People following the candida diet limit or avoid certain foods, such as sugar, gluten, alcohol, and some dairy products, that may promote the growth of Candida yeast in the body. The diet also involves eating healthful fats and anti-inflammatory foods.
These recommendations make for a healthful diet for most people. However, research has not yet confirmed the diet’s effectiveness in reducing yeast infections.
In this article, we provide more information about the candida diet, including its effectiveness, its potential benefits, and the foods that people include and avoid when following the diet.
What is Candida?
A person with candidiasis may experience a sore throat.
The genus Candida includes more than 100 different species of yeast that live on the skin and in the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina.
Normal concentrations of Candida yeast promote gut health and nutrient absorption and also aid digestion. However, having too much of this yeast in the body or on the skin can lead to infections.
Symptoms of candidiasis of the mouth, throat, or esophagus include:
- white patches on the inside of the mouth
- inflammation and soreness of the throat
- pain while eating or swallowing
- persistent dryness of the mouth
Symptoms of candidiasis of the vagina include:
- itching or soreness of the vagina and vulva
- pain when urinating
- pain during intercourse
- thick, white vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese
What is the candida diet, and how does it work?
The candida diet requires people to avoid foods and drinks that could increase the risk of Candida overgrowth. These include gluten, sugar, alcohol products, and certain types of dairy.
The diet focuses instead on eating lean proteins, healthful fats, nonstarchy vegetables, and probiotics. The aim of these foods is to help minimize inflammation and balance the concentrations of bacteria inside the gut.
According to the findings of a 2017 laboratory study, higher glucose concentrations may promote Candida growth. The researchers also discovered that foods containing fructose might prevent Candida growth in the mouth.
Theoretically, people may have a lower risk of developing Candida infections if they eliminate foods that contribute to yeast growth. However, current scientific evidence has yet to confirm the diet’s effectiveness.
Is the diet effective?
More research is necessary to understand the effects of the candida diet.
Researchers have examined how different dietary substances promote or reduce the growth of Candida in a range of studies in cells and animals. However, they do not know whether similar results would apply to humans.
Due to the lack of high quality, large-scale human studies, researchers do not know how likely the candida diet is to be effective.
Many factors can affect a person’s risk of developing Candida overgrowth, including recent antibiotic use or having a weakened immune system or certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or kidney failure.
As a result of these multiple factors, it is difficult to predict how dietary changes will affect an individual’s risk.
What does the research say?
Little research has looked directly at the effects of diet on Candida infections. However, the candida diet is healthful overall, so there are few risks to trying it.
Some research supports the idea of replacing sugar with sugar alternatives, such as xylitol. In a 2018 in vitro study, researchers found that xylitol has antimicrobial properties and may help prevent Candida growth in the mouth.
The findings of another in vitro study suggest that high intakes of sugar allow Candida yeast to bind to cells inside the mouth. However, xylitol produces the opposite effect, making it more difficult for yeast to bind to cells.
The authors of a 2015 review article note that refined sugars and lactose-rich dairy products may promote yeast growth by lowering pH levels in the digestive tract. If this is the case, excluding these foods from the diet may prevent Candida growth. However, more research is necessary to validate this theory.
The candida diet prohibits any form of gluten. The theory is that gluten may harm the intestinal lining and that it may also play a role in contributing to dysbiosis, which is an imbalance in the concentrations of gut microbiota.
Removing gluten from the diet can benefit people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. However, according to the authors of a 2017 review article, there is no evidence that a gluten free diet provides benefits for people who do not have gluten intolerance.
Foods to eat
People who want to follow the candida diet should try incorporating the following types of food into their diet:
- Nonstarchy vegetables, which include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, onions, and tomatoes.
- Low sugar fruits, such as citrus fruits, olives, and berries, but only in moderation.
- Lean proteins, including chicken, eggs, and fish.
- Healthful fats, such as avocado, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and flaxseed oil.
- Fermented foods, for example, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt.
- Gluten free grains, such as quinoa, oat bran, buckwheat, and rice.
- Low mold nuts and seeds, which include almonds, coconut, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds.
- Certain dairy products, such as butter and ghee, and products that contain live active cultures, such as kefir and yogurt.
- Natural sugar free sweeteners, including stevia, monk fruit extract, erythritol, and xylitol.
Foods to avoid
The candida diet limits sugar, gluten, and alcohol.
The candida diet strictly prohibits the consumption of sugar, gluten, alcohol, and dairy products that contain high quantities of lactose.
While on the candida diet, people should avoid the following foods:
- Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, beans, and peas.
- High sugar fruits, which include bananas, mangoes, figs, and raisins.
- Certain meats, such as processed meats and farm-raised fish.
- Grains that contain gluten, including wheat, barley, and rye.
- Dairy products high in lactose, such as milk and soft cheeses.
- Processed fats and oils, for example, canola oil, soybean oil, and margarine.
- Simple sugars and artificial sweeteners, such as sucrose, aspartame, agave, maple syrup, corn syrup, and honey.
- Some types of nut and seed, including peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and cashews.
- Certain drinks, such as caffeinated coffee and tea, sugar sweetened beverages, and alcohol.
Supporters of the candida diet claim that it can lower the risk of yeast infections and prevent gastrointestinal Candida overgrowth.
The diet involves eliminating gluten, sugar, and certain dairy products.
Although laboratory research suggests that these substances may contribute to yeast growth, no substantial evidence exists to support using the candida diet as a treatment for yeast infections.
However, the dietary changes that the candida diet specifies may have beneficial health effects for people with or without a Candida infection.
Stressed Students, Bridesmaids Drama, And More: An Advice Column From A Total Amateur
Hi! A while ago I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me a problem they’re having, so that I — a person with absolutely zero professional qualifications to help anyone — could give them advice. So, here are the results! NBC 1. “Dear Andy,I have NO idea where I should go to school… I’m applying…
Hi! A while ago I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me a problem they’re having, so that I — a person with absolutely zero professional qualifications to help anyone — could give them advice. So, here are the results!
I have NO idea where I should go to school… I’m applying to 12 schools, 10 on the west coast and two in BC. I’m a high achieving student (I’m in five AP classes, president of two clubs, volunteering and a job, etc.) and I don’t want to go somewhere that’s all about the pressure, but I still want a high quality education. I’m so lost, help!”
—The Overwhelmed Student
You posted this just to dunk on all of us academically, didn’t you?
Kidding. In all seriousness, you can get a very good education at a bunch of different schools. And when you’re done, you’ll have a degree that probably nobody will ever verify! In my completely amateur opinion, the only reason people think the “Ivy League” schools are better is because a lot of wealthy, well-connected people go there (and have gone there), and therefore when you graduate from one, you’re more likely to get in at some fancy law firm or whatever because of your connections. So if you aren’t planning on being like, IDK, the CFO of Waystar Royco or something, just pick the school that you really want to go to. Where are you going to be happy living? Is one of the schools in a city you already want to move to and/or the city that has jobs in your future profession? Is it important for you to be close to home? How many Wendy’s are there on campus, and do they carry Spicy Nuggets? These are the questions you should be asking.
Oh, wait, actually…forget all that. Go to the school that will cost the least when you factor in tuition, room & board, and any scholarships you might get. Student loans are a curse and you want as little of them as possible. In the end, you might not even end up doing the thing you studied in college. Wanna know what degree I have? A BFA in Theater Performance. An acting degree. And now here I am, writing for a website. You’ll be fine.
I got married this summer, and I decided to choose only family to be my bridesmaids. For me this included three female cousins and my (now) sister-in-law. My husband, on the other hand, decided to do a mix of family as well as friends from high school for his groomsmen. I had no problem with this at all.
I had a few friends who I knew would expect to be bridesmaids, so I made it clear to them from the very beginning that I would be choosing family only as to not have a huge wedding party, but I told them they were not any less important to me and that I still wanted them to be involved in the wedding as much as they felt comfortable with. Most of the friends I had this conversation with were very understanding, however one straight up told me that she was disappointed (this was two years before the wedding).
Now it’s been a few months since I got married and this friend (a friend from childhood) started talking about the wedding. She told me she felt left out of the wedding since she wasn’t part of the wedding party. It particularly bothered her that my husband included friends and I didn’t. She then proceeded to tell me that it was difficult for her to be there the day of my wedding because of these feelings. AT MY WEDDING. She also included the fact that she didn’t want to upset me and that it doesn’t change our friendship. But if that is the case then why say anything in the first place? I’ve already said one too many times the reason for my bridesmaid choices and how important she is to me regardless. And she says she understands. I just wish she would let it go. Ever since this conversation I feel like I’ve been seeing her in a whole new light.
I do care about her feelings, but I stick by my decision and I don’t regret anything. I feel like I’ve done everything I can to make her feel better.”
—The Besieged Bride
[TL;DR: Bride had only family as bridesmaids, groom had some friends in the mix, bride’s childhood friend felt left out and complained about it a few months after the wedding.]
Question one: How drunk was your friend when she brought this up to you? If she was like, a 6 or more out of 10, I say let’s give it a pass and hope she got it out of her system.
Question two: Has your friend had a wedding of her own yet? If yes, then she should’ve understood the situation, because wedding planning is a special kind of hell and inevitably you have to make difficult decisions like this one that might hurt people’s feelings. So if you’ve planned your own wedding, you know the deal and you’re able to say to yourself, “It’s their wedding, I’m just going to be supportive and have fun.” If she hasn’t gotten married yet, she’ll realize later that it was totally inappropriate to complain about this to you. Hopefully.
I have been taking so many of the relationship quizzes on BuzzFeed but they all say I’m single. The major problem is I have an S.O. Is she just faking or am I?? Help me!! Is my girlfriend not actually mine or are we real?”
—The Quizzical Quiz-Taker
You’re not real. This is all a simulation.
—Andy (or am I?)
I’m not sure where to live. I live in Milwaukee, WI, right now. Moved here three years ago for school, but that fell through because Milwaukee is friggin expensive. My family wants me to move back to the other side of the state, towards Minneapolis/St. Paul. What should I do?”
—Meandering the Midwest
Get the fuck out of there, it’s so cold! Listen, I used to live in Michigan, and it was depressing because it was grey and miserable nine months out of the year. Now I live in Southern California, it’s sunny and beautiful and my vitamin D levels are through the roof. Migrate south, seriously.
But if you HAVE to stay, I will say that everybody who lives in Minneapolis seems to LOVE Minneapolis for some reason.
My problem is that I struggle with feeling attractive. I started taking birth control when my boyfriend and I started dating (six years ago). I started gaining the weight right after. I’m now a size 12 and my boyfriend is a slender guy. I haven’t felt attractive in the last year. I gained so much weight at one point I was a size 16. I’m back to a 12 and trying to lose weight again. I don’t feel sexy or beautiful in any way. I prefer to keep my shirt on during sex now. I don’t know why my boyfriend still finds me attractive. I have a tummy, I have rolls when I sit down, I just don’t know what he sees anymore. Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated.”
—Struggling With Size
First off, don’t worry about your boyfriend. Clearly he finds you attractive, and when you actually care about someone, the size tags on their clothes don’t matter to you at all. Appreciate that fact and find some security there.
Now, consider the possibility that if your boyfriend finds you attractive at any size, you can too! It’s not easy. It requires shedding every bit of toxic influence that the media and our society overall has thrown at you for your entire life. That takes time and work.
But if you are worried about your physical health at all, consult a doctor. There are many different types of birth control and like 40 different pills, and everyone reacts to each one differently. It can take time to find the right one, and not every doctor is going to be helpful about it. Advocate for yourself if you’re unhappy with your medication. You may have done all of this already and I’m just sitting here mansplaining BC to you, but if so at least you can cross that off your Mansplaining Bingo Card.
That’s it for this week. But if you’re having a problem that you need advice about, let me know! It could be anything: petty arguments that you need a judge to decide who was right and who was wrong, help making life decisions, relationship issues — I’m your completely unqualified man. Email firstname.lastname@example.org (for total anonymity) or leave a comment here!