- August 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm #120782
surfside949MemberTopics: 5Replies: 16
Busted: Candida Myths
May 1, 2013
Author: Lauren G (Empowered Sustenance) 162 Comments Affiliate Disclosure
What 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
A 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?August 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm #120784
rasterParticipantTopics: 104Replies: 6828
Well there is one thing wrong with this post and its their word use of systematic candida. Systematic candida is a very dangerous condition and if you have it, you should be hospitalized fighting for your life. So I don’t know about that term being properly analyzed.
Additionally this isn’t a no sugar or no carb diet, but a low sugar and low carb diet.
There isn’t any single way to get better and the diet by itself will not cure you.
For most people the root cause is impaired thyroid as well as prior antibiotic use and mercury toxicity. These can be intertwined with methylation disfunction.
Another thing worth noting is this lady is not a doctor and has not studied any medicine or science as far as I know. So take what she says with a grain of salt.
-rasterAugust 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm #120787
TheChosenOneParticipantTopics: 34Replies: 410
I totally agree with 1. As long as you don’t find the source of the problem, you will only manage it by the candida diet.
2 is correct. In my experience, candida can get more aggressive if you do a very strict diet. That’s why you need to go slow and include a lot of fibers.
I don’t really agree with 3. A diet low on sugars is actually good for the adrenals. I gained weight when I started the candida diet.
A grain free diet makes a lot of sense, because gluten can be a burden to your system. Adding a lot of saturated fats and salt is also very good.
On raw goat milk yogurt: I would avoid all diary, unless you believe it contributes to your health. A lot of probiotics don’t pass the stomach.August 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm #120788
surfside949MemberTopics: 5Replies: 16
Thanks to both of you!! I was reading between the lines too and appreciated your feedback. It’s very overwhelming and although you can read, read, read… sometimes, too much is, too much. However, I want to gain as much perspective and education so I can come to some common sense decisions.
Today, I have a slight white film on my tunge. Not super gross or with substance but, it is definitely something different that was not there before. Of course panicked, I am reading on this and hoping I have the right info… this could be a sign of “die off” starting or yeast moving due to the supplements taking over inside my intestines… does that sound accurate? If so, which scenario seems more true or both? I would think die off would be better but maybe they go together?
btw: I am taking Chilated Molybdenum & Pau D’arco tea to help with cleansing & detox toxins.
Mess at the beach~August 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm #120790
rasterParticipantTopics: 104Replies: 6828
This lady has about as much background on the subject as I do and is just about as legitimate as someone like me; just a random person trying to make money via their blog on ther internet.
Anyways, here are some books from trusted reputable sources about this syndrome and this can likely help you more than what you read on the internet:
Also here is the sticky tab if you haven’t seen it:
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