip when you’re trying to show Candida the door.
1. Sugars and Sweeteners (honey, Sweet N Low, etc.)- Stevia is ok
but make sure it does not have anything (like inulin) added to it!
2. Fruits (including tomato)- lemon, lime, and avocado are ok
3. Yeast (breads, beer, etc.)
4. Vinegar (mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressings, etc.)- Apple
Cider Vinegar is ok
5. Dairy (you can eat eggs, plain yogurt and butter)
7. Fermented Foods (soy sauce, tempeh, pickles, etc.)
9. Hydrogenated Oils
10. Peanuts and Pistachios (including nut butters)
Check in with us next week where I’ll be diving further into foods and supplements that we recommend for their natural anti-fungal properties!
If you want the full candida protocol, check it out here!
Dr. Caroline Ricker has been passionately helping people avoid unnecessary medications and surgeries since 2009. She combines a very logical functional medicine approach to digestive disorders and more using a more alternative holistic approach, utilizing standard lab tests and in-office evaluations as well as nutrition, acupuncture and homeopathy.
Whole Health & Wellness
10807 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
P: (314) 269-3847