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what is the candida diet

What is the candida diet?

23 Nov 2022 • 1 min read


Thrush is a common complaint, but no less uncomfortable and embarrassing for it. Candida causes thrush, and a candida diet aims to combat thrush before it develops. Proponents of the candida diet claim it restores the gut microbiota back to health by removing yeast from the diet.

Despite many people self-reporting that the diet helped their yeast infections, many medical professionals believe it’s more to do with adopting healthier eating practices.

In this article, we’ll look at every aspect of the candida diet, so you can decide if it’s right for you.

What is candida?

Candida is the human body’s most common fungus and is usually harmless.1 However, when candida overdevelops, it can cause yeast infections of the mouth and vagina, known as thrush.

Usually, thrush clears up in one to two days, after a course of antifungal medication.2 However, in some instances, thrush reoccurs and can negatively impact overall health. Persistent yeast infections have been associated with ailments, including chronic fatigue, inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcers.3,4

What is thrush? A guide for men & women

A guide covering all you need to know about thrush, including causes and symptoms.

What is the candida diet?

The candida diet involves eliminating all flour, yeast, and sugar from the diet. These are replaced with starch-free vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats. Most plans also encourage taking supplements alongside to discourage yeast growth.

Many scientists dispute the efficacy of the candida diet. Still, a recent study has revealed that certain sugars and carbohydrates encourage yeast proliferation.5 Another recent study proposed that increases in candida globally is due to increased consumption of carbohydrates.6

Dieticians who advocate the candida diet advise following the plan for six weeks, as that’s enough time to reset your gut’s microbiome.7 Be advised that if you have any medical conditions, please consult with your doctor before adopting the candida diet. It’s a highly restrictive diet which eliminates carbohydrates, a major food group.

When you first adopt the candida diet, you may experience symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and headaches. This is because the body’s entering a ketogenic state as it starts to burn fat now there are no carbohydrates in your system.8

Candida diet plan

While on a candida diet, you’re advised to cook with lean proteins, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and leafy green vegetables. You should not consume more than 60g of carbohydrates each day.

Foods to enjoy on the candida diet include:

  • Wild fish
  • Organic, grass-fed beef
  • Free-range chicken
  • Free-range eggs
  • Leafy greens, like watercress, kale and spinach
  • Cruciferous vegs, like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage
  • Spices
  • Ginger
  • Berries
  • Fresh herbs
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado

Foods to avoid on the candida diet include:

  • Bread
  • Flour-based products like pizza, bagels and pretzels
  • Artificially sweetened foods including chocolate, sweets and ice cream
  • Vinegar
  • Mushrooms
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol
  • Probiotic food sources, like yoghurt, kombucha and kimchi

Candida diet proponents recommend taking supplements including berberine, caprylic acid, and activated charcoal to support you during your elimination diet.9

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 06 May 2021

What to eat to beat candida

A more in-depth guide of how you can adjust your diet to both prevent and get rid of candida. 



Author: Bhupesh PanchalSenior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

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