The Candida diet aims to control Candida albicans, a yeast in the human body that can cause infections when grown in excess. According to the Candida diet website, an overgrowth of Candida can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as an inability to focus, irritability, depression, digestive problems, bleeding gums, persistent cough, eye pain and a compromised immune system. The Candida diet prescribes a three-pronged approach to controlling Candida, including treatment with probiotics and antifungals and a low-sugar diet. Most fruit is prohibited on the Candida diet because it is a source of natural sugars. Discuss your condition with your doctor before using a diet to treat Candida overgrowth.
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Low-Sugar Diet Details
Candida feeds on sugars, notes the Candida diet website, which is why you're advised to cut sugars out of your diet. Although it's the added sugars in foods that are commonly demonized as being bad for your health, the Candida diet requires that you cut all sugars out of your diet, including those that come from healthy sources like fruits. You also have to avoid other natural sources of sugars such as honey, molasses, alcohol and most dairy products.
Fruits You Can Eat: 'Vegetables'
The only fruits you can eat on the Candida diet are those that are technically fruits but usually categorized as vegetables. These include tomatoes, avocados and olives. Most people don't consider these fruits because they're not sweet, but their low sugar content is why they're acceptable foods to eat. All other fruits -- fresh, dried and canned -- are off-limits because of their higher sugar content. Melon is off-limits both for its sugar content and because it may contain mold, which can worsen candida symptoms, according to the Candida diet website.
How Long the Diet Lasts
You don't have to avoid fruit forever, just until your symptoms are under control and your doctor gives the OK. The first recommended stage of the diet is a cleanse in which you eat primarily raw vegetable salads and steamed vegetables. No fruit is allowed in this stage, and it last for a few days. Then you move on to the Anti-Candida stage of the diet. This phase is less restrictive than the cleansing phase, but you still cannot have fruit. This phase of the diet can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
When You Can Eat Fruit Again
The amount of time you have to abstain from fruit depends on several factors. These include how bad your Candida infestation is, how effective the probiotics and antifungals you take are and how well you do at sticking to the diet. It's up to you when you want to add fruit back in to your diet, according to the Candida diet website. When you're feeling better and you think your condition is under control, add a few low-sugar fruits, such as green apples, to your diet and see how you feel. If your symptoms return, you know you need to go back to the strict fruit-free diet for a while.