All About: The Candida Diet

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What is the Candida Diet? Does it work? Is it healthy or unhealthy? Learn all of the above and more.

What is the Candida Diet?

The Candida Diet is a type of diet that focuses on the improvement of gut health. It aims to restore the balance of yeast and bacteria in a person’s body by choosing particular types of food over others.

Candida refers to a type of yeast or fungus that is common to the human body. It normally lives on the skin, mouth, throat, toenails, gut, and vagina, without causing any health issues. The problem starts when there is an overgrowth of Candida, which can cause infections like Candidiasis and other issues. Attempting to reduce Candida was why the anti-Candida Diet, shortened to the Candida Diet, was created.

How does the Candida Diet work?

The Candida Diet attempts to eliminate the Candida fungus via diet changes. In particular the Candida Diet meals remove high-sugar fruits and foods, nuts that are high in mold content, grains and foods with gluten, refined oils, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, some dairy products, sugar, artificial sweeteners, food additives, and processed foods. An artificial sweetener is a replacement for sugar or other sweets that attempts to provide the same sweet taste with fewer calories. However, artificial sweeteners might actually make us hungrier and make us crave sweets. This debate is still ongoing.

Alternatively, the kinds of food allowed in this diet include cruciferous and non-starchy vegetables, non-gluten grains, low sugar fruits, high-quality lean protein, healthful fats, a few dairy products, and fermented foods. Some authors of Candida Diet meal plans also highly encourage eating anti-inflammatory foods and consuming probiotics. With these healthier food options, the diet supposedly reduces the chances of Candida overgrowth which can ultimately lead to a healthier gut and body.

There is no fixed duration for the Candida Diet and it also has many variations. The main factor is knowing what to eat and what not to eat during this diet. As for the process, a typical Candida Diet guide follows these features: cleansing, food restriction and meal planning, and using probiotics and supplements to fight and regulate bacterial growth.

Most would recommend starting the Candida Diet with cleansing or detoxing. This phase advises dieters to eat mostly vegetables and some eggs for protein. Another way is to consume sugar-free liquids, in particular water or homemade vegetable juices. This can be done for 2 days or more, depending on a dieter’s preference or limit. After this, a dieter can try a Candida Diet 7-day plan initially and see if it’s possible to follow it for a longer-term. Some Candida Diet guide suggests following this eating program for six to eight weeks and some say up to 16 weeks. It's worth noting that this diet is highly customizable and there is no fixed duration.

Does the Candida Diet work? What are the benefits of the Candida Diet?

While there are multiple studies made on Candida infections, there is yet to be an official study and enough evidence to suggest the diet’s efficacy. The diet only aims to reduce the factors that cause Candida overgrowth by choosing healthier kinds of food. As such, its promoted health benefits are highly plausible but yet to be scientifically proven.

With that said, the Candida Diet's recommended foods are generally pretty good and include vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. A whole grain is simply a grain like rice in its original intact form versus eating a processed derivative like rice flour. Eating whole grains instead of refined grains has a variety of benefits including more nutrients, more fiber, and better satiety. In the past, eating foods with a large percentage of fat was frowned upon. The debate has changed recently. It's now believed that many high-fat foods are good for you. In particular, certain foods like olive oil, avocados, and walnuts are considered to be healthy fats. Their foods to avoid also includes food worth avoiding like high-sugar food, refined oils, and overly processed food.

So following the Candida Diet might improve your overall health, which could indirectly help reduce Candida infections and overgrowth.

Is the Candida Diet safe? Is the Candida Diet unhealthy?

The Candida Diet is not like other extreme low-calorie diets but it can also be quite restrictive in terms of the types of food allowed. As such, some health experts suggest that it is not healthy as it eliminates a variety of food with important nutrients.

On the other hand, the Candida Diet has a list of healthy food options for dieters. The reason why it’s possibly effective in the reduction or control of the Candida fungus is because of the healthy foods it promotes. It does not have an extreme calorie limit, so overall, there are few risks to this diet. However, as there are no specific studies to determine the risks or safety of this eating program, dieters are advised to proceed with caution. It is also crucial for people with pre-existing medical conditions, nursing mothers, and pregnant women to consult with a medical professional before going into any type of diet.

Candida Diet shopping list, meal plan, and menu

While Candida Diet meals can seem restrictive for others, there are still a lot of good food types that are not just delicious but also nutritious allowed in the diet. So, to help dieters get started with this alternative eating plan, here is a quick guide and reference for your Candida Diet grocery list.

  • Non-starchy vegetables: ;Broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, onions, and tomatoes
  • Non-gluten grains: millet, quinoa, oat bran, buckwheat, and rice (brown, white, wild).
  • Low sugar fruits: Strawberries, blueberries, citrus fruits, peaches, and apples
  • Healthful fats: Avocado, sesame oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil
  • High-quality lean protein: White-fleshed fish, skinless white-meat poultry like chicken breast, pork loin, and lean beef
  • Few dairy products: Butter, ghee, kefir, and some cheeses like ricotta and goat cheese
  • Fermented foods: Kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt.
  • Nuts and seeds with low mold content: almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Sugar-free drinks: Water, homemade vegetable juice, unsweetened coconut juice
  • Supplements: Seaweed products, probiotics, and supplements preferably made from whole food sources

With these food options, dieters can cook plenty of Candida Diet easy recipes. As long as this list of food types is followed, a personalized Candida Diet meal plan can have plenty of tasty dishes.

Here are two examples of a Candida Diet meal plan for beginners:

Sample 1

  • Breakfast: Avocado omelet
  • Snack: Ants on a log
  • Lunch: Chicken fajita salad
  • Snack: Paleo brownies
  • Dinner: Ham and broccoli frittata

Sample 2

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
  • Snack: Smoothie
  • Lunch: Steak with steamed veggies
  • Snack: Veggie chips
  • Dinner: Chicken hot pie

Since there is little concern for calorie count in this diet, it has a very adjustable meal plan.

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Looking for more diet ideas?

Try our free Diet Optimizer Quiz and get quick, unique, customized ideas like:

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