5 Foods You Should Avoid On The Candida Diet
Beating a Candida overgrowth (and preventing it from returning) means a complete overhaul of your diet and lifestyle. In order to successfully rid your gut of that troublesome yeast, it’s vital to attack it from all angles. That means adjusting to a new Candida diet while also treating with anti-fungal medicines and probiotics.
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You need a rigorous Candida diet to fight off the overgrowth and restore your normal health. In many cases, certain foods in your diet may have caused, or at least contributed to, your overgrowth. These are high-sugar foods (snacks, treats, fruits), glutenous grains, condiments, and refined oils.
Reducing intestinal inflammation, and improving your digestion, begins with cutting these foods out of your diet.
The Top 5 Foods to Avoid On The Candida Diet
Sugar is the primary source of fuel for the Candida yeast. Sugar helps it to grow and proliferate throughout the gut. It also allows it to build the bio-films that protect Candida from your immune system. These bio-films around the yeast are actually made up of around 32% glucose (1).
Any form of sugar can potentially be a problem, but this is particularly true of the added sugars in processed foods.
Even ‘healthier’ sweeteners such as agave and maple syrup are high in natural sugars, which means they also have the potential to feed the Candida yeast. Agave also tends to be highly processed and contains large amounts of fructose – more than High Fructose Corn Syrup!
It’s fairly obvious that you should avoid sugary treats such as cakes, cookies, candy, and other culprits. But you must also look out for hidden sugars that may be in ‘healthy’ foods, such as cereals, bread, muesli bars, home baking, and so on.
Great sugar alternatives include stevia, xylitol, and erythritol, which are naturally sweet but will not affect your blood sugar.
Even if you’re not allergic or intolerant to gluten, avoiding it will significantly improve your chances of recovering from a Candia overgrowth.
Studies now show that despite being something of a “fad,” gluten-free diets can improve your overall health.
Gluten is a type of protein in wheat that has been found to cause serious inflammation in the gut. The gliadins harm the cells in the intestinal lining, causing them to release a compound named Zonulin. Zonulin then interrupts the normal functioning of other cells in the intestinal lining, causing the junctions between them to become loose and “leaky.” (2)
This can lead to increased intestinal permeability (aka Leaky Gut Syndrome), which only worsens Candida symptoms.
Going gluten-free could help to speed your recovery because your gut won’t have to constantly fight against other sources of inflammation, which will allow the cells of your intestinal lining to renew.
Instead of wheat or rye, look for gluten-free pseudo-grains such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth.
Unfortunately, gluten isn’t the only cause of gut inflammation. The Western diet is high in refined vegetable oils that contain large amounts of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
These fatty acids can trigger inflammatory processes in the body, leading to tissue damage in the gut. It’s vital to counter this inflammation by balancing Omega-6 with Omega-3.
Avoid fried foods, especially those cooked in vegetable oils. Refined vegetable oils are used in many cookies, crackers, and sweets in the Western diet, as well as fried foods.
As well as worsening Candida-related gut inflammation, the dietary imbalance caused by these foods is now thought to contribute to asthma, coronary heart disease, various cancers, and certain autoimmunity diseases. (3)
This is due to the high level of inflammation they cause in the body. Other foods that can cause inflammation and irritation in the gut include alcohol and caffeine.
Be sure to include plenty of Omega-3 rich foods in your diet, such as avocado, nuts, and seeds.
Meats such as burger patties, sausages, hot dogs, and deli meats are full of artificial ingredients. These include sugars, dextrose, nitrates, and sulfates.
Not only are the sugars in these foods feeding your Candida, but they can also further contribute to gut inflammation. Eating them regularly can lead to an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the gut and weaken your immune system.
In fact, The World Health Organization has stated that eating just 50g of processed meat each day can increase your risk of bowel cancer by 18%. That’s only about four strips of bacon or one hot dog!
Processed meats may also contain gluten or starches, which can further hinder your digestive health. Some meats such as pork may also contain parasites such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella, which are very bad news for those with a weakened digestive system.
Fruit isn’t always healthy! Dried fruit and fruit juices are especially high in sugar, which will give Candida the fuel it needs to proliferate. Most fruits should be avoided by those just starting their low sugar diet.
Dried fruits such as sultanas and cranberries are worst fruits to consume due to the fact that drying increases their concentration of sugar. A cup of raisins contains around 110g of carbohydrates!
Juices are also worth avoiding as they lack natural fiber, which helps to slow down your absorption of sugar. Fruit juices are high in fructose, which can contribute to insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and diabetes.
Low-sugar fruits include lemons, limes, and avocados. Berries are lower in sugar than most fruits and are high in antioxidants, so it’s okay to eat them in small amounts.
Eat Better and Beat Candida
With these harmful foods removed from your Candida diet, you’re on a much better path to recovering from the overgrowth. The good news is that you’ll enjoy plenty of other health benefits, too!
Sugar, gluten, refined fats, and other inflammatory foods contain little nutritional value, so your body certainly won’t miss them. Best of all, you’ll be giving your immune system a chance to overcome that harmful yeast and get your body back in balance.
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