08 July, 2011
Yeast & Sugar Free Diet
People who suffer from candidiasis or frequent yeast infections sometimes try a yeast- and sugar-free diet in an attempt to limit their symptoms. This diet is sometimes called the candida diet, after the type of yeast it's meant to control. Don't rely on this diet in place of the treatment recommended by your doctor, as there isn't enough evidence to support this.
Foods to Eat
You can eat nonstarchy vegetables on this diet, with the exception of mushrooms, as well as any unprocessed meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Nuts and seeds are OK, with the exception of peanuts and perhaps pistachios, depending on the version of the diet you choose.
Some versions of the candida diet allow for gluten-free grains, such as oats, rice and millet, while others don't allow any grains. Likewise, some say it is fine to eat fresh and frozen fruits, with the exception of melons and dried fruits, while others don't allow any fruit.
Foods to Avoid
Many baked goods, fermented foods, cider, beer, wine, stocks and gravies, hydrolyzed protein, Quorn, monosodium glutamate and salad dressings with vinegar contain yeast and should be avoided. Aged cheeses, sour cream, dried fruit, buttermilk, yogurt, tofu, soy sauce, sauerkraut and overly ripe fruit also tend to contain at least some yeast.
You'll also need to avoid foods that contain any type of sugar, including honey and maple syrup as well as any ingredients that end in "ose." Don't drink alcohol, and limit processed foods. More strict versions of the diet have you avoid starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn, as well as most, if not all, dairy products.
Columbia University Health Services notes that the candida diet hasn't been tested for effectiveness in keeping your body's yeast levels in check. The University of Maryland Medical Center admits the potential for this diet to help people feel better but states that it isn't clear whether this is because it gets rid of yeast or because it causes people to eat healthier.
Limiting your sugar consumption may help you cut calories and reduce your weight and may also help lower your risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
The strictest versions of this diet aren't healthy to follow for a long time, as they restrict entire food groups, including fruits, grains and dairy products, making it hard to follow a balanced diet that provides all the essential nutrients. Speak with your doctor or registered dietitian to make sure that the yeast-free and sugar-free diet you choose provides the nutrients you need.
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