The Candida Diet

What did you think this was?

What did you think this was?

The excess Candida yeast in the intestines is then thought to penetrate the intestinal wall, causing yeast and other unwanted particles to be absorbed into the body. The absorbed yeast particles are believed to activate the immune system, resulting in an allergic hypersensitivity to Candida. Some alternative practitioners use the Candida diet to address Candida overgrowth.Some alternative practitioners believe that overgrowth of candida albicans yeast in the intestines is responsible for a yeast syndrome that results in symptoms such as fatigue, headache, mood swings, sinus congestion, depression, poor memory and concentration, and cravings for sweets.

This condition is perpetuated by the use of conventional bacteriological methods, such as microscopy and culture, have been used for analysis and/or quantification of the intestinal microbiota for decades.[1],[2],[3] Culture is still readily available and reasonably accurate, so clinicians continue to use it even though there are known significant limitations. Read More…

A stool culture is used to detect the presence of disease-causing microbes in our digestive tract. It is done by growing the microbes over a week’s time. Parasites are found by a lab tech digging through the stool sample looking for evidence of parasite carcasses or eggs.

Issues with Culture Testing

Do think that this lab tech is that into their job? This is why it takes a minimum of 3 culture/microscopic tests to find parasites. The other problem is 99% of the microbes in our digestive tracts are anaerobic. This means they can survive in air about as long as you can survive under water. After a weeks time the only thing left alive is the aerobic microbes and Candida. The difference between Culture and DNA tests are astounding. Culture test report Candida present more than 46% of the time, thus, the emphasis on Candida. While DNA tests report finding Candida in less than 3% of the tests.

Concerned about your Health?
Call today! 530-615-4083

Those that cheer the use of DNA testing to convict or exonerate someone of a crime will jeer the use of DNA testing showing Candida is not present in a person. It is the same test used on different species.

But I Felt Better (for a time) On the Candida Diet!!!

I’m sure you did. But why? Of the three diets below can you identify the Candida Diet?

Diet 1: Foods To Avoid

  •  The total carbohydrate intake per day is often limited. For example, during the initial two to three weeks on the diet, the carbohydrate intake may be restricted to less than 60 grams per day, depending on age, health, activity level, and the extent of food sensitivities. Low-carbohydrate foods such as meat, chicken, turkey, shellfish, non-starchy vegetables, and certain nuts are emphasized instead.
  •  This low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein and moderate-fat diet is focused on real foods. It is mainly refined foods, especially sweets, so a program based on whole foods, not more refined food products.
  • Eat only fresh and organic meat: beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, wild game, eggs

Diet 2: Foods To Avoid

  • No potatoes or simple sugars/carbohydrates (common table sugar, fructose, sweets, cookies, candy, ice cream, pastries, honey, fruit juice, soda pop, alcoholic beverages, etc.). Anything that tastes sweet (including artificial sweeteners and Stevia) should be avoided.
  • Almost no grain products (breads, pasta, cornbread, corn tortillas, crackers, popcorn, etc.) and no refined grains/carbohydrates (white flour products, white pasta, white rice, etc.).
  • Consume moderate amounts of leaner meats, seafood and fish. The best are wild fish, wild game, free-range chicken & turkey, range-fed beef, lamb, buffalo and naturally grown pork.

Diet 3: Foods To Avoid

  • Eliminate sugars found in breakfast cereals, desserts, candies, sugary drinks and baked goods, as well as starchy vegetables, such as corn, potatoes and yams. Foods made from gluten-containing grains, which include barley, rye and wheat, and are found in most breads, pasta and breakfast cereals, are off-limits.
  • Meats: all unprocessed meats are allowed: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, quail, ostrich, fish, shellfish, lamb, venison, rabbit. 

Can You Identify the Symptoms Associated With Candida?

acid reflux



afternoon blahs


auto-immune disorders



athlete’s foot

anxiety and/or anxiety disorders

chronic pain

adrenal fatigue

cognitive impairment

brain fog


breast, prostate or colon cancer

cravings for alcohol

chronic fatigue or low energy

cravings for sweets

compulsive overeating/food addiction


cravings for sugar and/or carbs


sugar and/or carb addiction




difficulty focusing or paying attention


excessive thirst

excessive fatigue

fatty liver and/or liver disease

gas and bloating


hormone imbalance

extra weight in belly


frequent urination


gas, bloating, indigestion


hormone imbalance

inability to think clearly or concentrate



high cholesterol

irritable bowel and other bowel disorders

high blood pressure


high triglycerides


inability to make decisions

learning difficulties

increased blood pressure

low blood sugar

irritable bowel and other bowel disorders

low sex drive

low sex drive


hypoglycemia or low blood sugar

mood swings

feelings of shakiness

muscle weakness

increased sweating or nausea

persistent cough

mental fatigue

PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome

mood swings

poor memory

PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome

POS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

poor memory and impaired learning abilities

rectal itching

POS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

sensitivity to fragrances and/or other chemicals

sleepiness after a meal

sleep apnea


weight gain

sleep apnea

weight gain

Candida     Diet 1

Insulin Resistance     Diet 2

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is Diet 3. Do you see the similarities? Are you confused? The reason you feel better on the Candida Diet is you are eating within your Carbohydrate Tolerance supporting your underlying Insulin Resistance.

As in the image above and to the right, a metamer occurs when different people will see different things when viewing a picture. In the Heels image, you were told it was a picture of shoes. You re-framed your interpretation. Not so, with the image on the right. No matter what you say you could be correct. 

What do you see?

What do you see?

The Medical Metamer

A Medical Metamer occurs when different diseases are diagnosed by different healthcare providers examining the same person.

To answer the question: Which is it? Candida or Insulin Resistance

The only way to know for certain is through lab testing. If you are not buying the Culture vs. DNA stool testing, you can settle it by doing both tests from the same stool sample. Let me know what the results are.

Blood analysis and the Metabolic/Neurotransmitter Assessment forms would also help determine if Insulin Resistance is a factor.

Metabolic Assessment / Neurotransmitter Assessment

  • M.A.F: Marks in Category VIII
  • N.A.F: Marks in Section C2

Blood Nutrition Analysis:

  • Increased Carbohydrate-degrading enzymes
  • Increased Blood Lipids: Cholesterol, Triglycerides, LDL, Low HDL, High Serum Glucose

If Microbial Overgrowth is occurring – The above listed markers with:

Metabolic Assessment / Neurotransmitter Assessment

  • M.A.F:Marks in Category II and III
  • Low or Normal Serum Glucose
  • High Neutrophils
  • Low Lymphocytes

Insulin Resistance + Flax Seed = INFLAMMATION

Plant Based EFAs

INFLAMMATION:  We all need it from time to time. As the response of living tissue to damage, it is a wonderful defense mechanism.  Physical trauma, an infectious agent, or an allergen invades a tissue. This is caused by an increase of circulation to the affected area, stimulated by body chemicals called mediators. When released, these chemicals cause small blood vessels adjacent to the area of the tissue damage to dilate. In fact, inflammation fuels most common diseases as well as autoimmune diseases. Inflammation of any type generates free radical production.  These unstable molecules wreak havoc, causing more tissue damage.  

Prostaglandins (PGs) are one group of hormone-like chemicals that regulate inflammation in tissues.  Specifically, PGE-2 tends to increase inflammatory processes, while PGE-1 and PGE-3 generally curb it.

Inflammation – activates and increases the expression of several proteins that suppress insulin-signaling pathways, making the human body less responsive to insulin and increasing the risk for insulin resistance.

Omega-6 fatty acids help maintain your brain function and regulate growth. Eating a diet that has a combination of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will lower your risk of developing heart disease. Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation are very popular. They are given carte blanche status as an anti-inflammatory. But with Insulin Resistance, plant-based EFAs become inflammatory.

Concerned about your Health?
Call today! 530-615-4083

Insulin resistance creates a condition in which the body cannot properly metabolize the plant-based EFAs in flax seed, borage, evening primrose, black current seed, chia, hemp, camelina and perilla.[4],[5] The fact is these normally beneficial EFAs are converted into pro-inflammatory compounds. While they may generically be good for you, plant-based EFAs may not be what you need.

Excessive insulin promotes inflammation

Too much insulin is one such factor.  Why?  A special enzyme, delta-5 desaturase, is necessary for the DGLA to stimulate arachidonic acid synthesis.  The delta5-desaturase desaturates these EFAs into arachidonic acid. Too much insulin increases this enzyme and therefore arachidonic acid production. The more arachidonic acid, the more PGE-2.

Dietary arachidonic acid and inflammation

Arachidonic acid is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that is involved in inflammation. Like other omega-6 fatty acids, arachidonic acid is essential to your health. Arachidonic acid in particular helps regulate neuronal activity.

Arachidonic Acid and Eicosanoids

Eicosanoids, derived from arachidonic acid, are formed when your cells are damaged or are under threat of damage. This stimulus activates enzymes that transform the arachidonic acid into eicosanoids such as prostaglandin, thromboxane and leukotrienes. Eicosanoids cause inflammation. Therefore, the more arachidonic acid that is present the greater capacity your body has to become inflamed. When the inflammatory cascade is active, cells begin to convert their arachidonic acid into prostaglandins. Aspirin puts a stop to this.[6] If you feel better with aspirin, the use of plant-based EFAs should be stopped. If you don’t notice any difference, the inflammation is beyond the aspirins capability.

This is the reason for eating moderate amounts of meat which a source of arachidonic acid. Under normal metabolic conditions, the increased consumption of arachidonic acid is unlikely to increase inflammation. Arachidonic acid is metabolized to both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecules.[7] Studies have shown healthy individuals for up to 50 days have shown no increases in inflammation or related metabolic activities.[8],[9],[10] This would cause you not to associate the increased inflammation with taking flax seed or other plant-based EFAs.

Arachidonic acid does still play a central role in inflammation related to injury and many diseased states. How it is metabolized in the body dictates its inflammatory or anti-inflammatory activity. Individuals suffering from joint pains or active inflammatory disease may find that increased arachidonic acid consumption or formation exacerbates symptoms, it is presumed because it is being more readily converted to inflammatory compounds. Likewise, high arachidonic acid consumption is not advised for individuals with a history of inflammatory disease, or that are in compromised health. The use of plant-based EFAs does not appear to have pro-inflammatory effects in healthy individuals. If your only source of EFAs is plant-based, it may counter the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.[11]

The Candida Diet with Flax Seed (Plant-based EFAs)


Therapeutic Diet for Insulin Resistance

Clinical nutrition using the Candida Diet with Plant-Based EFAs will fail. The dietary recommendations of CD will assist in maintaining your carbohydrate tolerance. This is the amount of carbohydrates the insulin resistance allows you to utilize. But the Plant-Based EFAs will perpetuate the inflammation causing the insulin resistance and other health conditions you are experiencing. Insulin resistance cannot be corrected by diet alone. There are several “MUST DO’s” for the person with insulin resistance to get better.

  • Eat within your carbohydrate tolerance
  • Exercise
  • Take nutritional compounds and supplements as directed
  • Follow your Functional Medicine physician’s recommendations
  • Contact your physician if you are experiencing problems

 The only way to know for certain is through lab testing. Candida does exist in a very small percentage of the population. It is easily treated. If you have any questions, please contact my office. 

Concerned about your Health?
Call today! 530-615-4083

[1] Finegold S, Sutter V, Mathisen G. Normal indigenous intestinal flora. New York: Academic Press; 1983.

[2] O’Sullivan DJ. Methods of analysis of the intestinal microflora. In: Tannock GW, ed. Probiotics: a critical review. Wymondham: Horizon Scientific Press; 1999:23-44.

[3] Tannock GW. Analysis of the intestinal microflora: a renaissance.

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. Jul-Nov 1999;76(1-4):265-278.

[4] Storlien LH, Kriketos AD, Calvert GD, Baur LA, Jenkins AB.Fatty acids, triglycerides and syndromes of insulin resistance. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1997 Oct;57(4-5):379-85.

[5] Brenner RR. Nutritional and hormonal factors influencing desaturation of essential fatty acids.

Prog Lipid Res. 1982;20:41-48.

[6] Basselin M, Ramadan E, Chen M, Rapoport SI. Anti-inflammatory effects of chronic aspirin on brain arachidonic acid metabolites. Neurochem Res. 2011 Jan;36(1):139-45. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

[7] Harris, WS; Mozaffarian, D; Rimm, E; Kris-Etherton, P; Rudel, LL; Appel, LJ; Engler, MM; Engler, MB et al. (2009). “Omega-6 fatty acids and risk for cardiovascular disease: a science advisory from the American Heart Association Nutrition Subcommittee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention”. Circulation 119 (6): 902–7.

[8] Nelson, GJ; Schmidt, PC; Bartolini, G; Kelley, DS; Kyle, D (1997). The effect of dietary arachidonic acid on platelet function, platelet fatty acid composition, and blood coagulation in humans. Lipids 32 (4): 421–5. doi:10.1007/s11745-997-0055-7. PMID 9113631.

[9] Wilborn, C, M Roberts, C Kerksick, M Iosia, L Taylor, B Campbell, T Harvey, R Wilson, M. Greenwood, D Willoughby and R Kreider. Changes in whole blood and clinical safety markers over 50 days of concomitant arachidonic acid supplementation and resistance training. Proceedings of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference June 15–17, 2006.

[10] Pantaleo, P; Marra, F; Vizzutti, F; Spadoni, S; Ciabattoni, G; Galli, C; La Villa, G; Gentilini, P et al. “Effects of dietary supplementation with arachidonic acid on platelet and renal function in patients with cirrhosis”. Clinical science (2004). 106 (1): 27–34.

[11] Li, B; Birdwell, C; Whelan, J (1994). “Antithetic relationship of dietary arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid on eicosanoid production in vivo”. Journal of lipid research 35 (10): 1869–77.

2 thoughts on “The Candida Diet

  1. Pingback: Rosacea – Hashimoto’s – Helicobacter pylori | Living Wellness

  2. Pingback: Autoimmunity – Is Your Immune System Being Hijacked? | Living Wellness

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