You may not have heard of candida, which is a yeast that causes more fungal infections than any other fungus in the world. Candida is found in your gut, and feeds off of sugars. Since so many of us happen to eat a lot of sugars, candida can grow pretty quickly. There are more factors outside of diet that happen to cause candida growth, but that’s the main property.
Now there is a diet that targets candida problems, which include fatigue, fungal infections, poor memory, digestive issues, yeast infections and much more. It’s called the Candida Diet, and many people are trying it out to help their overall health. Not only that, but the diet has claimed to be a great way to lose weight on top of all the benefits. Are the claims true? Let’s look at the Candida Diet to weigh the pros and cons, seeing if the plan is all it’s cracked up to be.
Behind the Candida Diet
There are many different symptoms for having candida in your body, but the one that we are concerned with the most is the inability to lose weight, and too much retention of water. There are a few treatments for candida, but the best way to tackle the problem is by changing the way you eat. That’s where the Candida Diet steps in, and the most popular plan was developed by Dr. Eric Wood and Lisa Richards.
The plan is a five-step program that lasts for 60 days, eliminating candida and allowing you to lose weight. There is an official book that covers the entire program called “The Ultimate Candida Diet Program”, and it usually retails for $25 to $35. You don’t necessarily have to buy the book to get the basics of the program and know what foods to eat and avoid, though it doesn’t hurt to have a handy guide around.
While there are five steps in the program, there are three main steps to follow during the Candida Diet. The first is the detox stage, which is actually optional. During this time, you will be avoiding most foods while focusing on drinking plenty of water. You can still eat, though the diet is made up mostly of salads and vegetables with plenty of spices and oils. It’s certainly not the most extreme cleanse, especially since it only lasts for a couple of days until you start to feel better.
The next stage of the Candida Diet is attacking your candida problem head-on. You start to add more foods to create a balanced program, most of which will help you fight candida (we’ll get to those foods in just a moment). While some people will be able to get rid of their candida problem after a couple of weeks, the creators of the program warn that it could take up to six months.
After eliminating candida, the final stage is reintroducing different foods to your body. You don’t want to start eating the foods that gave you the candida problem in the first place, so you focus on a low amount of sugar. Most of the sugars that you will eat during this time are natural sugars, coming from fruit, and beans are added back to the diet. The creators of the Candida Diet say that once you have gone through the entire process, you won’t even want to go back to your old way of eating.
What’s on the Menu?
After getting into the second stage of the Candida Diet, there are some foods that you need to target and others to stay away from. Here are some of the foods that you should be eating to help treat your candida.
- Brussel sprouts
- Sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
There are actually more foods than what was listed, which actually makes this a somewhat easy diet to follow. Despite having to cut out a lot of foods, there are still plenty to pick from, with chicken, fish and turkey all being nice staples to work around. There are other foods that you can eat once in a great while such as rice, berries, watermelon, peas, potatoes and beef, but try to limit those. As for foods you shouldn’t touch on the diet, here are some examples:
- Canola oil
There are some surprised on there such as peanuts, bananas and grapes since they are typically pretty healthy, but they don’t fit into the Candida Diet. Now putting it all together, here is a sampling of what you can expect to eat during the first few days of your Anti-Candida phase of the diet.
Breakfast – Turkey and sage breakfast patties (225 Calories)
Lunch – Green chili chicken stew (350 Calories)
Dinner – Four ounces of steak with avocado and salad (410 Calories)
Snacks – One ounce of almonds (160 Calories)
Daily Total – 1,145 Calories
Breakfast – Apple and walnut yogurt parfait (250 Calories)
Lunch – Veggie frittata with peppers (370 Calories)
Dinner – Four ounces of chicken with mushroom sauce (340 Calories)
Snacks – One cup of greek yogurt (130 Calories)
Daily Total – 1,090 Calories
Breakfast – Cinnamon coconut crisp cereal (200 Calories)
Lunch – Four ounces of grilled chicken with walnut sauce (300 Calories)
Dinner – Three ounces of salmon with avocado rolls (450 Calories)
Snacks – Deviled eggs (250 Calories)
Daily Total – 1,200 Calories
What to Know About the Candida Diet
As you can see from the menu, there are plenty of good foods to select from, and they are all pretty low in calories. This means that not only will you be able to treat your problems with healthy foods, but those calorie counts will almost surely allow you to lose weight. It’s suggested that you eat at least 1,200 calories per day, though some can eat a lower amount if they are smaller with less weight to lose.
Another thing that you should be doing while on the Candida Diet is taking probiotics. There are plenty of supplements out there that you can take (without buying from the official site) to help you out. The creators of the Candida Diet suggest that you should be taking probiotics that have the maximum amount of bacteria to fight candida.
There have been some critics of the Candida Diet out there, as they say the diet is only a temporary fix for your digestive problems, and they are likely to come back since you are still eating starchy vegetables once in awhile. Others have said that you will also get the same symptoms of candida such as fatigue from cutting out so many carbs, and they don’t like the exclusion of some healthy foods. However, there hasn’t been much evidence to support or completely debunk the Candida Diet thus far.
Summing it Up
Knowing all of the benefits that the Candida Diet could or could not do for your digestive system, the biggest thing you likely want to know about is weight loss. In that regard, the Candida Diet is a good plan to follow since it eliminates a lot of sugar, excess carbs and other junk and processed foods. Many people have found themselves losing weight too quickly on the Candida Diet, so the creators suggest you slow it down as much as possible.
Normally, those that create diets will tell you that it’s good to lose up to a pound per day or that you need to cleanse for weeks on end to bring your weight down. It’s a nice change of pace to see that the Candida Diet promotes a slow and steady weight loss that’s an added bonus to better digestive health. In the event you do find your weight declining too fast, then you can add more foods such as avocados or nuts to add calories.
While the Candida Diet was not created for the sole purpose of losing weight, most that go through with the plan will find themselves dropping weight anyway. Since you are basically cleansing out your digestive system and reducing gas and bloating, you will see a natural drop in water weight. Combine that with the fact that you’ll be taking in fewer calories, and weight should come off rather quickly.
The final piece of the puzzle is exercise, which is another thing the Candida Diet addresses. They say it’s an essential part of the plan to enhance your overall health, and light exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day is encouraged. No matter what kind of digestive system claims that the Candida Diet makes, it’s hard not to suggest this plan to someone that is looking to lose weight and increase their health overall.