Many of the below were questions that I asked myself at the very first stages of the diet. Hopefully this can help to shed some light on some of the grey areas for you!
Can I drink alcohol?
Alcohol is not recommended on the candida diet for a number of reasons. As well as weakening your immune system and stressing your liver that is already working hard to detoxify from the candida overgrowth – it can also wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels. In addition to this, alcohols such as beer and wine are fermented using yeast.
If you absolutely can’t go without on that special occasion, triple distilled high quality spirits like vodka or gin are your best bet as they do not contain any carbs or yeast.
Is Nutritional Yeast allowed?
Yes! Because nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast, it is fine to eat on the candida diet.
I am vegan, can I still go on the diet?
Yes… but as you will see from the list of allowed foods, most of the protein and calories in the diet come from animal sources, therefore, it would be best for you to speak to a health professional before implementing the diet yourself. That way, your diet can be tailored to your own personal needs to ensure that you are getting all of the required nutrition.
Can I drink de-caff coffee?
No, de-caff coffee is not recommended. As well as still containing trace amounts of caffeine (despite the name), because this is a dried food item, there is also a risk that it contains mould.
Are soya products OK?
Yes, provided they are organic, however, be aware that these are a common allergen food and also may cause hormonal symptoms such as acne, mood swings etc.
How long do I need to avoid beans and pulses?
You should avoid these foods for at least the first month of treatment while your gut is healing as they are harder to digest. Be aware that these are higher-carb foods, as well so consumption needs to be moderated and re-introduction needs to be gradual so that you can check for any adverse symptoms.
Does everything I buy need to be organic?
In an ideal world, yes. However, because shopping this way can be very expensive, you should at least prioritise the foods that you buy organic. For example, meat and eggs are the most important. And then in terms of vegetables, you can buy these non-organic as long as you wash them thoroughly and peel the outer skin to reduce the chance of consuming any pesticides.
Why do you need to rotate your anti-fungal supplements?
Candida can grow resistant to a particular anti-fungal, so it is important to rotate these every couple of weeks in order to keep the treatment effective.
How long until I see a difference?
You should notice some improvements in as soon as a couple of weeks, for example improved skin, sleep or bowel movements. Treatment time will vary dependent on how severe your overgrowth is, and how you respond to the treatment so it could also be months before you start to see any improvement to your symptoms.
Why do I feel worse on the diet?
In the first few weeks of the diet, you may even feel worse than you did before. This is very common in this diet as toxins are released as the candida is killed, which manifests in the form of a number of unpleasant symptoms such as break-outs, fatigue, flu-like symptoms and digestive issues. This is why it is so important to support your immune system as much as possible, particularly in the early stages.
Why does the treatment take so long?
You could be fixing damage that has accumulated over very many years, so the cure will not happen overnight. As well as starving the candida, you also need to attack it using anti-fungals. The problem is that candida has learnt to protect itself with a difficult to penetrate biofilm. It also can grow resistant to the anti-fungals that are used, so treatment needs to be persistent and ever-changing. If you stop the diet before the overgrowth is back under control, it will simply return again.
How should I store my food?
Try and use glass containers over plastic, and paper over aluminium foil when storing your food. Also, keep your fridge between 1 and 4 degrees celcius and avoid eating leftover more than 24 hours old. Your freezer is your best friend on this diet.
Can I eat tinned food?
Where possible, avoid using tinned foods to limit the exposure to heavy metals. Instead, favour glass jars for longer life items such as extra virgin olive oil.