Despite being popular, Candida diets don’t work for everyone. In fact, they don’t bring long-term results for many people at all.
What’s more, they can lead to more problems and make you feel worse.
In this article, we’ll look at 5 reasons why I don’t recommend Candida diets and in the next article, we’ll look at specifically what you can do instead.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had quite a detailed look at Candida (and other kinds of fungal overgrowth).
I’ve described why fungal overgrowth happens, and the many symptoms and disorders it can trigger or contribute to.
You’ve also learned that the medical system recognizes fungal overgrowth in your mouth (oral thrush), vaginal tract (vaginal thrush) and on the skin
Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Candida and fungal overgrowth/infection in the digestive tract is not considered by medical doctors to be a problem.
This needs to change.
Having worked with hundreds of Candida cases, and having had mold overgrowth in my own gut, I can tell you with 100% certainty that Candida and other fungal organisms can, and do, cause massive health problems.
Bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn, brain fog, headaches, depression, skin problems, urinary tract infections… the list goes on and on.
So, in a nutshell, thus far we’ve outlined the problems associated with Candida, but we haven’t yet looked at solutions.
Let’s change that, right now, and look at how you can begin to think about changing your diet to fight yeast and fungal overgrowth.
I want to start with what NOT to do.
If you look on Candida websites, or read books on the subject, you’ll often be told that in order to get rid of Candida, you’ll need to follow a special “Candida diet.”
Because Candida is believed to thrive on sugar, these diets usually tell you to eliminate ALL sugars.
If you don’t eliminate these sugars, the authors say, you will NEVER get rid of Candida.
As a result of this advice, people stop eating all forms of sugar, including grains, fruits, root vegetables, table sugar, honey, etc. (you get the picture).
But is this wise?
Well, in my experience, it can be helpful for some people, but might cause significant problems for others.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of this so-called “Candida diet”
When Nic contacted me, he suspected Candida overgrowth based on his symptoms.
Having read about Candida on the Internet, he had vastly cut his carbohydrate/sugar intake down.
He had stopped eating all fruit, all root vegetables and almost all fruit.
But he felt absolutely lousy.
For reasons outlined below, I recommended that Nic add back in either one tablespoon of root veggies (e.g. sweet potato) or a piece of fruit as dessert.
Overnight, Nic’s symptoms transformed. His energy and mood improved and he slept like a log for the first time in ages.
We then used powerful herbs to knock out his Candida, and the job was done.
Nic didn’t do anything wrong. He just followed the general consensus of people writing on the Internet.
Unfortunately, many bloggers don’t work with patients in the real world. They just assume that as a yeast/fungal organism, Candida loves sugar and carbs.
Therefore, if you cut your sugar intake down, Candida will starve and everything will be hunky dory.
This is not what happens in many cases. Here’s why…
The #1 problem with “Candida diets” is that people focus on Candida and not themselves.
If you eat a very low carb diet in an attempt to starve Candida, you also starve your own cells of the very nutrients they need to function properly.
Each of us requires an individualized balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate in the diet to achieve optimal function.
I personally do really well on a high protein and fat diet, very low in grains.
But not everyone thrives on this diet. For example, my business partner thrives on a vegan diet!
If your body requires relatively more carbohydrate, yet you cut too many of these nutrients out of your diet, you will feel awful.
This is exactly what Nic did, and boy, did he pay for it. It took just one spoonful of unprocessed carbs/sugar (root veg and fruit) to vastly improve his energy overnight.
The moral of the story? … Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul.
It is more important to feed your cells and make sure they are working well, than to try to starve Candida.
Over a decade and about 3,000 clients, we’ve observed that hardly anyone returns lab tests showing that their problems are being caused by Candida alone.
H. pylori, SIBO, parasites are often found alongside Candida and other types of fungal overgrowth.
Because of this bad bug overload, folk tend to develop chronic low stomach acid, low digestive enzyme levels, sluggish bile flow and other issues.
If you try to overload an under-par digestive system with more protein, fat and less carbohydrate, it can cause a lot of digestive issues.
Here’s the real kicker: Candida can switch its food preference and live on ketones from fat and protein.
Thus, if you try to starve the critter, it just sticks two fingers up at you and switches its metabolism to live on other fuel sources.
So much for the low sugar Candida diet.
It gets worse…
If all this isn’t enough to convince you that very low carb Candida diets aren’t a great idea, studies have actually shown that Candida overgrowth can be triggered when people are fasting, or who are producing a lot of ketones.
Remember, ketones are produced through fasting, very low carb diets and eating a lot of fat.
What this basically means is that you can’t starve Candida.
It is too clever.
It has been on earth much longer than you and I.
There is some evidence that when you try to starve Candida, it chats to its friends in the GI tract and builds biofilms to protect itself.
Perhaps this is like a mammal going into hibernation. As soon as the environment becomes inhospitable, it’s time to shut down, sit it out, and then emerge when the hard times are over.
Candida and other fungi can talk electrically and chemically to bacteria and parasites – known as quorum sensing – and they can all live under the same roof.
Here’s what the biofilm process looks like…
Remember that dental plaque is basically biofilm, and you know how hard and stubborn it can be.
While these bugs are living under their biofilm cocoons, you can’t kill them with regular medications or herbs.
Thus, by attempting to starve them and making life tough, they respond by hibernating and emerging as soon as you go back to eating carbs.
At all times, please remember that Candida is meant to be in your digestive system.
It only becomes problematic when you do things to upset the status quo.
Stress, antibiotics, steroid drugs, poor diet, smoking, alcohol, etc. compromise your immune system and allow these organisms to overgrow.
To gain control over Candida – and other bad bugs – you have to work on yourself as well as simply trying to nuke the bugs with drugs or herbs.
If your own cells are not functioning optimally, if your stomach acid, enzymes and bile levels are not optimal, or if you keep eating toxic foods, you will simply not get rid of Candida.
Although it isn’t wise to cut carbs and sugar too much, it is definitely wise to get rid of processed carbs.
… I’m sure you get the picture.
Then, it’s not wise to overdose on carb-based foods, but it is wise to experiment with quantities.
Only you can feel the effects of the foods you eat – nobody else can sit inside your body and gauge your responses to different foods.
Knocking out Candida
So, if a Candida diet isn’t going to cut it when it comes to killing off Candida, how do you do it?
We’ll look at this in the next article, including some specific dietary hints and tips, and drugs/supplementation.
It’s vital to know what you’re up against
As I’ve stated many times, Candida isn’t the only problem.
Food intolerances and other bad bugs can cause similar symptoms. In fact, there is tremendous overlap between the different problems caused by all these factors.
The overlapping symptoms make it really hard to know what you need to do as a unique individual.
Answering these questions provides you with the ability to fine-tune a diet, lifestyle and supplement protocol that is customized to your needs.
I cannot begin to tell you how important this is.
If you don’t figure out exactly what’s going on, you’re always playing guessing games.
How do you know what to do if you don’t even know what you’re up against?
I don’t know about you, but if I felt unwell, I’d want to know why.
And finding out is easier than you might think.
A home stool test is a perfect starting point.
Yes, it’s a grim thought to send your poop to the lab, but how else will you uncover what’s been making you feel unwell for so long?
I send my poop off to the lab every 6-9 months to make sure I’m ok, and I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.
I certainly don’t expect you to do the same, but you deserve to feel better tan you do now, and a stool test can really take away a lot of stress and anxiety by finally revealing the truth.
Remember, in the next article, we’re going to look at ways you can knock out Candida.
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