Here’s what we’re going to cover
There are a lot of different anti-candida diets out there, and a lot of them are wrong or are way too strict, so let’s get to the facts about what you really need to do to treat Candida.
Candida thrive on sugars and carbs. Because of this, when it comes to successfully treating a Candida overgrowth in the gut, we must change the diet and stop feeding the Candida. There are 3 phases, or steps, to the Candida diet. Many people overdo it and jump to the 3rd phase, but most people only need to employ the first phase of the diet.
Please note, we ALWAYS use a strong antifungal agent along with the anti-Candida diet when we treat Candida, because in my experience, either of them alone is nowhere near adequate for successfully treating Candida for the long term.
The 3 Phases of the Candida Diet
Phase 1 of the anti-Candida is the most critical. You must remove ALL sugars and sweets from your diet. It doesn’t matter how organic or natural it is, it’s still a problem. This includes honey, agave, sweet fruits, all dried fruit (because that’s just highly concentrated natural fruit sugar), corn syrup, cane sugar, desserts of all kinds, fruit juices, smoothies with lots of fruit, xylitol, erythritol, and literally anything that tastes sweet. If it tastes sweet, then you know it’s a problem.
Doing this all by itself might not make a huge difference, although it will probably help. And doing it while also taking an good antifungal agent will definitely help, but you are likely to experience a Candida die-off reaction, so be sure to watch my video on that subject.
The only sweet tasting things that are acceptable are stevia, and I mean straight stevia, not one of these stevia products that is mixed with some other sweetener that is not acceptable, and monk fruit. Neither of those is actually a sweetener or sugar, they just taste sweet.
That’s a lot of things to avoid, especially in this era, but it’s nothing like phases 2 or 3, which get much more extreme.
Oh, and no alcohol. Alcohol is basically a sugar, and it definitely feeds into a Candida overgrowth. Beer and wine are the worst, but hard alcohol is still a problem.
This is what I find that most people need to do with their diet to adequately treat Candida. It’s not often that we have to get more extreme with the diet than this, but sometimes we do.
If phase 1 isn’t getting the job done, then we move to phase 2. Phase 2 is where you get into avoiding other starchy foods and highly refined carbs that aren’t sugars. This includes potato chips, popcorn, and other processed foods and junk foods and the like.
These can be problematic, especially if you’re addicted to potato chips or something like that. I must confess, they are a favorite treat of mine.
Phase 3 is the ultimate in strictness. It does not allow any starches or carbohydrates, unless they come from vegetables. This diet avoids all grains, potatoes, rice, you name it. So that means no wheat, no gluten, no corn, no oats. No gluten free bread. Only real whole food veggies, meats, beans and eggs for the most part.
I never take people off of PB, but I do have the eat the unsweetened PB as part of phase 1. You may have heard of diets that recommend avoiding ALL PB because there could there be some fungus in PB. It’s possible, but it’s not likely to change the outcome of your treatment program. I also don’t have people avoid things like carrots, or squash. Do they have some carb content in them. Yes, and tiny amount. But I’ve never found it enough to worry about. Unless you juicing tons of carrots or something like that, don’t worry about it.
A lot of the anti-Candida diets out there are even way more extreme than this, and than I find is usually necessary. And I’m not afraid to tell people to not eat things, so that’s really saying something.
But this phase 3 diet is basically a no carb diet, or a paleo diet, etc. however you want to look at it.
If you’ve been struggling with treating Candida and need help, give us a call at the IBS Treatment Center. We work with people all over the US and in many other countries, and we’d love to work with you too.
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How Did I Get Candida?
The Candida Die-Off Effect
The Microbiome: How To Treat A Candida Overgrowth
The Microbiome: How To Test For Candida!
Candida Overgrowth Symptoms
Is Candida Overgrowth Real?
Dr. Wangen is the founder and medical director of the IBS Treatment Center, the award winning author of two books, and a nationally recognized speaker on digestive disorders. He has been on ABC, NBC, and Fox as well as public radio, and was named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine.