Busted: Candida Myths

busted candida mythsWhat is wrong with The Candida Diet?

What is wrong with the popular Candida Diet? And what is a safer, healthier solution to eliminate candida overgrowth? 

You are in the right place and asking the right questions, because I have some answers for you!

Sugar is healthy? What about Candida?

Those were the common questions I received on my popular post Sugar: Your Body Needs It. “But I have candida issues,” folks commented and emailed me, “I can’t eat raw honey, fruits and maple syrup.” The popular Candida Diet takes many forms, such as the diet outlined in The Body Ecology book or The Candida Diet website. These anti-candida protocols all eliminate natural sugars like honey and fruit as well as starchy vegetables like winter squash and carrots.  

I’m here to tell you that you can and should eat natural sugars, even if you have candida issues. It sounds like a scary concept. Believe me, I was also hesitant to start incorporating healthy sugars back into my diet after my short and extraordinarily unpleasant stint on The Candida Diet. I am grateful that I escaped harmful candida myths, because now I’m healing my body and addressing the root cause of my candida overgrowth.

So, without further ado, here are the three problems I have with The Candida Diet:

1. The Candida Diet doesn’t address the root cause

First, 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 the leaky gut down the road). Candida diets, which allow the consumption of gluten free grains, will not correct a leaky gut and therefore will not permanently address candida overgrowth. In most cases, it requires a grain free diet to heal and seal the gut lining. Why?

Undigested food particles cause injury to the small intestine. This damages the villi and microvilli. Microvilli contain cells that produce the enzyme disaccharidase which breaks down disaccharides. But when the microvilli are damaged, disaccharidase production slows or halts. This leads to impaired digestion of disaccharides, bacterial overgrowth (and candida overgrowth), and an increase in gut-damaging bacterial by-products. It also allows undigested food particles to escape from the intestines into the bloodstream, causing food allergies or sensitivities. The cycle worsens over time (Source and source).

Removing disaccharides (which are found in things like grains, potatoes and table sugar) from the diet and supporting digestion with probiotics allows the microvilli to heal and the gut lining to seal. I recommend the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, called the GAPS diet, as an effective alternative to the candida diet… with some tweaks, as I discuss below.

2. Sugar-free may equal systemic candida overgrowth

Second, eliminating natural sugars (like fruit and honey) from the diet when one has candida overgrowth can actually exacerbate the candida issue and cause systemic candida overgrowth:

Starved candida needs sugar and so will travel upwards through the intestines in search of it. If no sugar is found, candida will project invasive filaments into the intestinal wall, pass into the bloodstream, and – if not quickly destroyed by white blood cells – become systemic. (Source: I Didn’t Quit Sugar)

3. The Candida Diet impairs metabolism and hormone function

busted candida mythsA sugar free diet will elevate stress hormones, which exhausts the adrenals, reduces 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. After the “honeymoon period” however, the toll of the stress hormones will impair the thyroid. The suppressed thyroid function will, in turn, slow the metabolism and cause the weight gain and fatigue.

I believe the GAPS diet is an extraordinary healing tool, but I have found that I reap even greater healing benefits by utilizing metabolic principles with the GAPS diet. This means favoring “warming” foods: foods that boost metabolism and support healthy hormones.   These include saturated fats, healthy sugars, and generous amounts of sea salt. Candida abhors a fast metabolism – the better your metabolism, the more effectively your cells will be able to use fuel for your own health.

Yes, I know the idea that fat, sugar and salt speeds the metabolism is unorthodox and strange. But it’s true! Caloric and sugar reduction only slows metabolism – a fact recognized by doctors and health practitioners. For details on using salt and sugar to speed up your metabolism, read my post about Metabolic Hydration here.

What do I do now?

We are all bioindividuals, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to a healing diet. I can, however, give you a few places to start. I believe a grain free diet such as the Autoimmune Paleo diet or the GAPS diet is very effective in sealing a leaky gut and addressing the root issue of candida. Next, I use metabolic principles (as I described in my sugar post and hydration post) to allow my slow and stressed out metabolism to heal.

Also importantly, this is not an excuse to go overboard on natural carbs like fruits, honey, sweet potatoes, etc. Although healthy when balanced with fats and protein, too much can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and perpetuate inflammation and candida. For tips about eating carbs for health, read my post 10 Ways to Balance Blood Sugar Naturally.

A third resource I use to kick candida overgrowth is my raw goat milk yogurt. Interestingly, raw goat milk yogurt has anti-candida properties (source) and the probiotics help bring gut flora into a healthy balance. I also drink 1/2 to 1 tsp. of raw apple cider vinegar in a 1/2 cup of warm water 3 times per day, which can aid in suppressing candida growth.

Candida overgrowth often requires a tailored approach with natural anti-fungals and lifestyle changes, as well as dietary changes. For more information, you can check out 20 Frequently Asked Candida Overgrowth Questions, which Candida expert Dr. Bakker shared here recently.

I also recently wrote a post covering stevia in more detail. Here it is: Why I Quit Stevia.

Are you struggling with candida? Do you follow The Candida Diet? 

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Comments

  1. says

    This is very interesting as I’ve been told that I probably have candida. I’ve been following GAPS for the past four months and just can’t make any progress past the first stage (soup just gets a little boring after awhile, you know? ;) ).

    What are some of the further symptoms of, using your words, “…candida will project invasive filaments into the intestinal wall, pass into the bloodstream, and – if not quickly destroyed by white blood cells – become systemic.” That makes a lot of sense, but how can you recognize that happening if it’s all internal?

  2. says

    Totally rid myself of yeast overgrowth, healed my gut and have positively impacted many clients (cleared bladder infections, yeast overgrowth, etc..) with donna gate’s bodyecology…

    • says

      Well, we are unique and the BED book has some great points like coconut oil, kefir and fresh veggies. But for me, the cons outweigh the pros of the diet. Thanks for sharing your experience!

      • C says

        What were the cons? I have a lot of health issues and would like to hear your opinion as people keep telling me how great the BED is, but I haven’t jumped on the wagon. If you already have an article, do you think you could reply and post the link to this comment? Really appreciative it, love your site.

        • says

          The cons are what I was referring to in this article– BED includes gluten free grains and eliminates fruit/healthy sugars. So that is why I don’t like it. I hope that clears up my previous comment!

  3. Leah says

    You are amazing, so young and knowlegable!

    This is spot on with what my Naturopath said when I started seeing her for Candida about six months ago. I had like 26 of the 28 symptoms, she said I was the worst case she has ever seen! She did not guide me to a specific diet so I struggled for awhile until I discovered that Paleo pretty much fit in with the restrictions she had me on. Six months later I do still get flare ups when I’ve accidently eaten something “bad” but they are not nearly as bad as the first couple that sent me searching for help.

    I am gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, peanut, yeast, citrus fruit and banana free. I supplament with probiotics, oregano oil, and a gut flora. I do eat berries, apples and a little bit of honey!

    • says

      Congratulations on finding a solution that has been so healing for you! Oregano oil and probiotics are AWESOME for candida and healing digestion.

    • eema.gray says

      I didn’t realize that a number of my niggling symptoms were probably candida overgrowth until after I switched onto a paleo diet, LOL. It’s especially relieving to no longer need to drink a gallon of water a day to keep UTI symptoms at bay!

    • Susan P says

      I’ve just purchased oregano oil. How do you supplement with it? I’m struggling with candida overgrowth myself.

    • Susan P says

      How much oregano oil do you take and do you take it just while you have a flare-up or all the time?

      • mandy says

        I also take oregano oil capsules for Candida overgrowth. I think you have to personally experiment. You may experience die off symptoms like severe headaches. Start with one capsule / day and then gradually increase based on your personal tolerance. I now take two in AM and two in PM. Also, I have heard that Candida can acclimate, so you may want to alternat and introduce other anti-fungals like cococnut oil. Good luck!

  4. lee says

    Great article…you made simple to understand and made some great points. I too have been on the gaps diet since xmas and have made minor progress with fats and broths/soups. Its a bit like a merry go round but one day i am going to get off..until then thanks for the great posts!

  5. Stephanie W. says

    I’ve been on the GAPS diet, but I had a “thyroid storm,” due to getting a little hasty with a healing step (lack of total understanding, really). That put my gut flora way out of whack and brought on what I believe is candida. I’ve been trying to start incorporating more cultured foods/drinks, but the biggest improvements (though somewhat slow) have been since I recently started oil pulling consistently.

  6. Shelly says

    Good article I have been fighting candida for years and all three of my girls have it also and now my grandson. I have done 3 months on the candida diet. I have also done 1 month raw. They both helped in their own ways, and I have definitely learned a lot over the years. I also have adrenal fatigue and Raynaud’s syndrome. Some days I am ready to conquer the world as far as figuring out the “right” way to eat and then there are those days where it is all to overwhelming. I have been through so many transformations and misleadings. Can’t get enough of the health articles though. Thank you for all the info. It is greatly appreciated by many.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Shelly! I believe healthy sugars are very important in treating adrenal fatigue. Best of luck as you continue on your healing journey!

      • Susan P says

        I am so excited to read this article. I have tried candida diets in the past and always have so many cravings, rash breakouts and other yucky side-effects from it that I have never been able to stay on it through the symptoms. The last time I went so low on carbs I felt SO horrible I decided I’d just have to live with candida overgrowth and also with the guilt that I wasn’t “strong enough” to power through. Your article gives me hope that I can conquer this issue and still enjoy eating. I’m really enjoying the Metabolism book you suggest. I started reading it last night. I have hope again!

  7. says

    Thanks for writing this one Lauren, I thought I will jump in and leave a comment.

    1. Candida Diet -> Is not the only thing that can help you get rid of candida. There is a lot more to getting rid of candida than sticking to some magic diet or some miracle pill (probiotic etc)

    2. What Works For One Person Doesnt Mean It Will Work For Ya -> Another thing I see is that people say how probiotic is good, how its been the next best thing but I have 100s of cases where probiotics such as ThreeLac/FiveLac has ruined people’s life because of major side-effects. And I am not suggesting that your grain free diet such as the Paleo diet or the GAPS diet is not very effective but I have about 50+ cases of patients that tried my friend Dr. Natasha’s diet and it just didn’t work for them, there could be many other cases. Even my own diet which I have worked on for past twenty-five years have not worked for certain individuals.

    3. Going After Symptoms Not Root Cause -> Many people try to treat the symptoms rather than the root cause.

    In order to get rid of candida, it has to be attacked from various angles, just having the best anti candida diet doesn’t mean you will cure your candida. I talked to my friend Sarah a while ago who runs thehealthyhomeeconomist.com and she had similar concerns that candida diet doesnt work and I had to go through various emails to convey my message.

    4. Internet Is A Mess -> When it comes to candida, I have found out that the internet is a mess, everyone has their own opinion and lots of bogus stuff ranks that shouldn’t be even there. I have also seen some so called candida experts claim 12-24 hours cure candida miracle. I have yet to find anything as such in my experience it takes average 3-4 months to see any significant health changes but who could control the claims of these people.

    kindest regards
    Eric Bakker

    • says

      Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful comment! You have such good points. LOL at the “internet is a mess”–how true! Yes, I think it is crazy to claim that candida overgrowth can be cured in 12-24 hours. It does take months, and a diet has to be tailored for every individual.

  8. says

    Hi Lauren!
    I am very grateful that I have found your blog. In relation to this post and the E-book “I didn’t quit sugar,” which I just finished reading, I have a few questions/concerns. I am working on gut healing and autoimmune issues. Would you advise keeping out potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and white rice as is recommended in the SCD and GAPS diet? In the E-book, they recommend those as good sources of sugar. Also, how do you feel about including dairy if your goal is to heal the gut and digestion? Thanks so much!

      • Pedro says

        How does one know when the gut is sealed? For that matter when does one know when candida has been eliminated? I’ve seen so many stories throughout the web where some “cheats” on “bad” food and the symptoms return, thus my thinking is that aren’t rid of candida yet.

        • Susan P says

          I was going to ask the very same thing. How does one KNOW? I’d be interested in a reply or post on this topic as well, especially if symptoms are there but not easily seen or felt.

          • says

            I am wondering the same thing about how you know you don’t have a problem anymore (also you will always have low levels of it – I don’t think you’re supposed to get rid of it completely). I’ve done some treatment for candida (low sugar diet, the clean program cleanse, and anti-microbial supplements) and my stomach feels a lot better and I can tolerate sugar better ( I used to have food poisoning symptoms if I had too much sugar). I still have some white spots on my skin though from the candida – I’ve been using tea tree oil on it but does anyone have experience with this?

  9. says

    Hello!
    This is really amazing! I’m so glad I found your blog and this post. I myself have been struggling with Candida. I explain my whole story on my blog. But I cut out sugar, completely! It was the worst month of my life. For some reason I always knew that good sugar would be okay. But I kept getting told that it’s off limits. So THANK YOU for providing such good information! Also, I’ve been following the candida diet, but I still haven’t felt any better. I think it’s time for a switch to the GAPS diet.

    Thanks! :)

    • Cate says

      Have you perhaps considered how you got candida overgrowth in the first place? I was the worst case my two naturopaths and kinesiologist had seen. I tried every detox, diet, pharmaceutical, home remedy, herbs, you name it. After flicking the two naturopaths by the time I reached constant thrush (nothing would get rid of it) I found the kinesiologist found it was due to heavy metals. Look up candida and heavy metals, particularly mercury. You may find you can get rid of the candida AND the diet and have a better quality of life. A combination of zeolite liquid crystal and another supplement to bind the heavy metals and excrete them changed my life. Sadly this article is lacking a lot of information :( good luck.

      • Karen says

        Hi Cate, do you mind me asking what the other supplement was?? The one you took with the zeolite.
        This really makes sense to me, because I too have tried everything.

        • Alisa says

          You can just use cilantro essential oil to do your heavy metal cleanse! :) You should also have any mercury fillings removed and replaced with the white colored fillings. And make sure to drink lots of water (take your body weight in lbs and divide it by 2 and the # you get is the # of oz of water you should be drinking every day, at least, but not to exceed 128 oz).

  10. Rebecca Chamberlain says

    Hi Lauren, I recently had live blood analysis done & was told my body is full of candida (it presented as bright white dots around my cells). I have none of the typical symptoms (thrush etc) but I do have shocking long & short term memory & fatigue. I eat extremely well & have done for years. No processed sugars, bread, soft drinks etc etc & eat a diet high in raw foods including daily green
    smoothies, regular intake of ACV, lemon juice & coconut oil. Would love to know your thoughts on this please. I am rarely sick, never take antibiotics although I am on the pill. My naturopath prescribed a parasite spray & powder/tablets for liver/kidney detox all from Metagenics to help clean out my system.

    • Alisa says

      You might need a heavy metal cleanse. You can use cilantro essential oil for that, and drink lots of water!

    • Maria says

      I’ve read that oral contraceptives encourage candida overgrowth just like antibiotics — perhaps a switch in birth control methods would help.

  11. says

    Hi Lauren – this is a very interesting post. I thought I had candida but when tested I had gluten intolerance, parasites and yeast (non specific) Apart from constant gut rumblings my main symptom was fungal toenails and adrenal fatigue after years of chronic stress

    I am a trained nutritionist – but trained in the 1980’s and so much has changed since then. The candida diet advocated then was very strict and probably,as you and not particularly healthy.

    I have done the GAPS diet – though not the intro diet and stuck to that (90%) for about 2 years – but my toenails showed no improvement. I know that my digestive system isn’t functioning optimally so I think I need to do more research and will certainly be reading some of the sources you recommend to see if I can get any nearer a solution

    • Susan P says

      Speaking to toenail fungus – try using Tea tree oil on it. It might take a month or so but it WILL get rid of it. Can’t speak to the rest though as I’m struggling myself. I suggest Young Living or Native American Nutritionals for essential oils so you know you are getting the best thing. I know others recommend doTerra and/or Spark but I haven’t used them so can’t speak to that. Good luck!

    • Rachel says

      Janet,
      How did they test for the parasites? I’ve heard that the traditional way of testing (fecal sample) is very inaccurate since a person will only test positive if actively shedding the parasites.; otherwise, the parasites may live in a person undetected.

      • says

        Janet, you can have your blood tested by a holistic doctor who uses a dark field microscope. I had mine tested by an MD who has one of the best microscopes out there. You can see EVERYTHING in your blood. Helped diagnose co-infections from the Lyme disease also.

    • Alisa says

      You might need to do a heavy metal cleanse. You can use cilantro essential oil for that, but make sure to drink lots of water!. I 100% recommend doTERRA essential oils. They are the ONLY essential oil company that uses a 3rd party to test each batch (at each stage of the process). If it is not the highest quality, that oil will NOT go to doTERRA (it will go to some other company). (There can be weeds that were harvested with the plants and that can mess with the oil. The oils need to be separated from the plants in a very gentle manner as well. There are lots of things that go into getting the highest quality of oils.)

    • Page says

      Janet I am no expert on the fungal toenail. But I can tell you what worked for me.
      This is a hand me down recipe from my grandmother to mother. I was told to apply
      chest rub to the nail. Not sure if it was just coincidence, but I no longer have a fungal nail problem.

  12. Edna says

    Hello, Thanks for your concern for others and sharing your knowledge. I have systemic fungal condition. Have had IV antifungal meds taken Nystatin, No sugar ect. Have leaky gut… Working on it long time feel like giving up! What do you suggest when fungus has gone systemic?

    Thanks

  13. Kirbi says

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your article on this. It is so interesting as I too have struggled with Candida and have done a yeast free cleanse, etc. and I dont feel that it has ever really gone away totally. I know all about GAPS, but it seems so endearing to me and I have yet to ever truly plunge into it. I am also now 14 weeks pregant so I keep wondering how I can best eat for that as well as not suffer adrenal fatigue during it. Do you know what supplements may be ok for pregnancy? I have done oil of oregano, olive leaf, caprylic acid, biotin, etc type of regimens in the past but I assume those may not be ok for pregnancy. Im really trying to set myself up for a healthy postpartum and baby this time around as my first daughter had gut issues and still does and I had the worst bout with adrenal fatigue after having her.

    Thanks so much for your research!!

    Kirbi

  14. Roby Mitchell MD says

    Everyone has Candida,always. “Over growth” is a much more useful term than “infection”. We have an innate system that normally keeps Candida from overgrowing. Body temperature,hydrochloric acid and halogenation are key. Candida thrives at a temperature lower than 98.6. With age and pregnancies,declining thyroid levels cause body temperatures to drop. This can’t be assessed solely by measuring under tongue temps. I see 30 degree variances in temperatures measured under tongue vs under the big toe. Temps decline as you get further from the heart. The thyroid connection was presented to me by William Crook MD who wrote the book “The Yeast Connection and the Woman”. Jonathan Wright’s book “Why Stomach acid is Good for You” explains why a deficiency in the production of hydrochloric acid by stomach cells results not only in Candida overgrowth,but multiple vitamin/amino acid/mineral deficiencies. Hydrochloric acid production declines with age,but many are born not producing enough of the body’s most powerful antiseptic. These children will have gut/skin/allergy/asthma/recurrent ENT episodes as red flags. The low stomach pH of the stomach achieved with hydrochloric acid allows for the survival of acid loving(acidophilous-philo=”love”) bacteria. Makes little sense to shove in probiotics into a system that will not sustain their growth. Normally,we should maintain a population of “good bacteria” without supplementation. The halogen analogues ioDine and ioDide have receptor sites on all human cells membranes. When adequately halogenated,the blood stream prevents germ overgrowth similar to what we see when the halogen chlorine is put in swimming pools. You shouldn’t have to live in a nutritional/ecological bubble in order to maintain your health. Most people have horrible eating habits yet don’t get the problems we see in so called “canaries”. Canaries usually have one or more deficiencies in the fundamental factors that protect from critter overgrowth. Canaries are out in the cold with no coat on.

    • says

      Yes, low stomach acid plays such a huge role in candida overgrowth! I’m planning a post on that soon. And it is interesting that candida thrives in a low body temperature… that is just another reason why the typical “candida diet” is a poor choice, because (with the lack of carbs and natural sugars) it will lower the body temperature and suppress the thyroid.

    • Crystal M. says

      Thank you, Lauren and Dr. Mitchell. This is very frustrating (to have yeast overgrowth) because I often read of people who still aren’t fully healed after implementing very strict eating standards and regimens. I tried GAPS intro but only for two weeks – in hindsight, I think it was the closest I’ve come to any sort of healing but I was so weak and disoriented from eating so little (one can only eat *so* much soup) that I felt awful. Not only that, I suffered from the worst yeast flare-up I’ve ever had and now I understand why. I may try it again sometime but only in a modified format with good sugars incorporated. In the meantime, I’m searching for the answers to my own bioidentity and hoping I can avoid GAPS intro – so tough!

      I write because Dr. Mitchell mentions that it doesn’t make sense add probiotics to an environment which cannot sustain them (if I understood correctly). Can you elaborate or offer an alternative?

      Also, I too find it interesting that some can eat garbage and have no (visible) signs of any issues (sorry, I’m not familiar with the “canaries” reference). Are we just the (un)lucky ones?

      Lastly, Lauren, I would like to commend you – I know you started very young (and are still so young!) and are giving this your all so that you can fully heal – I KNOW you will do it. The information you provide is so helpful and I’ve come to trust your findings above many others (though I know every “body” is different). Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!

      • says

        Just adding a bit to Dr. Mitchell’s comment. As he says, acid-loving acidophilus bacteria need an acidic environment to thrive. If stomach acid levels (and consequently acid levels in the upper part of the intestinal tract) are inadequate, acidophilus will suffer. This lack of acidity can also come about due to acid-reducing medications like Proton-Pump Inhibitors. With an inhospitable environment, you won’t get full value from probiotic supplementation with acidophilus.

    • Heidi says

      Roby, this speaks to me. My 2 youngest children have been battling yeast/eczema since birth. I can’t quite figure out how they could have such damaged guts as newborns, exclusively breastfed- so does this point to low stomach acid? Can that be genetic? I don’t know where to go with this information, or how to help my baby.

    • Lisa says

      Your medical license was suspended in 2005 in Texas, That means you are no longer a doctor. So quit calling yourself one.

  15. says

    Hi, I have a candida overgrowth and mold allergy. I am currently on an Alcat rotation diet and have been for the past month or so. I am not very patient but sticking to the diet is not hard for me except that I should drink coffee only once a week instead of one cup a day…. Do you think there is a larger chance for molds on organic coffee and raw cacoa or the other way around? Would you recommend fermented foods and kombocha for a person with candida? Or is that further down the road on my gut healing process? Thanks :)

  16. Kitti says

    I cut refined sugar out of my diet about 3 years ago, and it has been wonderful. I eat plenty of fruit and whole grains (minus wheat, barley and rye as I’m gluten intolerant.) I also drink a glass of alcohol every day. Raisins are one of my favorite snacks.

    I do NOT use sugar substitutes, I just stick with natural sugars. If I get a craving for sugar, a spoonful of real honey will satisfy it. I buy local honey; it is SO GOOD!

    Here are my results: I lost weight, my moods stabilized, I sleep better, my body odor decreased, I scarcely have any morning breath, and best of all: every single PMS symptom I had just vanished. No cramps! No mood swings! No bloating! In fact, it’s a little inconvenient because my period can sneak up on me now. Also, my period lasts 2-3 days now instead of 5-6 days.

    I do indulge one day a year for my birthday and go hog-wild on GF cake, chocolates and sweetened drinks. :) I go back on the wagon the next day.

  17. mama e says

    Hey! Thanks for the great article. My Son (4) has what i think is candida overgrowth. He’s been gluten free for months, at first we went grain free, but he is extremely picky eater so it’s very difficult. he has a terrible rash and it was better for a bit and is now back. I’m looking into the gaps diet and am wondering about the oregano oil protocol..can’t see it without purchase, which I can do. But in you opinion is it something i can do with him? I had great success for myself on the paleo diet last year!

    Thanks!

  18. says

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

    I have thought, said, and experienced all of these things before!! I will definitely start referring people to your page, as you outlined it so very well! For me, it was all about:
    1. Giving up all grains
    2. Only eating natural sugars, honey, dates, maple syrup
    3. Proper food combining. Not eating sugars with big meals or heavy fats & proteins. Always eating fruit the 1st have of the day, and usually eat fruits alone, with other fruits or in green smoothies. And always eating “dessert first” so sugars don’t ferment with a heavier dinner.

    xoxo,
    Andrea
    “Betty Rawker”

  19. Wendy says

    My husband has healed his terrible acid reflux/gastritis with the help of a great nutritionist. She had him (us) eliminate all processed/refined foods and eat real, whole foods as close to their original state as possible. This was back in October 2012. When I saw how much just eliminating the processed/refined food helped me, I decided to enlist her to also help wiht all of my own symptoms – everything from chronic fatigue, insomnia, acne, (I’m in the 2nd half of my 40s!!) PMS, weight gain around the middle, etc. The first thing she had me do was a three week purification which was to help really clean out my liver (the Standard Process purification). It was NOT easy, but I did it. Now I’m on the specific carbohydrate diet for one month and am feeling great! I have had a few die off symptoms (sore joints in my fingers, itchy skin) but nothing outrageous. I’m eating NO sugars (other than honey, fruits) – making my own mayo, etc to ensure I don’t eat something that could feed the yeast, and I’m alternating every two weeks between oregano oil and garlic pills (and the nutritionist said we’ll add cats claw at some point). HOPEFULLY in a few months I can at least have some hummus! I miss that. But I’m certain (based upon my symptoms that my regular doctor just wants to throw scripts at) that I have an overgrowth. I’m already feeling SO much better. More energy. I’ve lost a total of 14 lbs and I’m never hungry because I actually eat ALOT. Coconut oil, real butter, good meats, fresh eggs, nuts, veggies etc. I wish my doctor told me this years ago!!! I’ll tell anyone who will listen – that even just eliminating processed/refined foods and all the chemicals and preservatives – you’ll do your body a HUGE favor.

  20. claire says

    Thanks. Interesting info. You mention goat’s milk, but what about raw cows milk? Is that not as good in terms of probiotics and anti candida properties?

  21. Tom says

    I think you ought to clarify you’re referring to the basic type of candida, a temporary imbalance in the intestines. Not candidiasis which is systemic. The candida can and will perforate your intestinal lining with or without eating sugar. It will go through your blood stream and take up residence in your organs like your liver and brain. It does in fact make a gigantic difference whether you eat sugar or not. I was on a strict no sugar diet, no fruit, no honey, no starches, etc. I felt quite well. (I then read the book Breaking The Vicious Cycle. Incidentially, The Gut and Psychology Syndrome book is based almost entirely on this book. breakingtheviciouscycle.info has information on what is allowed and disallowed on this diet.) After embarking on eating fruit and honey I quickly felt worse, I was even affected by eating grilled onions. Upon cutting onions, and everything else sweet allowed in those two books, Breaking The Vicious Cycle and The Gut and Psychology Syndrome, I started finding relief. There is a difference between candida and candidiasis and people should know the difference.

    • MIchele says

      I’m confused… are you recommending those two books, or not? Are you saying you disagree with eating the natural fruit and honey, etc? What DO recommend for candidiasis and what did you find helpful in terms of resources? Thanks!
      Michele

  22. says

    Great article — someone retweeting you on twitter, which is how I found it. :) I was diagnosed with candida, and after two months of Doug Kauffman’s sugar free grain free approach didn’t work, I started experimenting. I have no doubt I had a lot of gut issues going on. It’s been in large part increasing the protein and carbs in my diet, keeping fat slightly lower (not a lot, as I follow a Paleo-ish protocol), and overall paying attention to my poop that has helped. :D I am on a super strong probiotic as well. It’s definitely an individual thing, but I can eat sugar now as often as I want (which I try not to overdo in the first place) without issue. Definitely bio-individual. Great thoughts — thanks for sharing!

  23. peter says

    hi,
    and disaccarides are only in grains, potatoes and table sugar? I think they are also in fruits and veggies… what exactly is the problem with pseudo grains? your text lacks explanation why they prevent gut healing…
    thanks

  24. Kim Owens says

    I have been trying all last night and this morning, but every link of yours I click on, google search I do, etc. for “I Didn’t Quit Sugar” leads me to dead ends. I click on the Facebook link and it just takes me to my news feed and not their page. I click on links in Cassie’s website, and it goes to a dead page. I’d really like to get and read this book, but I’m getting nowhere in locating it! Are you aware if the author’s are reorganizing or something that their product is temporarily unavailable perhaps? Thanks.

  25. says

    Hi Lauren. Thank you for this extremely informative article! Great information. In all my years learning about Candida, I never knew that eating honey and fruit is okay. That is so liberating. And I agree, we need to focus on the root-cause!

    Hugs,
    –Amber

  26. says

    Great and interesting post and you made me curious about the book ‘I didn’t quit sugar’, but the link doesn’t work:-(

  27. says

    It took me 4 years to recover from a debilitating case of systemic candida made worse by antibiotics. There is no way I was able to have any sugar or dairy (even in the form of kefir) or my symptoms would be worse. My symptoms were also made very visible in a skin condition so it was something I couldn’t deny. I 100% agree that sugar is not the cause, in my case the cause was heavy metals which had to be addressed. At the stage I am now with my health adding in berries, goat kefir and ACV has been very beneficial. In the begging stages of the candida though, doing these detoxing things too quickly would be counterproductive because it kills the candida too fast, which in turns weakens the immune system and inversely make the candida stronger. What I am trying to say is that every case is different and many people can be diagnosed with candida wrongly. But for those who do have it sometimes it is crucial to stay away from triggers like dairy and all forms of sugar for a period of time. Not forever of course and at the same time you do have to address the root cause which is always toxicity and many times I learned heavy metals.

  28. says

    Hi Lauren,
    I just happened upon your blog and am impressed by your research, your writing, and your knowledge-base. I’ll definitely continue to read through and to follow it.

    I’m wondering your thoughts on fermented grain, like in the style of Weston A. Price/Sally Fallon/Nourishing Traditions fermented sourdough, for example. Do you think soaking/sprouting/fermenting makes grains more digestible and less disruptive to gut health? And in turn, less problematic for those dealing with gut dysbiosis, candida, etc.?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

    • says

      Thanks for the encouraging words, Jess!

      As for grains, I think it is very individual. I think that properly prepared grains (soaked/fermented) absolutely can be a healthy and nutrient-dense diet. But those with damaged digestive tracts and leaky guts may need to go grain free for a period of years (1-5 years) to allow the gut to heal. I think that even properly prepared grains should be enjoyed in moderation. Anyways, that’s my two cents :)

  29. Kristen says

    If I can also jump in, I would add that no matter what works for people in the battle against candida, that alkalizing the body is pretty key to healing. That said, I think if one focus is on creating a less acidic (thus less friendly for the perpetuation of further yeast growth) gut, much healing can be achieved!

    • jordan says

      alkalinity is a myth. The body needs to be both acid and alkaline. Guts that don’t have enough ACID play a major role in candida overgrowth, and many other digestive issues. The skin also needs to be acid. Chlorophyll and mineralization are essential to health – and chlorophyll helps to oxygenate the gut, but alkalinity has nothing to do with health.

      • Jeanmarie says

        This is true. Different parts of the body naturally have differing levels of acidity or alkalinity. The stomach should be acidic, but the mouth (where digestion starts, especially of starches) is more alkaline. And the body has many mechanisms for tightly controlling acid/alkaline levels to where they should be. Eat a proper diet and let the body manage those details.

        I had chronic systemic candidiasis for many years, and it was at times excruciating. I tried all kinds of prescription antifungals, candida diets, supplements such as caprylic acid, probiotics, etc., and progress was spotty and agonizingly slow. The biggest improvements didn’t come until I started adding more animal fats and protein back to my diet, added coconut oil as well, and started taking betaine hydrochloride (Hcl) for better digestion. And, I started eating lacto-fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, making and drinking kombucha, etc. Yogurt and kefir never seemed that helpful for me. I didn’t take probiotic pills with any consistency as I could never tell they had any effect, and they’re expensive. I know many people swear by them and I do think they are helpful if you get good ones. But getting cultured foods in the diet, lots of naturally saturated fat, and betaine Hcl are probably what made the biggest difference to me. Rather than things like olive leaf extract (which I took tons of) to *kill* candida, I ate probiotic foods that naturally outcompeted candida. The goal is balance, not elimination of candida. It’s naturally part of healthy stomach flora. We may not know what helpful role it plays, but it is probably there for a reason.

        Great post, by the way!

  30. Emily says

    Hi Lauren!!!

    I have been following your blog for the past few months, when I started GAPS in February, and I have been so blessed to read your posts. I do have one question for you, have you read about heavy metals and yeast overgrowth? I have heavy metal fillings and my GAPS nutritionist said I have to stay off all sugar until I get those removed, because apparently heavy metals feed yeast. What are your thoughts on that? I know I certainly feel better mood wise when I can eat my raw honey!!

    Thanks! <3

  31. says

    Greate article. Keep writing such kind of info on your blog.

    Im really impressed by your site.
    Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

  32. jay says

    As one who had candida in almost every part on my system including head, i just would love to help people out here. Anti-candida diet don’t work and you will loose some vital nutrients if you follow that. Candida is a ph disorder in the body. Call me crazy but i used normal salt to work on my 7 months candida and go it to work in 4 days. just a quarter tea spoon to one glass of water twice daily. Even in fish ponds, they do the same. You’ve got nothing to loose,right? Lemon also does the same. Just drop a segment lemon in your drinking water. Don’t squeeze, just let it sit in the glass and drink your water like they do in restaurants

  33. says

    I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering issues with your site. It appears as though some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this
    happen previously. Many thanks

  34. ellen says

    Hi Lauren. I’ve been reading you for some months now and think of you as one of my very bright grandchildren. I’ve been paleo for about 2 years now and a couple of months ago I became convinced that, besides leaky gut, I may be dealing with a candida overgrowth. I took out all sugar for a time and then added back berries and sometimes bananas (I was getting muscle cramps again, which bananas stop). I have evidence that this has improved my health to a greater degree than the paleo had alone. I lost the last few pounds I needed to (back in my old size 4’s) and my joint swelling has completely gone, having gotten much better on paleo alone. I’m drinking water exclusively, sometimes with lemon but I certainly miss my tea, which I can’t abide without sweetener sooooo, I’m going to try drinking my beloved red raspberry tea with a little monukkah honey. I’m thinking about trying the apple cider vinegar as well. I’m trying to overcome an incurable disorder called lichen planopilaris which is a scarring alopecia causing permanent hair loss as well as horrible scalp itching and burning. So far, paleo has helped, and the candida concerns, for which I take Fungal Defense and Threelac, has also been helpful. Still no cure but I’m trying to be patient.

    • Elizabeth says

      Ellen,
      I am so sorry you are dealing with horrible scalp burning. I have had lots of tongue burning and burning in my nether regions- it has been truly torturous. I would recommend adding in a spiritual approach to your regime. For me, praying has been essential in allowing God to help me heal through whatever I’ve been going through. May Jesus bless you and heal you.

      Liz

  35. Nancy says

    This is very enlightening. I started GAPS diet almost a year ago. I initially lost about 10 pounds that I could stand to lose. I then did Intro and lost another 5 to 6 pounds (that I couldn’t stand to lose). As I started to eat more variety, I gained back the 5 to 6 pounds. But then I still have a lot of yeast overgrowth, thick thrush on my tongue that I’m constantly swallowing (blech) and I eliminated the honey, fruit, and severely cut back on any sweet veggies. In the past 2 months, I’ve gained back all the weight I lost when I first started GAPS and am struggling not to continue to gain. Yet when I first started GAPS, I was eating lots of fruit and lots of honey and GAPS treats. I don’t eat any of that and I’m struggling with weight. And still having yeast issues as well. I’ve had adrenals tested though and tests come back “fine”. But possibly one of those things that the tests aren’t always accurate. I’m wondering if I need to eat more fruit/honey/sweet veggies!?!?!

  36. shawn says

    Hello, I have been doing so much research on candida for about 7 months now and I am almost positive I have this issue of overgrowth. I am 21 and when I was 15 diagnosed with graves, then hypothyroid after I had a radiation treatment every since I feel totally out of whack. I started having digestive issues when I left for college. I think this has to do with stress, hormone imbalance as thyroid patients deal with this so much, and also a poor diet, as a college student I used to eat so much junk foods and noodles and processed foods and I started doing research on the gut and saw what I was doing to myself I was adding on to a disaster because being hypothyroid has mimic symptoms of candida overgrowth and I now suffer with hives that have subsided some and rashes, wanting sweets more than before, thrush and so on. I ignored thrush when it first began which was in 2011 I thought it would go away. but it did not it got worse I would try vinegar cider and stop when I quit it it would come back in a few days. I don’t want to think my case is so bad and I dont want to do the strick diet because I don’t need to lose weight I need to restore my gut, now doctor thinks I have leaky gut. So I figured all of this is tied in somewhere. Do you have a suggestion that could help me get this yeast under control? I know it is supposed to be yeast there but in healthy amounts. I want that back again to have a healthy gut. I recently was gonna go cold turkey on the candida flush diet but I read up some more and I see it makes people miserable and lose weight I don’t need that because I am not overweight I just want a healthy colon, and body overall I would like to cut down on sweets and drink more water I don’t mind a diet either just not one that makes me shed 22 to 30 pounds I wouldn’t look right that small with a big head! (LOL)! but, seriously though, I appreciate any advice. I have purchased some supplements, Caprylic Acid 600mg. Grapefruit seedextract capsules 125mg, and also oregano oil 181mg. I didn’t think it would be smart to just start on those plus I have probiotics and vitamin c also. I just don’t want to rush those and put my body under stress and do it the wrong way. Any thoughts on how I should start to cleanse my system and get rid of thrush?

  37. Lynda says

    I have read a lot of the posts above (not all of them) and can commiserate with many of you regards symptoms & suffering. I have suffered with IBS for many years and although it’s not candida I do believe candida is what is causing it. I have tried many things over the years to rid myself of candida and ultimately IBS I’ve not been successful. I have been on the FODMAP diet for the past year and that has helped me immensely however it’s not really fixing the problem. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m always searching for a cure for this ghastly problem that started after a bout of severe food poisioning. Recently I clicked on a webpage that caught my eye so I investigated further. I’m not advocating this at all but I’m prepared to give it a try, believe me I’ve tried everything. I’ve been tuning into video updates from other people taking this product and it seems to be giving relief to many people. I started my regime today so I’ve nothing to report as yet but I’m happy to keep in touch with any of you if you wish to follow my progress. The webpage is http://www.candidacleanser.com/ and again, I’m not in any way connected to this product not do I receive any sort of payment, I’m just passing it on to you in the hope it may help. After reading the information it makes total sense to me now.

  38. Rachel says

    I just wanted to say that we have been battling Candida for about 2 years now, off and on. When my son was born, he would projectile vomit when he nursed after I ate gluten. My sister-in-law told me to get off gluten. Well, I did and it stopped the vomiting. He did not even spit up or slobber, even when he was teething. Well, he now can’t eat hardly anything because of eczema. We recently found a therapy that has worked for over 70 years that seems to be working now for him. This therapy has been used to get rid of Candida, cancer, and evens AIDS. it is called The Gerson Therapy. It would be good to at least look into for people suffering from different diseases. It is designed specifically for cancer and other degenerative diseases. I thought I would share this because I have become a firm believer that it works.

  39. jerry says

    Hello thanks for sharing this info, I just wanted to add something I’ve learned, I started taking raw organic ACV( raw very important) about a year ago for heartburn (it worked plus healed an ulcer I’ve had for over 10 years) then in an effort to help a family member with rheumatoid arthritis I decided to be a lab rat and started taking MSM sulfur.
    Little did I know mercury binds to MSM, I have a mouthful of Amalgams so no surprise it made a big difference from the start.

    it’s taken almost a year but I didn’t change my diet until last week. I quit eating processed sugar all grain and dairy with the exception of real yogurt. (and stopped eating fruit that’s how I landed here, it just doesn’t make sense to me)
    I can’t remember ever feeling this good, I’m reasonably sure I got my candida overgrowth under control as far as my gut but I’m still working on a patch at the back of my tongue, using baking soda exclusively for toothpaste has removed all of it from the front 3/4’s.
    I found when taking the ACV it works awesome after meals but I drink it all the time anyway, as far as MSM sulfur, the Quality is the most important factor, I’ve tried a few different brands but the important thing is get powder or capsules don’t waste time/money on the compressed pill form or any with aditives.
    MSM is truly amazing in it’s own right, I look 10 years younger(constantly asked what I’m doing) and previous knee aches and minor lower back aches have completely vanished.

    (I hope this post is understandable Writing is my weakest point)

    I sincerely hope this helps someone

  40. jasmine says

    I like that I came across this site. I had read at another site the foods to avoid and kefir and coconut was listed. I will continue to drink my promgrenate keifir with a tsp of coconut oil.

  41. says

    I was led to this page by a client of mine (thanks Nicola!). I think your argument is well thought out and I’d agree wholeheartedly that there is far too much misinformation and guesswork-masquerading-as-science on the web.

    I also take your primary point i.e. gut healing is more important, but I’m not sure I’d be so generous with sugar. It is, let’s face it, addictive. So I’d first treat that problem with 12-week Elimination followed by Re-Challenge. This is the accepted protocol for most food intolerances too. Based on the very limited studies available (and I’d prefer far more), I’d accompany sugar elimination with supplementation with Sacharomyces Boulardii (available here in Ireland as Optibac Diarrsafe), which helps suppress the invasive candida effects you mention. The point of Re-Challenge is to learn how much is too much i.e. not so much that it fuels sugar cravings. And for some people, this means very little sugar indeed.

    I’ll give an example. I’m a pharmacist. Every year at Lent, we get people who give up cakes and biscuits. The cravings lead them to drag the juicer, an almost forgotten wedding gift, from the attic, and to cram a bucketful of sweet juicy fruit into it. A few days of drinking high sugar juices (or smoothies), and feeling good that they’re being so healthy, we start to see flare-ups of gout. As you’d guess this is because the juices (in large amounts) provide even more bio-available (starts to get absorbed in the mouth already) sugar that the things they’re giving up. Sugar is a drug.

    I’d agree with you that a small amount of honey or fruit a couple of times weekly is fine, but sugar has so many guises it’s vital to mentally tot up the spoonfuls or cubes you consume (all forms, juices, honey, jam, marmalade, commercial yoghurts, soft drinks, cider, in coffee, cakes, sweets, biscuits, apple tart, custard, ‘artisan’ food sauces and relishes and so on) and to make conscious choices.

    Keep up your good work Lauren! It’ a helpful discussion.

    • says

      You bring up some great points, too! I think juicing is great when done right, but it can wreak absolute havoc on blood sugar when done wrong. Gulping a big glass of juice alone quickly spikes blood sugar. I think it is best to do a little bit of fresh juice and add in some coconut oil and a bit of the pulp to slow the absorption of sugar. Supplementation is key in candida treatment, especially rotating anti-fungals. It is certainly best to work with a practitioner for a personalized supplement protocol.

  42. Jay C says

    Lauren

    I just want to say thanks for the information. And you are possibly the most gorgeous girl in the world!

    J

  43. David the LION says

    So…the roller coaster ride…the healing journey…the vast amount of learning that goes along with having health issues…how for ever grateful i am. The persistence and determination that goes along with it. Pfff…wow…Tell ya what…we are survival organisms,…thats for sure. Programmed to survive…anyways…So its a bit tricky…because along with candida…that isnt the only issue…So we should def be weary and aware of the other health conditions that go along with candida that prevent healing and contribute to the candida. Leaky gut as mentioned…LOW HCL…crucial…gastritis…parasites. Now…one of the major challenges is having all of these while coping with this pretty difficult world we live in…while mustering up enough motivation and energy while being competent enough to learn and absorb information to be able to effectively apply the information to your life…its so HARD!..but that doesnt stop us. Thanks to the communities for disecting and breaking things down in simple easy to understand ways…so im curious…since i am dealing with the above mentioned ailments…what to do? If you have food particles leaking out your gut…you have gastritis which has your stomach lining flarrrringgg up…you have candida…with parasites…quiet tricky…it eliminates most foods…So maybe we should hold off on solid foods for a little while while nourishing on liquids/powders? Give the stomach a rest while sending in the emergency team to the gut for emergency patch up repairs with aloe/glutamine/licorice root/marshmellow/slippery elm/lots of GLA’s…zinc carnosine…grrrr…on top of that..interpreting whether something is good for ya or bad…cause sometimes healing foods for these conditions give you very tricky signals to intrepret in a state thats so challenging to do and understand the most simplest of things. I just had raw green fed yogurt with hemp seed oil…some hemp seeds pre biotics cinnamon…stomach is a bit bloated. grrr….question is why???? im guessing the yogurt? who knows. thats the question. So frustrating. Would love some ideas. You guys are great. keep up the great work…were getting to the bottom of it…i tell ya. when i am healed…as i am healing im going to dedicate my life to helping everyone out there dealing with these similar conditions…its the compassion…the empathy that this creates within you to appreciate and understand the pain…and the struggle of this healing journey that the majority of the world is dealing with. 1 Love. Maybe the force be with you all. Never give up! btw…answering that bot detection question took about 6 eternal seconds…ha. thats a great indicator of health concerns.

  44. Amanda says

    Dextrose (aka glucose) would actually be much better than honey which is half fructose and half glucose. Just saying.

  45. Chris brown says

    Fantastic well thought out natural intuitive approach. I learned a lot from you intuitively speaking in just five minutes. So here’s my micro story I’d like some help with if you have time.

    I have gluten issues since I contracted adult gluten disease after a long high stress period, at this point I lacked vit k. After three weeks recovery in hospital due to cardiac arythimias found out I am gluten intolerant. During this time I consumed lots of fats and oils in china and felt great for it, bones and joints wise.

    Giardia and candida were issues. I am and always have been a very stable fixed 60kg and I’d like to be a bit more. I always had dry skin on my face and head, which is worse when I don’t sleep much or eat a lot of sugar or beer. My adrenals were burned out after all my stress.

    But still I can’t put weight on and I suspect I can’t digest fat very well. I wanted to go down the gaps route to repair my gut and I think sleep plays a major role in healing the gut also. I’d love to eliminate dry skin, this is most troublesome and aggravates me a bit. So is there much else apart from sleep and gaps I can do to gain weight and stop my dry head? I guess I need to slow my metabolism? But I feel sugar salt and oil is good for me.

    Will start my own health blog and business soon and have a lot of knowledge to share. Thanks for listening.

  46. Pierre says

    I want to introduce a little bit of a side bar that I found most potent… I stumbled across this approach when reading a Traditional Chinese Medicine textbook and it resurfaced in altmed journal. The alt path (in conjunction with probiotics/diet) was using food grade hydrogen peroxide. i am always and original skeptic but the evidence is there.

  47. Sienna says

    I have been on the candida diet for 7 months now and feel no change. I have leaky gut parasites, Helicobator and am sure I have candida overgrowth. Ive been working all year with a naturopath and integrative Dr and I still feel no different.

    7months without an ounce of sugar and not one bit of fruit or sweet potato has been a real struggle when Im out. Ive now become so scared of eating fruit. Im terrified to come off this diet. 7 months is a long time and now I have become used to eating this way.
    I was encouraged with your post and thought id check out the GAPS diet. Now I feel very depressed as I am a vegetarian and that diet seems way too restriced for me. All that meat eating and raw eggs etc sounds awful to me.

    Whats a girl to do???? Im so so confused. I feel like Ive given it my all and tried everything and nothing has healed me.
    I take 3 probiotics pills a day. I eat raw milk kefir daily. I make sauerkraut and eat that at least every second day.
    I take 7.5ml of olive leaf extract 3 times a day and I have 5 drops of oregano oil up to 3 times a day.

    I eat a high raw diet and have had to learn to introduce more cooked foods into my diet to make it easier on my digestion.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I feel like Im not stuck.

    • teresa says

      Hi Sienna,
      I am on the strict candida diet -no grains, no dairy and no fuit. I was losing alot of weight so I added dairy and Kefir to see if it would help-big mistake! If you have candida that is systemic dairy/kefir will just make you more acidic which candida loves. Dairy /Kefir may help some but if your already acidic then it will only make things worse. If your having no progress and you are using antifungals then you may have biofilms-candida/parasites hide underneath these biofilms as thier defence in the gut so you can throw an arsenal of antifungals and it won’t make a difference. You have to address the biofilms and also by getting more alkaline your body will start to detox. You will also need good supplements to mop up these biofilms/toxins as you start to get rid of them as the toxins can make you very ill and acidic and it can become a viscious cycle. The biofilms also contain heavy metals so you need to mop these up also. Check out Earth clinic for their protocol. http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/candida-diet-protocol.html. Or the guy who blogs about his own battle with systemic Candida and who beat it with the protocol he recommends on Earth Clinic has a book available http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Candida-Bill-Thompson/9780982896389. I am not selling anything or am no where connected to Earth Clinic site. The reason I have lost so much weight is because of dyobsis and lack of stomach acid- I am taking Betaine Hydrochloride, digestive enzymes, Magnesium Chloride, Sea Salt and Iodine to help with this. Also Iodine is one supplement I would definately reccomend. “Iodine is by far the best antibiotic, antiviral, and antiseptic of all time. Iodine Therapy is effective in killing Candida, other fungi and microbes. Iodine and microbes have an affinity for the mucus membranes. Iodine clears out excess mucus. By keeping the mucus membranes healthy, iodine greatly helps to overcome autoimmune diseases, sinus problems, asthma, lung cancer, and other lung problems, and also intestinal diseases, including inflammatory conditions and cancers.” You can monitor your thyroid function by checking your temperature before getting up in the morning with Basal Temperature Test.
      Your immune system will respond if you provide the right conditions. You don’t want to just kill candida as you will never beat it. You have to change the environment in which it lives and thrives-acid usually. So becoming more alkaline will do this – the alkalizing protocols will help immensely. Many people think they have gotten rid of candida only to eat something sweet again or some bread to find the symptoms return. Thats because they have not treated the whole body(alkalizing blood and cells). If there is candida still lurking in an organ somewhere then it will just return when you try to re introduce these foods. Don’t give up on this fight – candida is supremely opportunistic. It will do anything to survive. Its like you have to prepare for a battle – its that strong. Dairy/kefir have their place don’t get me wrong but when you are seeing no results – then your immune system is stuggling and you need to take a whole body approch rather than just attack the gut with anti fungals. You will know if its starting to work – Your immune system will start to work with you! The problem when we get so toxic is our detoxification pathways become blocked-they need to be cleared and supplements like ala and selenium will help with that. Good luck everybody!

  48. concerned says

    Lauren,

    I am currently experimenting with the anti-candida diet, am almost a month in and have been having very bad symptoms the last 10 days as you described… my nutritionist says its just yeast die off, but after reading your blog, I am concerned that it could be something worse. Where does the information you claim about thryoids and stress hormones being unhealthy due to sugar deprivation? I see the “I didn’t quit sugar” referenced but can’t find that book and only the authors blog and introduction to it. Do you know the source of all these intricate medical claims in the book

    http://www.ididntquitsugar.com/uploads/1/4/8/0/14805012/the_dangers_of_quitting_sugar.pdf

  49. Danielle says

    I am torn with what diet to choose, currently im on the candida diet that my naturopath suggested with a ton of herbal supplements. i can have yeast and sugar free bread and fruit twice a day and any veg including carrots and squash. but i still have chronic diarrhea. I’ve only been on the diet for just over a month. It feels very overwhelming when in april i could eat like a normal person. thanks to the walk in clinic doctors who gave me about 5 rounds of antibiotics in 9 months. :( …. still searching for a fix for my health issues.

  50. Thomas says

    How do I know if my gut has been damaged or not? Could you even get candida if it isn’t?

    How long will it take before a grain free diet restores my gut? How will I know it’s improving?

  51. Joy says

    Interesting post! I am not sure what to think. I am not completely adhering to the candida diet, but I did stop eating almost all sugars including honey and fruit, except on very rare occasion. I am recovering from leaky gut and have been eating a very clean Paleo since the summer, but I have had two terrible candida flare ups this fall. Since I was already completely off grains, dairy except pastured butter, and all processed sugars, I didn’t know what else I could do as far as my diet to help heal. It kicked most of my sugar cravings, but with my health issues I find myself nervous about eating for fear of candida flares or just more pain, and I know that stress or concern is not good for my body either. This is a hard road to navigate.

  52. Vailhem says

    I also recommend Saccharomyces Boulardii (aka: ‘baker’s yeast’). You can purchase it at most health food stores and, of course, online. Jarrows brand makes the best… Whole Foods often refrigerates them, which would slow down their metabolic rate while on the shelf and all but guarantee a higher potency per pill. My favorite thing is how anti-candida they are. The idea of basically ‘fighting life with life’ carries over from other probiotics, of course, but this one in particular is esp a candida killer. It has many modes of action that specifically will keep it going after the resources candida goes for (passively ‘attacking’ it) as well actively attacking it via many modes of action. The best part, unlike Apple Cider Vinegar’s Mother of Vinegar (ACV’s MOV, in short), which also will establish itself in the body and produce the acetic acid (ie, vinegar) inside the body, continually helping to fight back candida (candida doesn’t grow under ph’s of ~6. ACV’s acetic acid producing bacteria will produce acids as low as 4 or below on the ph scale.. killing candida, as well as eating the food and growing more while… in turn, producing more candida killing acetic acid (ie, vinegar).) but, S.Boulardii goes the same and farther… it is a fungus, like candida, but a probiotic one, and it will very aggressively attack candida. It will go to where the candida is, for the same reason the candida is there, and start eating away.. but with *out* the aggressive, problem-causing ways candida creates. Better still, it will evolve with candida. Assuming you continue to take it, it will evolve as the candida evolves. If the candida evolves a defense mechanism, so with the s.boulardii at figuring out how to overcome it. And, possibly the best of all, it is a fungus (but a good one!), so if you absolutely must take antibiotics (avoid at all costs!, but sometimes, unfortunately, they’re needed), the s.boulardii will *not* be killed off by the antibiotics, this will help to keep the candida in check. As well, being probiotics, they will work with the probiotics, as well the beneficial biota you consume via your diet to help to repopulate after the antibiotics have worn off.

    Along with proper exercise, diet, and other approachs, S.boulardii may be the single best candida-killer out there. A simple google search for the phrase: ‘saccharomyces boulardii candida’ will yield a plethora of excellent articles providing more information on this.

  53. Hannah says

    Hi, I really enjoy reading your blog and I 100% agree with your points. But I was wondering if excessive fat consumption causes candida; how many fat grams a day am I allowed to have if I am trying to beat candida? 4 grams? Thank you in advance. It would really help me. I have searched on the internet for the longest time but no one can give me an answer.

  54. Melody says

    So what about probiotic yogourt? Will it help or hinder me? It has sugar in it, but it’s loaded with probiotic? This is just so confusing for a newbie.

  55. Madison says

    Hi Lauren,

    I am new to this candida diet and need some major help. I have suffered from many digestive issues (bloating, indigestion/acid reflux, gas, etc) and non-digestive issues for three years. I figured out last year I have a gluten intolerance and thought I could just eat whatever I want as long as it was gluten free….I was wrong. I feel very limited in what I can eat. I feel like I am not getting enough carbs. Are there any candida friendly foods that have more carbs? All the veggies I eat have little carbs. I do eat a sweet potato every couple of days. Is that bad? I am afraid one little bit of sugar is going to make things worse. I feel like I am going crazy lol. I have started on a highly recommended probiotic on Thursday so I know that will start helping. Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated :)

  56. says

    Thank you for this blog. I find that the knee jerk reaction to health problems is to go from one extreme to another, usually in the form of a diet loaded with refined sugars and processed foods to no sugars including fruit. This clearly explains the beautiful benefit of moderation, so people can heal and actually enjoy the process.

  57. says

    I was wondering what kind of proboitic you use. I can’t have gluten, dairy, yeast, sugar, corn and soy. Do you have any recommendations?
    Thanks so much,
    Kim

  58. Claudia says

    Hi,

    Your link to “I didn’t quit sugar” brings us to a “dead” page. Any idea what happened to that ebook?

    Thanks,

    Claudia

  59. Kelly says

    Thank you, I’ve just been diagnosed with candida and am scared. I have been GF for 4 years and on and off dairy. I started itching and finally saw a natropath. I have been a GAPS advocate for years but have trouble following the diet. I delink my broth daily though. I am thankful to have found your site and will follow A grain and dairy free Gaps and Paleo diet to rid this! I also have sups from my natropath.

    Lastly, I want to remove my mercury fillings but not sure “when” to do this. Any suggestions?
    Best,
    Kelly

    • Alisa says

      I would do that ASAP!!! You will not be able to get rid of your Candida overgrowth with heavy metals in your system. Candida thrives off of them, as well as sugar.

  60. michelle says

    Hello Lauren! I love your website and your cookbooks! I made a cookie recipe today and it was great! Quick question for you. My candida diet is very strict. I suffer from chronic vaginal yeast infections. The diet worked wonders in the past, but took a while to cure them. Seven years later, they are back. I have not followed a proper eating plan and I am back where I started from. Cutting the sugar and fruit out is killing me. I am cheating here and there and am suffering for it. How much raw honey and fruit did you eat on your candida diet? Did it delay healing or help facilitate it? Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much and I look forward to your reply. Have a great day.

    Best regards,
    Michelle

    • SWilson says

      Hi Michelle,

      I also suffered from the same thing 16 years ago and after getting no where with health store remedies and even conventional treatments (Dyflucan, Nystatin, etc), because I was desperate, I dove into research and read many books on the subjects such as ‘The Yeast Connection’ by William Crook MD, ‘Get The Sugar Out’. by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, Conquering Yeast Infections by Colet Lahoz, RN, MS, LAc, and a handful more, as well as online research. Nothing worked until I stumbled upon Colet Lahoz’ book and The Whole Approach website and their Attogram protocol. That’s when things really clicked for me. I followed their very strict diet and took the supplements for 4-5 months and got my candida levels within normal range and no longer suffered from recurrent yeast infections. Eliminating fruit and natural sugars did not increase my candida levels and make them systemic (as Point #2 in this post suggests), it brought my body into balance. The Whole Approach diet is very restrictive of natural sugars, including fruit. I didn’t have any fruit for the first 3 months and things started to improve very quickly.

      Fast forward to recent years when I fell off the healthy eating wagon and candida issues resurfaced. Sugar, natural or not, always triggers my symptoms and makes things worse, which is the part of the post I don’t agree with after much research and my own personal experience. I recently read The Candida Cure by Ann Boroch, CNC. I highly recommend you read it. She is an insightful Naturopath with extensive personal and clinic experience with candida overgrowth. (She healed her own candida overgrowth and Multiple Sclerosis – they are linked). It is also very restrictive of all sugars. She also has a supplement protocol in her book which is helpful.

      I think the missing link to this post is the part about the targeted candida-specific supplements that needs to accompany a candida-reducing diet in order to bring the body back into balance. Diet alone may not be enough to get things back on track which is why many people may not be improving on the Candida Diet with diet alone.

      I am now a recovering sugar addict so I know it is very difficult to give up any sugar, much less fruit and honey. You can do it. Organic berries and green apples are my main fruit staples – low sugar fruits. I think adding sugar, even natural sugar, to a body with candida overgrowth is adding fuel to the fire.

      Wishing you well on your healing journey.

  61. Petr Kalinin says

    the best results in fixing your Candida problems you get from using SF722. It takes time, should be combined with the proper diet but works like a charm. Tried it myself and suggest to everyone.
    Please note: I am not selling it no do I for the company which makes it. I work in IT :)

  62. You know, i've commented so many times, you're probably getting bored of me, so no name this time, kk? :-) says

    No potatoes? Not even a lil’ bit? Or corn? :*(

  63. Julia says

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for writing a down-to-earth article about healing from candida! I was beginning to go crazy from reading endless books and articles, all in direct conflict with each other, all touting extreme diets that may or may not work. I’ve been following the usual strict anti-candida diet, since that’s the most common answer – with some small modifications, since I’m vegan – but the lack of fruit struck me as not right from the start. Balance always seems key in any aspect of life, so extreme anything never sits well with me.. and I am so stoked to eat fruit again!!

    And also: thanks for bringing up the link between hypothyroidism, leaky gut, and candida. I’m suffering from all three, and it took quite awhile and many visits to a naturopath to find that out.. and then it took a LOT of reading to find out how interconnected all of it really is. And I speak as a bookworm, too! I was beginning to wonder what on earth I did wrong to get all of these conditions, but now it makes sense, and that (to me) will make getting better a little easier.. (I hope.)

    Anyway – thanks. This is the first I’ve seen of your site, and now I’ll look into the rest of it.

  64. Jessica says

    I don’t understand your direct dismissal of the candida diet website. You cannot follow the diet fully without getting the book which if you read it from cover to cover, you would see that the diet includes and in fact follows much of the same recommendations you make. After reading this article and having read the guide book for the candida diet, I feel you have misrepresented the information provided by the site/book.

  65. Ashley says

    Hi,

    First of all, thank you for your well researched, well educated post!

    Couple of questions…

    1) what are your thoughts on beans as it relates to candida friendly “diet”- I do paleo for the most part but I do eat some beans hear and there. Mostly pinto or garbanzo.

    2) There are SO many conflicting arguements on mushrooms as it relates to candida overgrowth. My “gut” tells me that despite them being a fungi, they are compress different species and therefore would not feed Candida albicans – but I still have a fear of eating them because of what I have read. Thoughts?

    Thanks!

  66. Sarah Johnston says

    I took the spit test and saw it grew “legs” that was back in January, I have sorta started my road of recovery I have been struggling with struggle with cutting out some foods such as chocolate, and some dairy. I know I have to do it if I want to get better …. Reading all the information there is about Candida can make one go crazy! I’m feeling a little overwhelmed thinking about everything I Have to do. I am getting Oregano oil and a High probiotic next month…
    So if I understand this right I have to go make some serious Life style changes in order to heal my body for good, Meaning I can not longer enjoy my favorite foods… I have to stick to strict diet plan with out cheating for the rest of my life?

    • Alisa says

      It does NOT have to be for the rest of your life. You just need to do it until you don’t have the overgrowth anymore. I would highly recommend taking a high quality probiotic for the rest of your life, though ( and continue to not eat very much sugar).

  67. says

    Here’s another possible factor in healing stubborn candida: years ago I met a lady who worked at an integrative medicine office and she told me the doc had discovered that most of his difficult candida cases also had high levels of heavy metals in their bodies but when they cleared the metals, the candida was a cinch to get rid of.

    Metals can suppress proper immune function, so it makes sense that their immune systems would finally be working properly enough to balance their candida levels.

    • Anna says

      Excellent point Erin! I have found that to be true in my case. Using a brown seaweed supplement and chlorella has been really beneficial in detoxing from heavy metals.

  68. Haelly says

    What I suspected and have had confirmed with naturopath – candida loves an environment that has a heavy metal overload, when we eat non-organic fruits we get a flare!

  69. Claire Belle says

    Hi Lauren,
    I love your blog – thanks so much for all the helpful info!
    I am planning to start the gaps diet and would like to know your take on sugar in the beginning gaps stages. For example, do you think it’s a good idea to avoid sugar during the intro gaps diet?
    Thanks :)

  70. Sarah says

    I did a very strict candida cleanse, as instructed by a natuorpath, for six weeks. It felt great losing about 25 pounds. Did have sugar cravings at all until I tried a recipe with honey in it and even that made me crave sweets.

    After the six weeks I started adding back the foods I had dropped. It has been 15 months now and I have gained 60 pounds!

    Should I do the candida diet again? I have never had blood pressure issues but just found out I am now at 160 over 100. I also fell and landed on my knees and it doesn’t seem to want to heal. It’s been three months now. xray verified there are no abnormalities to the bone or joints. I’m an avid tennis player but haven’t been able to play because of my knee.

    I read through everything on this post and will check out some of the suggestions. Just wondering if anyone else experienced quick weight gain the way I did after doing a candida cleanse.

    • Betty says

      Hi Sarah ! I actually had similar results. Last June I did a 4 weeks candida cleanse. I was already at a healthy weight, but this helped me get down to around 160 lbs, which was perfect for me! However, as soon as the cleanse ended, I felt ravenous and I don’t know if it was physical or mental (or both!) but I started gaining weight after and 11 months later I am 30 lbs heavier.

      I DID stop journaling all of my foods and have only been on the GAPS -type diet about 30% of the time since September as well. It felt too stressful to have to be perfect.. however, my candida-like symptoms (sinuses, lethargy, bloat, weight gain, diarehha, yeast infections, lower tolerance for stress) have returned with a vengeance. I LOVED how I felt on the cleanse, but my mind has been stressed by the idea of spending hours every day preparing fresh meals and smoothies and eating so many greens shakes. My current plan (i have not fully gotten off the ground yet!) is to go back to a GAPS diet and work on healing my gut lining again. I am also taking probiotics and I’m buying some oregano oil and garlic oil supplements to help with the flora hopefully. I’ve also been using Yeast Arrest products to try to attack the yeast infections I’ve been getting, but my dietary habits still include grains and sugar so they haven’t been fully successful. (This is after several unsuccessful Monistat Treatments). All of this is expensive and time consuming, but I think that I would rather be annoyed by a strict diet and more time spent cooking etc. is going to be much better for me as I can’t deal with the candidia anymore :(. ALSO – I refuse to keep getting heavier, so this will allow me to wear my current clothes again. (I cannot afford to go to my Naturopath anymore – so doing all of this on my own now, which I think is tougher but possible!.)

      Sorry this was long, but thought it was relevant to your post! Best wishes to you for your ideal health :-). – Betty

  71. Nicole says

    I wanted to check out that “I Didn’t Quit Sugar” source (from one of the quotes in your post) but the link leads to an uninhabited website (broken link, put simply) – I’d love to read more because this topic has me a little disoriented! Thanks!

  72. Judy says

    Thank you SOOOOO much for this info !! I have been struggling for a year and a half with different doctors and protocols and steadily getting WORSE :( The latest was the candida diet. (I’ve been doing that for almost 2 months. The first month I did feel better, but the second month I feel HORRIBLE ! Now I know why ! Thank you SO much for setting me straight ! I am so glad I found some different advice that sounds credible and makes sense. Not to mention it will be nice to eat fruit again :) I had just just decided to actually start adding foods back in, and your wonderful knowledge gave me the reassurance that this was the right decision. I think you may have just giving me the “cure” that I’ve been looking for for the last year and a half. I wish I would’ve stumbled on this site over a year ago. But hey, at least I can say I appreciate your information that much more .

  73. SWilson says

    Hi Lauren,

    I value a lot of the information you share on your site and commend you for diving deep into the topic of wellness in order to heal yourself. I’m so glad you found what works for you. I’m on a similar type of journey. Some of this post leaves me a bit conflicted. I agree with your point #1, but am having a difficult time with #2. Would you be so kind as to provide some evidence and/or reputable source for the following statement:

    “#2. Sugar-free may equal systemic candida overgrowth…Starved candida needs sugar and so will travel upwards through the intestines in search of it. If no sugar is found, candida will project invasive filaments into the intestinal wall, pass into the bloodstream, and – if not quickly destroyed by white blood cells – become systemic.”

    The source link you provide doesn’t work (it just goes to an e-junkie site with no info) and I am interested in reading about this concept further from qualified sources who have experience with this concept. After 16 years of much research on this topic I’m still learning however I’m not on board with the idea that those who suffer with candida overgrowth should consume honey, maple syrup or sugar-rich fruits. I need some more evidence/proof as this notion directly conflicts with dozens of books I’ve read by experts on the topic (in addition to hundreds of hours of online research), those who’ve treated thousands of patients with candida overgrowth in a clinical setting. It also contradicts my personal experience with candida. I believe in the concept of bio-individuality and know that what works for one may not work for another. I did not following “The Candida Diet” per se but I did follow a regimen that was similar in that it restricted most sugar, including most natural sugar, except organic granny smith apples and berries as they are low in sugar content.

    I’m definitely not opposed to changing my mind or being proved wrong, I’d just like to read some more hard info about your point #2 so I can dig further into this concept. Everything I have researched indicates adding much sugar (natural or refined) to a candida-infested body is like pouring gasoline on a simmering fire. The other issue with candida sufferers is that many are sugar addicts and sugar addicts cannot just have a “little bit” of sugar, just like alcoholics cannot have a little bit of alcohol. The idea of “detoxing” from heavy sugar consumption is also about breaking the addiction, which is likely one of the many reasons for the candida overgrowth in the first place. The addiction isn’t usually broken for at least a few months, so I can see perhaps adding in a very limited amount of healthy, natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup) after that point but doing so beforehand seems very risky. I’m worried those suffering with candida overgrowth will use your post as a free pass to consume sugars that may be harmful to their body.

    Thank you for your time, Lauren. I appreciate the work you do and your desire to dig deeper and share with others and welcome your thoughts on this important topic.

  74. Sarah says

    I appreciate your discussion on this topic. I plan to incorporate your suggestions to drink water with ACV and eat goat milk yogurt. I went on the GAPS diet about a year and a half ago to address IBS. But after 8 months on the diet, I had to stop because of my low energy levels. I could barely make it up the flight of stairs in our house. Also, I noticed more gas than I had ever experienced before going on the GAPS diet. After having a baby last fall and experiencing very low energy levels, I read Matt Stone’s book Diet Recovery, and started eating lots of sugars, salts and starches to increase my metabolism. After a few weeks of that, I started having horrible symptoms (all related to Candida as I now realize) such as severe itching/rash at the crease of my right arm, horrible dandruff, eczema, as well as GI issues. I decided to try the GAPS diet again, but experienced bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and adrenal fatigue, so I stopped after only about a week. I went to see a Naturopath, and my suspicions were confirmed that I had a Candida overgrowth. He also pointed out that my body was very acidic, an environment that Candida thrives in. He suggested that I go on the typical Candida Diet, but I was discouraged because I had gone on that diet years ago with no success. Then I stumbled upon this article: http://bodyecology.com/gapsdiet. Donna Gates discusses the differences between the Body Ecology Diet and the GAPS diet. The main things that jumped out at me and made a whole lot of sense were the following:
    1. “Gut and Psychology Syndrome discusses pathogens in the gut, including the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans, but Campbell-McBride does not have a clear understanding of how to eat if you have a systemic yeast infection in your bloodstream.”
    2. “Many foods on the GAPS diet, however, do feed yeast. They include high-sugar foods, such as fresh and dried fruits, honey, and fresh whey. Too many acidic foods, including meats and nut flour pancakes, cookies, breads, etc. (especially when they are sweetened with dried fruit, as recommended) simply serve as fuel for a systemic or gut infection.”
    3. “GAPS says that ‘Homemade meat stocks, soups, stews and natural fat are not optional— they should be your patient’s staples.’ (p. 144) From the Body Ecology standpoint, this is a lot of acidic animal protein and fat to digest when one has problems in the gut, and it is too acid forming if one is battling a systemic yeast infection and their body needs alkalizing.” This explained to me why my body was so acidic after following the GAPS diet. There are too many acid-forming foods on the diet. And Candida thrives in an acidic environment.
    4. “one very important reason for keeping acid-forming protein within reasonable limits and balancing it with larger amounts of alkaline-forming plant foods (The Principle of Acid/Alkaline and The Principle of Balance) is that most people today have overworked and burned out adrenals—a condition called adrenal insufficiency. Your adrenals do need some animal protein foods for energy, but not much. Eating too much or too little protein is not wise when your adrenals are in need of rejuvenating. The 80/20 Rule is just the right amount.” I believe this explains the Adrenal Fatigue I experienced while on the GAPS diet.
    5.
    PREVIOUS | 4 5 6 | NEXT
    GAPS Diet: Critical Differences Between GAPS and BED, Two Gut-Healing Protocols
    Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS):
    Understanding the Gaps

    5. GAPS Introduction Diet removes all raw vegetables when diarrhea is present but does allow fresh fruits, well-cooked vegetables, and dried and cooked fruits.

    It is true that people with gut dysbiosis have trouble digesting raw vegetables. But on the BED, you can enjoy the benefits of raw vegetables even if you have a sensitive gut condition. Indeed, they are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. You would simply make them more digestible by puréeing them to create a raw veggie soup or a green smoothie. You can also blend them into a vegetable paté.

    6. It is very important to note that the GAPS diet allows foods that, when eaten together, create glycoprotein—a slimy, glue-like substance that accumulates on the walls of the intestines. Glycoproteins are formed whenever you eat a sugar with a protein: yogurt with fruit, ice cream (milk protein with sugars), turkey and pumpkin pie, etc. A lifetime accumulation of glycoprotein can prevent nutrient assimilation through the mucosal lining so that cells do not receive the nourishment they need from the gut—even if you are eating a healthy diet.
    On the GAPS diet, nuts and seed flours (these are proteins) are made into muffins, pancakes, and cookies and sweetened with honey and dried fruits—creating a very high glycoprotein-rich food that harms the gut—certainly not a good choice if you have a digestive disorder.
    7. As far as the “grains” that are allowed on the diet, “Grains or complex carbohydrates (rice, wheat, oats) are not eaten on the Body Ecology Diet; however, you can eat grain-like seeds: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth. These grain-like seeds are gluten-free, high in protein, and contain important B vitamins and minerals—nutrients very much needed by anyone with a “gut and psychology syndrome.” Highly nutritious superfoods, these grain-like seeds do not feed yeast because they don’t contain the sugars found in the glutinous grains. They are also a very important source of fiber—a vital component of a healthy gut for several reasons” She also goes on to say that if these grain-like seeds are troublesome to your body, to eliminate them.
    There is much more to the article, but after reading it, it made sense to me and I decided to try it. I’ve been on the BED diet for a couple of weeks now, and I have the best digestion I’ve had in YEARS. My candida symptoms (eczema, itching rash, dandruff) have significantly improved. Best of all, I have energy! Now, I know I haven’t been on this diet long enough to be able to fully endorse it, but I am impressed so far and excited about the health I hope to achieve by following the BED program.
    Also, I wanted to point out that contrary to what your article says, the Body Ecology Diet does NOT exclude carrots or winter squash.
    I agree with you and the others who have asserted that everyone must pursue the path of healing that works best for them. In my case, the BED seems to be a better option for me than GAPS.

  75. Hanni2741 says

    Thank you. You are right-on. I am working on my registered holistic nutritionist’s diploma as I struggle with a faulty gut, and your info is accurate and cutting edge.

    The candida diet doesn’t work. I know, I’ve been starving on it for 10 years, and still, it is a problem. However, adhering to the GAPS protocol and not limiting gaps-approved starches has helped tremendously, so once again, I think you’re bang-on.

    I have your site flagged and will be visiting on a regular basis.

  76. Kestrel says

    What protocol would be suggested besides the GAPS diet for a breastfeeding mama (I practice child-led weaning, so who knows when my youngest-11 weeks- will wean in the upcoming years) who needs to detox mercury and candida but does not want to dump into her child?

  77. Hayley says

    I’ve been to see Dr Ray Choy in. Winpole St London. I travel for my 3rd and probably final appointment tomorrow and he has been amazing. I have suffered with Candida for almost 6 years it has been so debilitating it’s had the doctors and hospitals baffled! A friend who had candida recommended Dr Choy, he is an allergy specialist and treats candida. I’ve had no special diets to follow just his prescription of natural supplements to boost my immune and kill the candida and a tincture & I’ve not felt this well in years. I’m not 100% yet but I’m 80% and still have more treatment left. I’d really recommend him, it’s not too expensive I’ve spent £400-£500 so far but it’s been worth every single penny. So pleased I’ve almost got my life back!

  78. Page says

    Well im at the bottom of the page, and am more confused then when I arrived here. So many conflicting views. We live roughly 80 to 90 years. Is it worth giving up the things we enjoy in life? This last week has seen me give up household sugar. Have increased my milk intake. Added a bannana a day,some yogurt and increased my water intake. Still have brown sugar and cream on my oats. No milk or sugar in my green tea. No sugar or sweetener on my cereal. Without a special diet my candida (on my tongue) is almost non detectable. This is after 2 weeks. I will gladly post an update in another 2 weeks.

    • katesisco says

      Exactly. I used to be so active, but did have sugar cravings. Lived with sinus drip and finally at 65, arrived at candidasis. I have put on 30 or so extra pounds, and have low energy. I do supplements, coq10, NAC, and take a porcine thyroid as had deduced from facial hair growth, my thyroid was crushed. Much better now. But I think that the mild outgrowth of candida I had 25 years ago has continued and is now ruling my body.
      I too, have tried to find the happy medium of living and being in fear of eating/not eating this, that, the other.
      Have basically done without sugar for a year except for fruit. Recently returned to raw sugar sweetened lemonade. Wondered if the morning orange juice that seemed to precipitate bloating was something I would have to give up also. After 2 years of steadily increasing my stomach bloat is almost constant.
      I finally gave in and took the herbal I ordered off the internet but put aside. It is what vets use for internal flea control for animals. It forces the bacteria to ‘shell up’ and hibernate. Using it now. Immediate improvement. But as for the return of candidasis, who knows? I also took daily yogurt infused with good bacteria during the year of no sugar but no improvement. i think the wearing down of your immune system for decades is hard to overcome. Wiki candidasis says the end stage fungal has 50% fatality. Why is our medical system so ineffective against this long distance killer?

  79. Page says

    PS:- this is an extract from I DIDN’T QUIT SUGAR found at http://nutritionbynature.com.au/

    In writing I Didn’t Quit Sugar, we thought it critical to publicize the very real and serious perils of sugar restriction, particularly with regards to long-term health.

    What did we find out?

    It’s actually pretty simple. Good health hinges on us tuning in and l-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g to our bodies. Sugar cravings? Signs of imbalance? Don’t ignore them! Give the body the credit it’s due.
    When we lay aside dogma, pre-conceptions and ego and instead focus on physiology, the essentiality of sugar becomes self-evident. Natural, whole, unprocessed sugars, in the context of a balanced diet, digest easily, fuel our cells, facilitate growth and repair, and promote peak physical, mental and metabolic function day in and day out. That’s a damn fine résumé.

    Know this: Food – and especially sugar – is your tool. Utilized correctly, it can fuel and support whole-body health for a lifetime.

    HOPE THIS HELPS THOSE CONFUSED ABOUT SUGAR——-LIKE ME. chuckle

  80. Athena says

    Hey, I just wanted to interject an often forgotten piece of information. A deficiency in biotin- even a mild one- allows candida to grow into the virulent systemic form that can spread throughout the body. This holds true for other fungal infections as well, so anyone with nail infections or cracking heels (both often caused by fungi), can benefit from supplementation as well. Just food for thought!

  81. Sana says

    dear Lauren, thank you fot this useful article. my question is: what would you suggest for treating skin severly demaged by candida. There is no chemical treatment (proscribed by my dr.) which helps, I tried origano oil but unsuccessfuly. My skin is itchy, covered by huge amount of white layers, very sensitive and irritating what disturb by normal life. please help !

  82. Ashley says

    Does this also apply to general fungal overgrowth? Along with candida albicans and candida dubliniensis, I have a rhodotorula overgrowth, along with negligible amounts of lactobacillus and the good strain of e. coli.

    I have been off grains and nearly all carbs for a few days now, along with taking Nystatin. I believe some of my energy loss is from die-off, but I’m afraid I’m not getting enough carbs, hence how I ended up here. I am going to try amaranth and quinoa and see how my body handles that. My head feels like it’s in a cloud, and I don’t want to have a slow metabolism, especially as a runner. What is your take on beans like black turtle beans and navy beans?

  83. Amanda says

    What is your opinion on treatments/products like “paragone” and other “cleanses” to rid the system and digestive tract of parasites and candida/fungus? Do you suggest he enema over this ?

  84. Sheila says

    I don’t understand how anyone can be successful on Gaps…I can barely stick with any type of highly restrictive diet for more than a week….especially when you have to cook and plan all the time. i guess I’m not desperate enough yet. Two years on anything like this seems impossible.

  85. Orion Xavier says

    “..candida overgrowth results from poor digestion and a leaky gut… not simply the consumption of sugar”

    This is certainly true in my case, as I have had food allergies most of my life. Which seems to suggest insufficient enzyme production and a leaky gut.

    However I also developed Type 2 Diabetes, so the consumption of high glycemic foods impairs my immune system and allows fungal Candida to thrive.

    Here’s 3 things that made a huge difference in recovering from Candida (and even Type 2 Diabetes):

    1. LOTS of high intensity exercise, especially anaerobic. This produces a lot of lactic acid which fungal Candida hates! Perhaps more importantly, IT STIMULATES AND FLUSHES THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM, which absorbs a lot of the toxins we put into the body, or from what the body creates!

    2. REDUCE or eliminate high stress! I used to work 40-60 hours in a very high stress environment. This led to problems with my left foot and knees, which added constant excruciating pain while standing 8-12 hours a day. Which in turn, caused CORTISOL levels to skyrocket. Cortisol IMPAIRS the immune system! This allows Candida to mutate into its fungal form and flourish, “unchecked”!

    3. This part is optional depending on your body’s needs. I found that taking a digestive enzyme supplement and HCL/Pepsin, eliminated constipation and most if not all Candida symptoms. The biggest problem I had was that food remained too long in the gut, putrifying/rotting, which is exactly what Candida is there for. It consumes the dead, toxic, material.

    I also take the following supplements to combat the toxicity of Candida:
    NOW® Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator
    NOW® NAC 600mg
    NOW®Panthethine 600mg
    NOW® MSM (joint health) 1500mg
    NOW® Kelp caps (thyroid health) 325mcg
    Jarrow Formulas® Glutathione Reduced 500mg
    Solgar® Magnesium Citrate (facilitates bowel movements and helps stabilize blood sugar levels, many other benefits including possible elimination of water retention/issues) 400mg*
    Solgar® Chelated Molybdenum 150mcg (Removes Acetaldehyde toxicity from Candida; die off toxins)

    *NOW® Magtein™ is more efficient but Magnesium Citrate has been working fine for me.

    (These are for digestion)
    NOW® Betaine HCL 648 mg w/150 mg Pepsin
    Doctor’s Best® Best Digestive Enzymes 90 capsules (more comprehensive list of enzymes than other products)
    NOW® Cayenne (aids digestion) 500mg

    (The following are primarily for Diabetic reasons)
    Solgar® Alpha Lipoic Acid 600mg (prevents neuropathy effects in my left foot/toe)
    Solgar® Chromium Polynicotinate 200mcg
    Solgar® Cinnamon 500mg

  86. katesisco says

    I did notice that stress seems to enable all kinds of bad things. The answer for that is what I had. My husband. When he died I lived in my car for a while taking care of my grandchildren. I think my candida exponentially increased during the last 15 years he has been gone. The answer? Be sheltered and cared for and have a buffer between you and the stressful world.

  87. Dr. Craig says

    Speaking from my own clinical experience treating Candida (I am an Applied Kinesiologist and function much like a naturopath) I have to agree with much of the comments here in this thread, although I would like to shed some clarity on a variety of these issues.

    Treating candida should not take 6 months or a year (or longer). Many of us utilizing applied kinesiology techniques, particularly the techniques taught by Michael Lebowitz, have been whipping chronic candida infections in usually 10-20 days. This of course is dependent upon the patient’s ability to commit to treatment. Most people who have been suffering with severe cases of candida tend to be very committed to regaining their health in my experience (they’re usually tired of being miserable).

    I have to stress that candida overgrowth has more then one cause. In most cases there is multiple causation in each patient.

    We find in most cases of dysbiosis, candida is only one of many species of microbes that are opportunistic to the suffering individual. Candida is usually accompanied with other fungus, gram negative bacteria, parasites, viruses, and other microbes that sometimes have tick-borne vectors. We have found that all of the dysbiosis’s must be treated at the same time to get the patient well. We find that broad spectrum anti-microbial herbs work well for this. However, they are strong and need to be used under supervision. Personally I advise against oregano oil and olive leaf extract because these are too concentrated and too strong and can make the patient have a herxheimer reaction due to the liver overload during die off. You don’t want to jeopardize other parts of your health for the sake of killing candida, in my opinion.

    The dysbiosis can be caused by several factors. Antibiotics, eating of processed foods with preservatives (these are anti-bacterial), hypochlorohydria (decreases stomach ph), heavy metal burden (mercury is anti-bacterial, for example), and eating processed sugars (feeds microbes that utilize fermentation-Candida), and stress (lowers immunity). Anything that is disruptive to the health of your “healthy” flora can contribute to candida.

    I have to disagree with the author of this blog about allowing patients with severe candida infections to have natural forms of sugar. I have had patients who have been completely clear of candida return because they started eating grapes by the pound (making wine in their bellies!). I have had some patients with very severe cases have a complete return after adding berries to their smoothies. This shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    People with more mild forms of Candida may be able to clear themselves of candida while still consuming natural forms of sugar from whole foods. If your case is severe I can’t stress enough that these fruits must be avoided.

    How we are able to acheive such great results is… the patient is to be put on an anti-candida diet, given potent anti-microbial herbs to kill dysbiosis, pull food allergens out of diet, and chelate heavy metals, all simultaneously. Not every patient needs the heavy metal chelation, but for the ones that do, it needs to be done or results are minimal.

    • Kay says

      I am very tuned in to this discussion, especially the more recent comment by Dr Craig on July 8, 2014. I have not been diagnosed with candida, but I have a terrible itchy rash that I am treating as candida. I appreciate the caution against too-strong anti-fungal herbs, such as oregano oil, that may tax the liver too much while trying to heal the body.

      Dr Craig, if you can recommend someone with the experience you mention in your practice in helping to rid candida (either a naturopath or applied kinesiologist) who practices in the San Diego area, I would be most appreciative to know!

      Thank you for all the helpful information on this blog!

    • AdamG says

      Hello Dr.

      I have worked with 2 Kinesiologists in the past and they were very helpful to my course of healing. I have systemic yeast overgrowth. It’s in my eyes, sinuses, ears, brain, and I think it remains in the gut as well. I have struggled for over 4 years and have spent money and time to try to solve it. I’d be interesting in talking with you about possible treatment if you are open to giving a consultation.

      Thanks.

  88. Cheryl says

    I have been dx’d with SIBO and now multiple food allergies and the whopper allergy being dairy. Every time I stop eating my dairy kefir, I get thrush back on my tongue and get headaches. Now since I really can never have dairy again, I am desperate to find an alternative but I know of no probiotics that I can afford that is as good as dairy kefir.

    • Kendra says

      Cheryl,
      Buy some milk kefir grains on kefirlady.com or cultures for health and make coconut kefir, its delicious! Google the process, its quite easy.

  89. mandy says

    Lauren, I found you today while searchign for sugar free gluten free recipes due to my candida. I’ve been reading yoru site for an hour! This is a gold mine of information as well as very informed healers contributing to your site. I am going to shift my diet based on your site. Thank you so much!

    Mandy

  90. christinamom7 says

    I’ve been suffering with candida and yeast imbalance for some time and have tried a number of remedies recommended by my Naturopath. I was keen to the Lady Soma Candida Cleanse, because it is an all in one candida cleanse, containing anti-fungals, enzymes and probiotics, so I only need to take one product, instead of a whole series of different formulations. I took the full dose to begin with, and was pleased with the results, which started to kick in within about a week. Now I just take 1 capsule per day of the Lady Soma pill as a maintenance dose and that seems to be keeping things under control for me. For the first time, I feel like I have found a simple long term solution to keeping my candida at bay.

  91. Ali says

    Hi,

    Re: “Grain free diet and – Undigested food particles cause injury to the small intestine”
    Are chia seeds ok? I read somehwere that they were supposed to be good for kicking Candida, and Psyllium?

    Thanks so much for writing this article!

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