If you are experiencing Candida Overgrowth you have probably looked into a Candida Diet. Not only is every single version different, but you might also have people telling you diet doesn’t matter.
Well, we all know that what we eat matters.
The questions really are:
- What foods help me get back to healthy?
- What foods hurt my journey back to health?
- Do I have to follow this super strict diet forever to feel good again?
That’s what I’ll be diving into.
In podcast episode, #69, Dr. Michael Biamonte shared with us all about Candida Overgrowth.
A quick recap of what he and I talked through is that candida itself is a normal part of our microbiome. The problem occurs when it overgrows. Things that can cause an overgrowth can be a physically traumatic event, several rounds of antibiotics, drinking chlorinated water (especially from swimming pools), hormone imbalances, and things like pesticides that can alter the microbiome.
This is why medical doctors will tell you “everyone has candida” because we do but what they might dismiss is its overgrowth.
He also explained the different tests that can be run to let us confirm we have an overgrowth but the gold standard is symptoms. There are 4 categories of symptoms starting with brain fog and forgetfulness and getting more disruptive with the very last category being Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
We also discussed the role diet plays in Candida Overgrowth and this is what I want to expand on today.
The Role The Candida Diet Plays
First I want to clearly state that diet alone will never resolve Candida Overgrowth. As much as we all hate taking medicine and want food to be the magic bullet, in the case of Candida Overgrowth, it is not. In other conditions it can be, but not this one.
That might seem discouraging but I promise you it’s not. Food absolutely plays an essential role in helping resolve it. You can’t eat crap and expect the treatments to do all of the work.
So, how does food help resolve Candida Overgrowth?
By dramatically reducing its main food source, sugar, and eating an extremely nutrient-rich diet, you are helping to weaken it and allow the medicine, typically herbs, to do its job effectively.
This can look a bit different for everyone but the foundation is the same. Then you tweak from there if needed around your food sensitivities and such.
Step One: Cut Out Highly Processed Food
This stuff is full of things that disrupt a healthy microbiome and also feed candida. So this is step one. This includes foods made with enriched wheat flour, seed oils,
So now you have to replace this highly processed food with other foods. You can’t starve, right? Here’s What To Eat
- Protein. Let’s make sure we’re eating animal protein from a variety of sources, beef, poultry, seafood, etc. The reason is that this is low in the food candida eats, carbs and sugar, and it’s nutrient dense. It’s also extremely filling. Being hungry is the worst. Make an aim to get 100g of protein or more per day. This is about 30-40g per meal.
- Vegetables. You will want to stick with low-carb vegetables so this mostly means minimizing potatoes. Other vegetables are low-carb. Do go restriction crazy. Carrots do NOT have a lot of carbs okay? Make sure you’re getting vegetables with every meal and use a variety of them. Don’t stick with the same 1-3 the entire time.
- Fats. This will be your biggest source of calories. Protein and vegetables cannot give you the calories you need to function so you either get calories from carbs or fats. Well, we need to minimize carbs down to around anywhere from 100-150g per day. So, fats are going to be where you get your calories from to be able to function. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Fat actually makes you feel satiated and keep your blood sugar stable. We need stable blood sugar right now. We don’t want huge spikes. Healthy fats include butter, ghee, lard and tallow, olives and olive oil, avocado and avocado oil, coconut and coconut oil, nuts, and seeds. You will want to strictly avoid vegetable and seed oils like canola, grapeseed, soy, corn, etc.
- Fruit.- you will want to stick with low-carb fruit like berries, all of the berries, lemons, and limes initially.
- Grains.- this is where there is a ton of variation. I tend to lean towards going grain-free until the candida overgrowth is resolved because they are easy to overeat. People underestimate how much they are actually eating and you can easily consume too many carbs and continue feeding the candida. This is counter-productive.
- Herbs and spices.– all of them. This is how your food gets flavor so don’t be shy.
- Drinks.-water is obviously best. But you can have full-fat cream, homemade and unsweetened nut milk, and unsweet teas.
Now that we’ve talked through this I need to make something very clear. This is a therapeutic diet that is to be used while taking your treatment protocol. If it’s treated correctly your candida overgrowth should be gone in around 6 months. Then you can transition to a normal healthy diet. Don’t go back to eating crap and a ton of sugar, but transition to a normal, healthy diet. You should not stay this restricted forever. It’s unnecessary. When the overgrowth is gone, it’s gone.
The candida diet is a tool in the therapy toolbox to be used alongside treatment. It is a short-term therapeutic diet typically only lasting 6 months and then you transition to a more normal, healthy diet.
Want More Guidance?
If you would like guidance and support through this process so you don’t have to guess, eat the same 4 meals for weeks on end, and then get bored and binge eat all of the things, I would love to partner with you. What I would love to do for you is remove the guesswork, give you recipes and sample meal plans to make following this as easy as possible, and also help you navigate life outside of the home so that you can use food to your advantage as you are getting back to healthy. I do the heavy lifting for you so all you have to do is eat and live your awesome life. If you’d like to learn more about what this looks like, check out my coaching program, the Therapeutic Food Framework here. Once you read through it, if you have any questions please schedule a discovery call. I would love to meet you, talk with you, and answer your questions to be sure working together would be a good fit.