One of the key elements of our Candida treatment plan is a strict low-sugar diet. This means you should be avoiding high-sugar fruits, refined carbs and anything with added sugar. It also means that you have to be much more vigilant when you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping. Carefully reading food labels (and watching out for added sugar) is the first step to really understanding exactly when you are eating.
However, just because a food contains sugar does not mean that you can’t eat it on the Candida diet. In fact, getting the right kind of carbohydrates is crucial if you want to maintain your energy levels while doing the diet. Candida dieters are often confused by the sugar content found in foods like yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.
Common sources of confusion
Yogurt / Kefir
All yogurt and kefir will have some sugar content, but they are both probiotic foods that can help with your Candida diet. Both are created by a fermentation process that converts lactose into lactic acid, but some lactose will always remain. Just check the ingredients and make sure that there is no added sugar. If you are making your own yogurt or kefir, you can reduce the sugar content by allowing it to ferment for longer. The more time you allow the bacteria to ferment the lactose, the lower the eventual sugar content of the yogurt or kefir will be.
All vegetables contain at least some carbohydrates, but some are more carb-rich than others. Vegetables like potatoes, carrots and peas have a higher Glycemic Load, signifying that they are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided during your Candida treatment. Check out our Foods to Avoid page for a full list of vegetables that can feed your Candida.
You might start reintroducing some fruits during the later stages of your treatment, for example green apples and berries. However you should only eat the whole fruit – drinking fruit juice is almost always a bad idea if you suffer from Candida overgrowth. This is because juicing removes much of the fiber and nutrients from the fruit, and it allows your body to absorb the sugars much faster. Fruit juice can quickly spike your blood sugar and feed the Candida. When you start to reintroduce fruits you need to choose fruits with a low Glycemic Load that will release sugar into your bloodstream very slowly.
Watch out for these ingredients
You should avoid added sugars at all costs during your Candida treatment. Here are the main culprits that you will see in the list of ingredients. Remember, some natural sugars are OK, but you should always stay away from added sugars. Note that this is far from a complete list – some of these sugars will be found under different names depending on where you are buying your groceries.
- High fructose corn syrup
- Corn starch syrup
- Sugar cane juice
- Agave syrup
For lots more information on the symptoms, causes and treatment of Candida, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program.