My rendition of the Candida Diet:

By Dr. Alan Kadish NMD

The candida diet is all about reducing the food sources that allow the, candida to flourish and maintain themselves in your body.

Decreasing simple sugars, radically for most of us, along with decreasing the intake of other fungal containing foods, is the essence of this diet approach. For those of you who have an entrenched population, meaning you’re experiencing the symptoms periodically, regardless of the diet or the medications taken, this is a very important first step, however it will not be adequate to fully restore the system to it’s natural balance.

There is no perfect candida diet and you will find a number of different ideas and levels of strictness, as you research this subject. All foods with the exception of pure oils and proteins contain some amount of sugars.

With that in mind, after 30 years of experimenting with patient’s diets, it’s clear that doing your best and getting the most information available will be extremely important, along with having a supportive team consisting of your medical folks and those at your home and work. You don’t have to get to the unachievable 100% mark…..just as close as possible.

The main food groups to consider on this diet:

Vegetables:

Veggies to emphasize: From artichokes to zucchini there are almost no limits to theses (except the few below). Remember that the majority of us never get the optimal amount, on a daily basis. This is your opportunity to reverse the situation and benefit in a number of ways. You might want to explore the use of a blender or get into a soup mode or perhaps make veggies the centerpiece of your meal.

When you consider the vegetables always think in terms of fresh first and eating them raw, followed by either steamed, stir fried or grilled. When your following the candida diet you can spice your foods with lemon or lime, curry powder, pepper, cinnamon, paprika or mustard powder… If this group is too foreign, stick with salt and pepper.

If you’re not super excited about veggies start with the easier to find and prepare. broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower along with the most common, tomatoes (fresh not in a sauce) kale, spinach, If you’re willing to explore a bit further go for the asparagus, Brussels sprouts and eggplant. 

Think in term of color and add green, red and yellow peppers with a dash or radish. Great for more nutrients and can make a major taste impact. I would be remiss to not mention garlic…..it has some mild anti-fungal properties and can be a great addition, from a health prospective so …. add more at your next meal.

Veggies to limit or avoid: The starchy member of this family are Corn, Sweet potatoes and yams, beets and potatoes, squash’s, peas and there is controversy on the use of beans but just limiting the amount may be more than adequate.

Meat and Fish: The key to this list is to have the freshest forms possible. This excludes those packaged or treated with any form of a sauce or processed, in general. The overwhelming numbers of processed products contain some sugars and other ingredients that are not as healthful as we would prefer.

When it comes to fish consider fresh or frozen as your first choices. The most healthful will be those such as wild pacific salmon , shrimp, herring and sardines. However it would be a mistake to not experiment with the white fish such as tilapia and sole. For a much more in depth look at good vs polluted fish go to the NRDC’s website and download their easy to use fish information listing/ wallet card or the go to seafoodwatch.org for their wallet sized handout. I should point out that they are not identical lists and both use different criteria, but the overall scheme is the same. Eat the smaller less polluted fish.

Packaging is also a consideration and you don’t want to buy a plastic wrapped product. The key here is to minimize the potential for any mold growth, hence fresh is always best.

Nuts and Seeds: This is an extensive list except for a glaring exception, the pistachio nut, typically is fairly moldy…. As to how to purchase the nuts, fresh is best…a repeating theme eh. If you want to add some interesting flavors and change the consistency some dry pan roasting of your nut of choice is a good option. Also remember to avoid any of the roasted, salted or packaged nuts. All nuts should be kept dry and only buy those that are fresh.

Oils: These products don’t contain any of the sugars or fungal products that we are wanting to avoid. As a quick review: remember that the virgin organic coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil and grapeseed oil are your go to list of healthy oils. Remember to keep your sesame and flax oil refrigerated and always purchase these products from organic sources in dark bottles.

Grains: It’ a better move to eliminate or limit significantly the use of the glutenous foods such as wheat, oat, rye and barley. Yes these ingredients comprise a long list of products but you will be surprised at how much better you feel with a break from your years of the typical American food routine.

The non-glutinous grain/grasses include: millet, rice, certain oat products (they need to be clearly marked as gluten free) buckwheat and quinoa may be an acceptable choice if use in limited amounts .

 

Dairy products: I am personally not a big fan of these products with exception. Most people fail to realize that the amount of lactose a naturally occurring sugar in milk is significantly not only as a sugar but also is in fairly high concentrations unless you go towards a Greek style yogurts. Check the label the next time your out purchasing milk or other milk products and note the high amount of sugars, naturally occurring in dairy products.

Fungal foods: Products that typically contain fungus or yeasts include: breads, muffins, cakes, many baked goods, cheese, fermented foods, dried fruits, melons, pistachio nuts, peanuts and all mushrooms.

Sweeteners: Any sugars, regardless of color, granulation or percent within a product……is a no go. Then we have honeys and syrups which means agave syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, blackcurrant, rice, rose hip, sugar, glucose and golden syrups,  grenadine, malt extract, treacle and of course maple syrup. If the label has an ingredient that includes an “ose” at the end of the word such as lactose or sucrose it’s a sugar.

The sole exception which can be used is an herbal sweetener, stevia. It can be had in a number of forms, granulated, leaf, powdered or liquid. The liquid products are typically made with either glycerin or alcohol….so consider the powdered products. As a note this product can be VERY sweet so start with a small amount, taste and adjust.

Others category: If you’re considering a chocolate treat consider going towards either a very…. and I mean 80% or more cocoa content chocolate. Keep in mind NOT the whole bar, but a small piece….for more information regarding chocolate go to:  the story of chocolate  As an alternative you can use unsweetened cocoa powder added to ……

Fluids: Soda’s and all forms, alcoholic beverages also all forms, but especially beers, fruit juices regardless of the percentage of natural fruits or lack of other sweeteners. Most “sports” drinks are also off the list. Remember if your drinking tea or coffee with a sweetener or a creamer it probably contains sugars. Also consider that tea’s are typically air dried and can easily become moldy, when stored. Not to get too off the subject there is a group claiming to have mold free coffee. I’m not certain about this deal so more later.

By following the above suggestions you make the environment in your body that much more supportive of a good bacterial to fungal percentage. This is not a life long change so…keep prospective. It took a bit to get where your body went off the rails. Bodies are made to adapt slowly to preserve us on the planet…..be patient ! You will find the payoff is well worth the effort and given a good attitude regarding diet change you will come to appreciate how many more foods are available and can be not only nutritious but tasty.

To good healthy eating.

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.