Can’t Follow the Candida Diet?

By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.

“Life itself” makes the Candida diet hard to follow for many people. Social obligations like weddings, birthdays, holidays etc, food cravings due to PMS, allergies, Candida itself, stress, exercise, medications, the list can go on and on.

What is the Candida Diet?
Of course it’s a diet designed to eliminate Candida/Yeast from the body. Since Candida feeds on Carbohydrates such as breads, Pasta etc and sugars from fruits, soda, candy etc and most surprisingly certain health supplements like B complex vitamin pills, this diet attempts to starve the yeast to death. The only draw back is that since the yeast grows roots into the blood vessels in our intestines, it is able to tap these blood vessels for its nourishment. Despite following the diet, it is able to get enough sugar to keep its roots alive. Over the years I have heard hundreds individuals say that their symptoms are controlled as long as they are on the diet but will return in a few weeks once off the diet. This is to be expected and is why a comprehensive program is needed as stated in my many other articles on Candida. Please go to for more info on a comprehensive approach.

The diet itself is pretty simple. It is similar to “The Hunter Gather Diet,”, “The Zone” and “The South Beach”. The Candida diet emphasizes proteins such meats, poultry, fish and eggs. Vegetables of all kinds are allowed, except for the starchy root vegetables such as beets, carrots and potatoes. These are too high in starch or sugar to be eaten regularly in the diet. Low sugar fruits such as melons, berries and tart apples may be allowed. It excludes fruit juices and alcoholic beverages. It is usually recommended to avoid fermented foods and mushrooms as some find these allergic. Gluten free grains can be used which exclude wheat, barley and rye. Some are allergic to the protein in oats which may be “gluten like”.

On the other hand, some are not allergic to the gluten protein in rye. Of the all the gluten proteins we can say empirically that rye is the best tolerated. This allows for the possibility of using “yeast free” rye bread on the diet. An experienced health care practitioner can assist you with this and other possible “exceptions to the rule”.

Millet, white or brown rice, corn, spelt, triticale and perhaps kamut may be used. Spelt, triticale and kamut are part of the wheat family but appear to be better tolerated then wheat. With the popularity of “Low Carb” life styles many companies now market low carb foods of all kinds. But beware of low carb products laden with chemicals, pesticides and artificial ingredients.

The Carb Crazed Brainwashing!
So it’s a pretty healthy diet and the foods are available, so where do we go wrong?
The industrial revolution was the period between late 18th and early 19th centuries. Advances in industry during that period resulted in a major change in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation of foods in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This period had a profound effect on socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain and subsequently spread throughout Europe and North America. Since this time carbohydrate foods and sugar laden foods have been gradually more and more available.

In the mid 1900’s white flour and white sugar become more prevalent. Prior to this time only the very wealthy had white flour, the healthier whole wheat or whole grains foods were the foods of the masses as the expense of refining techniques put these foods out of the price reach of the average person. White flour and white sugar upset the blood sugar mechanism of the body and cause more sugar and carbohydrate cravings. The more you eat the more you crave!

In the 1950’s and the 1960’s Madison Avenue advertising firms made popular new packaged foods through a new advertising media called “Television”. We were taught to drink “Tang” because the astronauts did, to eat prepackaged cakes and cookies because they were made by “elves” living in trees, and to eat many sugar-laddened breakfast cereals because the characters that live on the cereal box covers needed the work! Who would turn the back on the striped Tiger or that Captain?

The end result of this promotion is an era of fat, diabetic or heart disease riddled Americans and who need Viagra and Prozac to function. Many of them now totally believe the “party line” that these man made “foods of chaos” are now part of normal life and are addicted to them. They feel deprived when they can’t eat them as though they are part of their birth right.

Lack of Cooking Skills
Depending on your cooking skills the Candida diet can be either boring or a feast. There is ample amount of variety in the diet to allow for many culinary delights if one knows the art of cooking. When following the diet you may need to change your cooking style. Because the foods that you emphasize change on the Candida diet, you may need to change your cooking style. Buying some new cook books will always yield some new ideas. Even those not intended for the Candida diet. Looking through the recipes you are bound to find several that will work. Finding a cook book that is for the low carb diet or life style will produce even more possibilities.

Oriental stir fry’s of meats and vegetables are a perfect for the Candida diet. Many Italian dishes that feature meats, poultry or fish in light red sauces or butter/olive oil based sauces can be paired with endless combinations of herbs, spices and vegetables to produce restaurant quality meals. Indian curries of meats, poultry or fish can be served with green leafy vegetables. Of course we omit potatoes, rice and breads. The traditional American steak house fare of meat, creamed spinach, and mushrooms can be served and enjoyed with a variety of salads that steak houses traditionally offer. The same concept could apply to seafood houses only the vegetable accompaniment would change from fries or rice to “vegetables medleys” or a non starchy vegetable of the day. Once one is familiar with the foods that are to be used, many of styles of cooking mentioned can be introduced into ones life with ease. This will add variety or interest to the diet. The key is you have to make an effort along this line. You can’t just cry to your hamburger, lettuce and tomato about the kidnapping of your white bread bun and hydrogenated oil drenched French fries by the “Evil the Doctors and Nutritionists”. Once you begin eating this way there will be a new found clarity, energy and enthusiasm toward life. You may even find as I have that these chemical ridden foods are offensive to both your mind and body.

In simple layman’s language, hypoglycemia is the body’s inability to properly handle the sugars or carbohydrates in foods. Eating them cause a temporary elevation in energy followed by a crash! The large amount of sugar that the average American consumes today can cause hypoglycemia. Simply stated hypoglycemia is caused by an overload of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and stress.

In medical terms, hypoglycemia is defined in relation to its cause. Functional hypoglycemia, the kind we are addressing here, is the over secretion of insulin by the pancreas in response to a rapid rise in blood sugar or “glucose”.

All carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits and grains, as well as simple table sugar), are broken down into simple sugars by the process of digestion. These sugars enter the blood stream as glucose and our level of blood sugar rises. The pancreas then secretes a hormone known as insulin into the blood in order to bring the glucose down to normal levels.

In hypoglycemia, the pancreas sends out too much insulin and the blood sugar plummets below the level necessary to maintain well-being.

Since all the cells of the body, especially the brain cells, use glucose for fuel, a blood glucose level that is too low starves the cells of needed fuel, causing both physical and emotional symptoms.

Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • mental confusion
  • nervousness
  • mood swings
  • faintness
  • headaches
  • depression
  • phobias
  • heart palpitations
  • a craving for sweets
  • cold hands and feet
  • forgetfulness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • inner trembling
  • outbursts of temper
  • sudden hunger
  • allergies
  • crying spells

Do you crave certain foods, and then feel stimulated, even euphoric when you eat them? Welcome to the adaptation stage of food allergies! Our bodies create cravings to avoid withdrawal symptoms from allergic foods. Satisfying a craving provides a high as the body rewards it with “feel good” chemicals like endorphins. Ideally, one should feel no better or worse after eating a specific food. If you do, then suspect food sensitivity.

You may think you’ve outgrown an allergy when it’s really only masked. The body can adapt to a food allergy for years. When the body enters the maladaption stage, however, withdrawal symptoms set in, and eating the allergic food intensifies those symptoms. You now have a full-blown food allergy with its full array of physical and psychological symptoms.

Allergies and sensitivities differ subtly. Both trigger an immune system response – just at different times and places in the body. Allergies provoke immediate antibody reactions in the bloodstream, while sensitivities trigger slower, immune system responses and toxic inflammatory responses within cells. The bottom line is: both types of reaction cause inflammation as the body attempts to destroy irritants. Food sensitivity symptoms, however, include a few more unpleasant possibilities: migraine headaches, dizziness and fatigue

Allergies cause food cravings. Candida causes or can worsen allergies. Many people crave carbs and sugars because they have developed allergies to these foods.
The phenomenon of simultaneous allergy and addiction to both foods and chemicals is now well accepted by doctors specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies. These specialists, known as clinical ecologists, believe that many chronic health problems, such as migraine, fatigue, depression, and arthritis are caused by allergies to foods and chemicals and affect approximately one-third of the population living in industrialized countries.

Many food allergies are caused by Candida, so there is no better solution in handling them then to get rid of the Candida!

Another cause of food cravings is adrenal fatigue. If you are under a great deal of stress, or suffer from insomnia or sleep deprivation, you are probably exhausted much of the time. This leads to adrenal fatigue or outright adrenal exhaustion, which in turn signals the body it needs a pick-me-up. You may resort to sugar or carbohydrate snacks or coffee during the day and carbohydrates or alcohol at night, all of which exacerbate the problem.

Every month like clockwork, some women come down with a strange collection of symptoms. They may become irritable, snapping at their family and friends without the slightest provocation. They may forget where they put their car keys and have trouble paying attention during meetings at work. They may crave chocolateor find themselves sneaking a few pieces of pizza after their children have gone to bed. Or they may suddenly hate the way they look because they feel bloated and their hair looks oily or lifeless.

We are quick to give these symptoms a label: premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. But what isPMS? Some people dismiss it as “that time of the month” — an excuse that women give in order to eat tons of chocolate and get away with acting a bit cranky. But doctors recognize PMS as a real medical condition, with real physical and psychological symptoms. For many women, the symptoms are debilitating enough to interfere with their lives. During Pms a women’s estrogen level rise. Estrogen has an insulin like action and lowers ones blood sugar. This causes the women to crave sugar and carbs to balance the drop. This also causes a drop in metabolism and thyroid activity, water and sodium retention all which aggravates the symptoms. PMS actually causes hypoglycemia of a kind.

The Solutions!
The good news is that each of these causes has a solution. The key is to discover which of the issues you really have and then address it. All of the physical issues can be addressed with diet modification and nutritional supplements.

Hemp Hearts to handle sugar cravings!
Hemp Hearts™ – raw shelled hemp seed is one of nature’s perfect foods – a Super Food. This is one of the most potent foods available, supporting optimal health and well being, for life. Raw hemp provides a broad spectrum of health benefits, including: weight loss, increased and sustained energy, rapid recovery from disease or injury, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, reduced inflammation, improvement in circulation and immune system as well as natural blood sugar control.

Results will vary from one individual to another, but reports from our patients who take the minimum recommended dosage of 4 – 5 tablespoons per day, reveal that their experiences are consistent with clinical studies that relate to these issues. Many health care professionals are using Hemp Hearts™ to achieve great results with their clients. They attribute their success to the superior balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes in Hemp Hearts™ and to the relative absence of sugar, starches and saturated fats.

Expect reduced cravings for foods, stimulants, sugars, starches and saturated fats… A breakfast of Hemp Hearts is a concentrated and balanced source of all required proteins and essential fats: Satisfied by Hemp Hearts your body will not make insatiable demands that result in unhealthy food choices.

Researchers Guy E. Abraham, M.D., and Joel T. Hargrove, M.D., relieved 21 of 25 PMS sufferers with 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B6 daily for three consecutive menstrual cycles. This study led Dr. Abraham to investigate vitamin B6’s mineral teammate magnesium in relation to PMS. It turned out that 26 PMS patients’ ages 24 to 44 had decidedly low levels of magnesium in their red blood cells. He noted that the stress of PMS rapidly depletes body stores of magnesium, aggravating the condition even more.

Additional magnesium in foods and supplements treats PMS in two ways. Magnesium is a diuretic and therefore helps ease the pressure caused by fluid retention. It also decreases the desire for chocolate. Vitamin B6 appears to increase magnesium absorption. Many alternative doctors have found that evening primrose oil can prevent PMS symptoms.

The good news is that many companies make PMS formula’s that help one get through PMS with fewer symptoms. Metagenics makes a formula named “Fem Premenstrual” that has worked well for many.

Very often the addition of Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, some sea salt, licorice root can be a great help in restoring Adrenal function. However, more importantly is getting proper rest. When one has adrenal exhaustion it is very important that one sleeps 8-10 hours if possible. Eating 5-6 small meals per day is also vital in stabilizing ones blood sugar. There are as many different Adrenal Support formulas as there are politicians who change their opinions! The best way to determine which is correct for you is with some type of test whether it is a hormone test, a vitamin test or kinesiology muscle testing.

While you do need to be tested and supervised through a comprehensive Candida program, the diet is the first step that you can take now! Here we have provided you understanding of the obstacles that you may encounter and how you can correct them. A few simple trips to the health food store will begin your journey. A journey of a thousands miles begins with one step, here you have your first one!