The Candida diet food list....
Don't worry, it will sound difficult but it's not as bad as you think......!
Unless you have candida very mildly these are the foods you need to avoid for the first 3 months at least when following the candida diet.
However, everyone is different and will be able to introduce things back into their diet at different times! Basically, depending on the severity of the candida infection, some people will take longer to heal than others so will have to wait longer before reintroducing the problem foods.
Once you are on the diet you will very quickly clean out your system and recognise when your body has a reaction.
The candida diet food list can look pretty daunting, but there are alternatives which can be found easily which I discuss below!
Foods to avoid
- All Fermented products - Alcohol, Vinegar, Rice Wine, Soya Sauce etc includes mayonaise (can make your own without vinegar), salad cream, tomato ketchup etc
- Wheat (some candida sufferers need to cut out all gluten products)
- Cow's dairy products (again some candida sufferers have to cut out all dairy)
- Yeast - this is in loads of processed foods that you wouldn't expect as well as breads
- All types of sugar and sweetenters (this includes malt, syrups, honey, fructose (in the early stages) and molasses)
- Dried fruit - they have a very high fructose content
- Most fruits - the best to include to start with are grapefruit, apples, kiwis (loads of vitamiin C) and all berries ie strawberries, raspberries, blue berries etc)
- Fruit juice - except lemons and limes which are actually anti fungal as well as full of vitamin C
- Any naturally mouldy foods such as blue cheese (even if it is goats cheese!)
- As many chemicals, food additives and preservatives as you can especially monosodium glutamate
- Caffine (it is in tea, coffee and chocolate)
The main problem is that many of these foods are hidden in many ready made and processed foods. You really need to check every label as particularly yeast extract and whey (from milk) are used widely in many ready made products.
Tomatoes can also be a problem with some sufferers, however, myself and a friend who had candida could both eat tomatoes. You might find fresh ones are ok but tinned cause a problem. (Tinned can often cause a problem because they have Citric Acid in them. This is a chemical that is grown on a yeast base and then added.)
I have to say, if you can eat tomatoes it certainly broadens your recipe range and makes dishes more interesting! These are foods that are anti fungal and will help kill off the candida:
- Raw garlic
- Onions (raw if possible)
- Olive oil (uncooked)
- Aloe vera drinking Gel (not juice)
- Freshly squeezed Lemon and lime juice
- Natural Goats probiotic yoguart
One of the main things I want to give you and others on the candida diet is a list of foods that you can eat. I also want to help you know where to get them to make it easier for you to start and maintain the candida diet. When I started the diet it would have been so much easier if I had been given this list. Instead, it took at least a couple of years to find allowable products!
We scoured many shop shelves in both supermarkets and health food shops before we had a good list to draw from to keep the diet easy and simple to maintain. I must say that in the process of trying things I tasted some pretty awful things too....!
Foods that are really good:
- Whole grain brown rice (it does takes longer to cook.) I found that I was cooking and eating so much brown rice and feeling so much better for it that I bought a rice cooker. With these you can cook your rice and don't need to watch it. They cook the rice just right and they keep it warm for a couple of hours so you can just put it on and forget about it! To take a look at a good one that I can recommend click here. Just an extra note that if you do get one and want to cook brown rice you need to add a 1/4 more water than the cooker says as the brown rice will be under cooked if you don't.
- Humus (has raw garlic and olive oil in it if home made)
- Rice milk (is naturally sweet so can use it on unsweetened breakfast cereal to give it that sweet taste, I have included more info below)
Alternative foods that can be bought to make your life easier, and where to get them in the UK!
- Ryvita, Rice cakes and oat cakes (Nairns brand are really nice) so that you have something to spread when you have cravings for bread! or need a really quick lunch (easy to get as they are sold in all supermarkets)
- Pure which is a dairy free spread that is great and sold in most supermarkets in the UK
- Humus - You can buy this ready made, but you do need to check the ingredients (Tesco's is the best tasting and has only what you are allowed in it). Check the other versions like roasted red pepper humus as they are a great dip depending what is in them. They are also great with salads as you can't have salad cream or mayonaise (unless you make homemade)
- To go with the humus you can get plain Kettle chips as a treat and plain tortillas (however, do check each brand as some still have loads of rubbish in them!)
- Great news is that plain ready salted hoola hoops, walkers crisps and most own brand ready salted crisps do not have monosodium glutamate in them so are great as treats and in lunches if you crave crisps
- Peanut butter - I was fine with peanuts but some people fine the mould that can grow on them affects them. If you can eat them then you can get 'whole earth' peanut butter which has no sugar in it from tesco's and some other stores. However, you can also go to a health food store and get a brand like 'meridian' with no sugar added (it is great to have on ryvita or oat cakes as a quick treat or for breakfast
- 'Whole Earth' Baked beans (the only canned baked beans with no sugar and only sweetened with apple juice). Waitrose are the only supermarket to stock them or you could get them at a good health food shop
- Strawberry jam with no sugar (it only has fruit) you would need to get this from a health food shop initially as the only one in the shops has added grape juice which might be too much for you during the first 3 months of the diet
- Yeast Free/Gluten free stock cube (from Kallo in a yellow Packet) sold in most supermarkets but it might be in the 'free from' section or with the other stock cubes. A quick update on this is that recently I have struggled to find this, however, I have found one by the Anthony Warrell Thompson range that is gluten free and yeast free
- Goats or Sheeps cheese (the best is Osuau Iraty sheeps cheese (sold in waitrose, Co-op and Tescos (who are the cheapest) - it is expensive but it is worth it to have a cheese that tastes and melts like cows cheese
- Jacket potatoes- If you have a microwave at work these are a life saver - you can have with goats or sheeps cheese, whole earth beans, left over chillie or spagetti bolognaise or just a quick can of tuna if you are in a rush
- Gluten free pasta - available in most supermarkets. However, if your candida infection is severe you might need to go to a health food shop and get the orgran range. It is more expensive but they only use rice and millet flour and water with nothing else. The best that cook easily are the spirals as they don't need to be watched constantly to make sure they don't stick together. They make great easy evening meals but also make great cold pasta salads for lunch. (I always cook enough for the next day. You have to immediately run the ones you want cold under a cold tap until they are completely cold and then toss them in a little olive oil)
- 'Orgran' Gluten free, yeast free bread and pizza base mix (before I could eat yeast again this was a life saver to have something that tasted like bread and a pizza!)
- Gluten Free sausages - the best sausages are either 'Blackfarmer' sausages that can be found at Morrison's, Tesco's and Co-op, or Co-op have now introduced a Truly Irresistible range of sausages that are all gluten free. Waitrose do their own gluten free brand which are also really nice. Alternatively, you could go to your local butcher and they will make up some for you (They do my gluten free sausage meet for Christmas too!) but that is the more expensive option.
- Gluten free burgers - most of the supermarkets stock gluten free but you need to check whether they are yeast free. Morrisons do their own 100% Gluten and yeast free beefburgers. Alternatively you could, like the sausages, get your local butcher to make you some up - expensive but really nice! Or make your own.
- Gluten free fish fingers - Sainsburys do their own brand in the free from section. You will need to check the other ingredients and watch out for yeast in the first months of the diet. Alternatively you should be able to go to a Health Food Shop to get some.
- Garlic Puree - it is really best to cook with raw garlic as it's much more potent but most supermarkets sell the GiA brand in a tube. It only has one preservative in and is great if you really need to do a quick pasta meal.
- Tinned tomatoes Not everyone can tolerate these, but if you can they can be a problem to find. As stated earlier, nearly every brand has citric acid in them which is grown on a yeast culture. However, Sainsbury's brand of 'So Organic' has no citric acid in them. You can also use tomato passata in sauces. These are sieved tomatoes. The organic ones like Neapolitan and other brands often are just tomatoes and nothing else.
- Chocolate! Really this is a no no, however, if you really crave a little then 'Holex' is a really good brand that do a dark chocolate that is dairy free and only sweetened with fructose that if I was desperate (but still only after the first 3 months) I would nibble one piece really slowly! I did try carob but without sugar, it really isn't that good! You can get carob powder to make a type of hot chocolate drink with vanilla rice dream. You can also melt a carob bar with no sugar and add a little fructose to it to make a chocolate sauce for a treat (I make my own gluten free sugar free profiteroles, put double goats cream in the center then cover them with a little melted 'holex' chocolate for a real treat!
- Goats Cream- this is really nice when you really need a treat for pudding. St Helen's Farm who supply many of the supermarkets with Goats milk also make this. However, the cream is only supplied to some Waitrose stores. I had to go to their website and check which stores stocked it! I think I might have had to ring them but it was worth it.
- Goats Yogurt Probiotic goats yoguart is really good for the bowel and starts to replace your own bodies natural gut flora. Most supermarkets sell St Helen's Farm brand which is great.
- Dairy Free Ice Cream - this is really a no no for the first 3 months at least as it has too much fructose in it. When you can eat it 'swedish glace' make one with fructose syrup that I tollerated a little of quite quickly. You can get this in most supermarkets. However, it is better to stick to the vanilla flavour, as though the others are lovely, they have more sugar in them and are harder to get hold of too.
- Rice dream This is a white drink made from pressed rice - I got the vanilla flavour and found it sweet to start with but quickly got to enjoy it and it was particularly good to have on unsweetened breakfast cereal.
- Uncle Bens boil in the bag brown rice this is always a must in my cupboard as it only takes 10 minutes to cook - especially it we have chillie and the rest of the family are having pittas!
Ham and bacon are the 2 things that I still ate even though you cannot buy them without preservatives. You still need to check them carefully for no wheat, dairy, honey or sugar but including them really diversifies your diet.
However, people with Irritable Bowel or candida, can often be intolerant to the nitrates and nitrites that are in bacon and most pork meats so just be wary. Once you start improving, you will start to notice your bowel reacts only sometimes and this can indicate there is an intolerance to certain foods that you will need to cut out.
You just need to be aware of what you have eaten so that you can make the connection. The main leading brands for products that candida suffers can usually eat:
'Whole Earth', 'Meridian' and 'Doves Farm'
The main problem that candida sufferers have is that they crave the things that the yeast loves but they have to them cut out. In fact this is one of the very strong indicators that you do have a candida yeast infection if you crave bread, pasta, sweets and chocolate.
The next issue I had, was how do I replace these with foods that are quick and easy and I like!
So, The best thing to do is to split your food up into meals and decide what to eat for at least the first couple of weeks for each meal and buy it before you start. (Don't buy too much as if you really dislike an alternative food you don't want to waste too much money.)
However, do know that after the cravings have passed your palate for food begins to change and you really learn to taste and like fresh clean tasting foods that have no chemical flavourings in them and those sorts of foods will taste overpowering and salty.
Many people worry about cooking from fresh ingredients if they are not used to cooking. I have a page on helpful tips when you first start to cook candida recipes here which could help you, particularly if you do not normally cook from scratch. From this page I will also be including links to candida recipes (only one up at the moment!) that are simple and easy to cook.
One of the best and most helpful recipe books I used loads was 'Cooking Without' by Barbara Cousins
To also help you get started I have also listed below some basic ideas for breakfast and lunch:
- Porridge either made with rice dream (is sweeter) or goats milk
- Unsweetend rice crispies with rice milk - you will have to get these from a good independant health food shop
- Homemade musli - can mix oats and barley with nuts and have it with rice dream
- Nature's Earth cornflakes (they are sweetened with grape juice so I wouldn't have these for at least the first 3 months)
- Jacket Potatoes are a life saver with cheese, tuna or chillie
- Pasta salad using cold Gluten free pasta with tuna, salad, herbs, olive oil and salmon etc
- Cold new potatoes with a mixture of salads
- Ryvita or oat cakes with cheese or ham
Please do feel free to contact me if you have any question about what I have or haven't covered. I would encourage you to look at other pages on the website that might either affect you or help you. Those include, properties of Aloe Vera -can it help?, probiotics, and cooking hints and recipes for the candida diet.
Return to understanding your irritable bowel syndrom home page
Visit Candida diet the basics page
Return or visit the Candida symptoms page