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Why the Candida Diet Doesn't Work

Posted by Administrator on 6/13/2015

Dealing with Candida can be a struggle!  Most diet's promote high fat, high protein, low carbs and no sugars at all.  Many experience some small relief, however, this could be due to cutting out processed foods and refined oils.  Others incorporate a high fat, high protein vegan diet but any relapse of eating fruit or sugars causes a flare up. 

Most people on the candida diet have experienced the following:
  • They feel better almost immediately – primarily because all the sugar has been removed from their diet.
  • They continue on the diet for some time perhaps many months or even a year or more and are pleased to see that their symptoms of Candida overgrowth diminish considerably during that time.
  • After a period of time, they try to reintroduce some of the foods that were removed only to discover that their symptoms come raging back with full force.
  • They realize that it is going to be next to impossible to continue the Candida Diet indefinitely as it is simply too hard to give up any and all sweets forever.
  • They get discouraged, give up and stop the Candida Diet.


The Root Cause

Candida overgrowth results from poor digestion and a leaky gut, not simply the consumption of sugar (although a high sugar, refined food diet can lead to a leaky gut).  In most cases, it requires healing and sealing the gut lining to overcome a candida overgrowth.


Factors that lead to Gut Dysbiosis are:
  • Antibiotics (including antibiotics in meat)
  • Use of the birth control pill
  • Diet, especially one high in sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
These can all affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

The lining of the intestines is a barrier that normally only allows properly digested fats, proteins, and starches to pass through and enter the bloodstream.  This lining becomes weak and permeable by a junk food diet, bacterial toxins, and even the pesticides sprayed on our food.  When the lining becomes permeable, it becomes an open door to let in bacteria, viruses, parasites and even undigested food molecules.

These activate the immune system and often hyperstimulate it so that it squirts out inflammatory substances called cytokines and act to weaken the intestinal wall. The agitated immune system may also become so unstable as to attack your own body, producing autoimmune diseases.

The growth of Candida is usually controlled by the good bacteria and by the body's immune defenses. If the population of good bacteria is decreased, especially by antibiotics, or if the immune defenses are weakened by illness, poor nutrition, or certain medications/antibiotics, Candida fungi can multiply. 


Could the key be a low fat, high fruits/vegetables diet?

Removing stressors from the diet and supporting digestion with a probiotic can help immensely in healing the gut.  Oregano oil is also a reputable remedy for kicking candida.  A grain free or GAPS diet can be helpful at healing the root cause of candida, a leaky gut.

Sugar free diets (natural sugars like the ones in whole fruit) elevate stress hormones, which exhausts the adrenals, reduce thyroid hormones, and taxes the body. The first few months of a sugar free or intensely low carb diet will bring weight loss and a burst of energy due to the surging stress hormones.  But after the “honeymoon period”, the toll of the stress hormones will impair the thyroid. The suppressed thyroid function will, in turn, slow the metabolism and cause weight gain and fatigue.


Foods that actually contribute to the growth of Candida

An excessive fat level in the body is the first and most critical ingredient that contributes to the growth of Candida (along with highly processed foods which are typically high in refined oils). When you consume exceedingly fatty foods, the fat levels in your blood begin to increase along with the blood sugar level. Consequently, the excessive fat prevents insulin from discharging sugar out from the bloodstream. Consistent high levels of fat will keep the sugar levels perpetually elevated. This increased amount of sugar will then proceed to support the large Candida colonies instead of supplying nutrition to your cells. 

Highly refined oils should be avoided, and natural, plants fats consumed in moderation (or greatly reduced until candida is under control):

Avoid:

Cottonseed oil

Corn oil

Peanut oil

Soy oil

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Greatly reduce:

Avocados

Nuts/Seeds

Meat

Dairy

Grains


Don’t Fruits Feed Candida?

Fruits are considered beneficial to control Candida. As already highlighted, sugar is not the cause of Candida, rather it is the excess consumption of fats.  Fructose moves quickly through the digestive system which is ideal for us as other complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and will end up fermenting and feeding the candida/bacteria.  (*Note:  grossly overeating fruit and incorrect food combining could still have the effect of fermentation if you’re body isn’t ready yet.)

With damaged intestines and altered microflora we have great difficulty in digesting complex sugars.  If you maintain a high carbohydrate (from fruits  and vegetables), low fat diet for a number of weeks you should notice positive changes.

Recommended Fruits:

  • Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Apricots (no dried fruits)

Vegetables:

  • All vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, are beneficial


Keep in mind, you can't fix severe problems overnight. Candida exists to serve an essential function, it is trying to bring your body back to a state of homeostasis. If you stop putting in the excess oils, fats and processed foods, control your stress levels and take a probiotic, the Candida will no longer have a purpose and will dissipate as it is intended.

Unfortunately the majority of advice is to steer clear of fruits when suffering from an influx of Candida. As a result many people go on for extended periods with this problem without resolution, when the solution is simple:

  • Heal the gut by eliminating refined, processed foods
  • Adopt a low fat, high carb whole fruits and vegetable diet
  • Take a daily probiotic

Now we want to hear from you.  What are your candida experiences?


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