Dr Michael Lebowitz DC
Edited by Amy Zalbowitz CNT
ANTI-FUNGAL DIET (Candida diet) - REMOVE CANDIDA -YEAST AND SWEETENING FREE
To assist in the restoration of normal flora in the body, avoidance of certain foods for a period of time is essential. Theses include all sweetening (except stevia extract), juice, dried fruit, vinegar, alcohol, fermented soy products (miso, tempeh, and soy sauce), cheese and yeast. These pages have some ideas you can tailor to meet your specific needs. Please strictly avoid all of these foods for at least 2 weeks.
(See bottom of the page for explanation of “sweetening”)
Understanding Your Diet
This diet is designed to decrease stress to your immune system by avoiding foods that stimulate the growth of fungus and yeast. Temporarily abstaining allows your immune system to strengthen and affords healing. Be sure to get plenty of fiber and water to aid your body’s detoxifying systems. This helps lower the total toxic load that your body must deal with daily.
There are several reasons to avoid the specific foods while on the diet. Simple sugars are the primary nutrients of yeast. Therefore we limit their intake, effectively weakening the yeast/fungi, while allowing your body and the supplements time to work more effectively. Fruit juices contain high amounts of sugars as do dried fruits. Vinegar, soy sauce and other products that are fermented should be avoided because they also contain yeast and molds to which your body may react.
Understanding the Changes
The human body is truly “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Even though there are many similarities between individuals, we have found a great variety of responses to our nutritional care program. Some patients see results within hours, others progress slowly and still others get worse before they get better. We cannot predict how you will respond; therefore, be patient, remember you did not get sick in a day.
Once care has begun, in some cases of yeast/fungal dysbiosis, there is a “die-off” reaction as organisms begin to die and are eliminated from the body. This may cause you to feel foggy, tired, or irritable or cause headaches. Also, bowel changes may occur and/or your skin may breakout. There may be symptoms as you eliminate foods from your diet. Not only do we ingest harmful substances such as alcohol and nicotine but the organisms present in you body can also produce harmful chemicals such as alcohols and aldehydes. In one case, a patient’s blood alcohol was 0.2 (drunkenness in most states is 0.1) without having had anything to drink. The yeast/fungi in his system, just like in a brewery, were making alcohol. Therefore, as the yeast/fungi and other microbes die there are varied changes in a person’s mental and physical state.
The phenomenon of layering is something we observe with patients on this program. Like peeling the layers off of an onion, we often find that we must resolve one problem before another can be addressed. Therefore, the supplements you take may change and how you feel may change. One layer may be dealt with easily while a subsequent layer may be very challenging. Often there will be changes in your emotions as well, don’t be surprised by unexpected ups and downs. Just as we explain getting well is like peeling an onion, we can explain getting sick like an oyster making a pearl. One small grain of sand serves as the irritant that the oyster builds upon, layer upon layer. Your problem may have begun very small and simply but has now become large and complex.
What to Expect When You Improve Your Diet
As you move toward better eating habits you will be incorporating more foods that are closer to their natural state. These foods are higher in enzymes, vitamins and minerals and build healthier tissues. In addition it would be beneficial to omit harmful substances such as sugar, coffee, tea and tobacco.
This process does not always occur without repercussions. Your body becomes accustomed to stimulants like sugar, caffeine and nicotine. When these substances are discontinued withdrawal symptoms often occur. You may experience physical and emotional changes as the heart and nervous system calm down and function without artificial stimulation.
As you continue to eat better, the body may begin a process called “retracing”. This is rare but happens on occasion. Your body starts dumping out all the old toxins, whether from food, pollutants, and/or stress, starting with the most recent. For example, people who have past skin rashes and eruptions will often eliminate poisons through the skin with new rashes and eruptions. Some individuals may experience colds and/or flu. Other symptoms include: constipation, diarrhea, lack of energy, nervousness, irritability, depression and frequent urination.
Generally, how you treated your body previously determines the severity of the cleansing process. The great majority of patients find their reactions more than tolerable because of the many improvements they experience concurrently.
Do not expect that you are riding on an ascending escalator to health, that you will feel better and better each day until perfection is reached. This does happen frequently but some cases are more gradual and some are more rollercoaster like as they improve.
Understanding the Supplements
The supplements you are taking fall into two broad categories: those that provide something lacking and those that aid the body in ridding itself of harmful organisms and substances. These are NOT medications, prescriptions, or drugs. They are natural food supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, etc.
Generally, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids make up the first category. These are important in the functioning of every system of your body from muscle contraction to digesting food. They serve as coenzymes in most chemical processes, help make up the cell walls, are essential ingredients in hormones and bind-up toxic metals. For example, vitamin C has been shown to maintain the connective tissue between cells and the strength of the cell walls. Because viruses attack at these sites it has been concluded that vitamin C aids the body’s ability to fight off viruses.
Vitamin and mineral needs can far exceed the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in times of stress, disease, chemical exposure and other situations. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is helpful in these situations as well as helping correct food allergies, toxic metal sensitivities, migraine headaches, inhalant allergies, restoring the immune system and improving overall health.
The second category of supplements is herbs, amino acids, fiber, enzymes and other natural chemicals. These supplements aid in increasing immune system function so as to aid the body in ridding itself of yeast/fungi overgrowth, pathogens (bad bacteria and viruses) and parasites. Herbs have been used for hundreds of years by many cultures for these same purposes. Some supplements actually bind to toxic chemicals and/or metals and are then eliminated by the body. Others provide enzymes to aid in digestion or fiber to aid in bowel function, etc.
Supplements cause few if any side effects because of their natural form. There is concern with taking some of these products while pregnant. Please talk to your doctor if you think you may be pregnant or if you are planning to be.
We have spoken about detoxification and the concept of total toxic load. We are constantly bombarded by toxins from our environment. Our bodies have many mechanisms and pathways for ridding themselves of these toxins including the liver, lungs, bowels, kidneys and perspiration. Problems begin if the total amount of toxins (total toxic load) exceeds the body’s ability to get rid of them. This can occur because of poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, overuse or over exposure to chemicals and lack of essential nutrients needed to detoxify along with genetic weaknesses. Our program is designed to allow the body to “catch up”. Changes in diet, supplements, exercise and decreasing exposure to the problem areas found in our exam all aid the immune system in healing.
To a large degree we are unable to control many things in our environment that are harmful to us. Therefore, we must focus on those things we can impact. For example, aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say that because of aluminum’s prevalence in the environment we cannot affect our largest exposure to it. So we must limit our exposure where we can by limiting our use of aluminum cookware, aluminum cans, antacids containing aluminum, antiperspirants and deodorants containing aluminum and baking powders containing aluminum. This is a good example of adapting to what we call a detoxification lifestyle.
Other helpful components in the lifestyle include a good diet which supplies optimal amounts of good fats, proteins and carbohydrates, lots of fiber and plenty of pure water (at least eight, eight ounce glasses per day). Also include regular exercise, three or four times per week and a minimum of 20 minutes of sunlight each day. By taking responsibility when you can and not worrying about the remainder, you can increase your health, vitality and mental well-being.
ANTI-FUNGAL DIET - YEAST AND SWEETENING FREE
To assist in the restoration of normal flora in the body, avoidance of certain foods for a period of time is essential. Theses include all sweetening (except stevia extract), juice, dried fruit, vinegar, alcohol, fermented soy products (miso, tempeh, and soy sauce), cheese and yeast. These pages have some ideas you can tailor to meet your specific needs.
Grains, Yeast Free:
Think whole grains: Oats, millet, teff, quinoa, rice, wheat, rye, buckwheat, etc
Pasta: Look for the whole grain variety.
Tortilla or Burrito Shells: READ LABELS (some may contain vinegar). See recipe for yeast free pita.
Muffins or Biscuits: Homemade or READ LABELS. If using a leavening try baking soda or a non-aluminum baking powder such as Rumford w/out aluminum. See recipes.
Waffles or Pancakes: Homemade or READ LABELS
Sourdough Breads: May be acceptable. Check labels and avoid ones with added yeast or sweetening*.
Essene Bread: This product is made from whole grains that are sprouted then ground. This process breaks down the starches into simple carbohydrates and sugars and makes the grain naturally sweet. Essene bread is a dense loaf that is sugar and yeast free. Some do contain dried fruit and must be avoided.
Crackers: WASA Lite Rye lists no yeast or sugar as does Ryvita Toasted Sesame. READ LABELS.
Corn Tortillas: Read ingredients as some have hydrogenated fats and preservatives.
Puffed Cereals: There is a nice variety of grains (corn, millet, wheat, rice, Kasha blend, quinoa, etc) that can be found in natural food stores to replace breakfast cereal.
Brown Rice Snaps: Edward and Son’s and Sesmark are two varieties. Check natural food stores but read labels to make sure there is no soy sauce or miso listed.
Corn Chips: Try the baked varieties and make sure they have no yeast (torula, nutritional, etc.). Stay away from hydrogenated oils in the fried varieties. You can also brush corn tortillas with salt water, cut and bake at 300 degrees till crisp. READ LABELS
*Sources for sourdough bread: NOKOMIS 1-800-367=0358 and FRENCH MEADOW
1-877-No Yeast. Many other brands are also available at health food stores.
SWEETENING FREE SUBSTITUTES:
Stevia: This natural sweetener is allowed.
Fresh fruit: We do not limit fresh fruit. For a frozen treat, freeze any good ripe fruit or buy unsweetened berries or other fruit in the frozen food section. Put a small amount of ripe juicy fruit into the blender (oranges, peaches, papaya, etc) and blend till smooth. Then add small pieces of frozen fruit, keeping blender on high till it is thick. Serve with a spoon or straw. A bit of fresh mint blended into drink can be refreshing. You can also pour this mix into Popsicle molds and freeze.
Substitutes: Cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, carob powder, cinnamon, bananas, apples and other fruits can be used to help sweeten muffins, biscuits, and some sauces.
Toppings for Biscuits, Waffles or Cereal: Mashed banana, plain or with another fruit like strawberries makes a good sauce. Unsweetened applesauce, plain or with other fruit added, is a nice spread on sourdough bread, pancakes or waffles. Try blended banana and water for a creamy ‘milk’ over unsweetened cereal or add some cashews or other nuts to add protein and fat.
Meats: Many meats are cured or processed with sugar. Buy unprocessed meats and cook from scratch. READ LABELS
Milks: If you are not sensitive to regular milk it may be used as can unsweetened soy and rice milk. Read labels.
FERMENTED FOODS ALTERNATIVES
Lemon Juice: replacement for vinegar
Bragg’s Liquid Amino: a non-fermented sauce made entirely from soy beans to replace soy sauce which is fermented
Sauerkraut: and allowable food if not allergic to cabbage and salt. READ LABEL to make sure there is no added vinegar
Pickles: Bubbies, Hebrew National, and several other varieties which are genuine kosher are vinegar free, in salt brine. Castle Rock Pickles are in lemon juice brine.
- Think whole foods
- Think simple
- Sit down and write out a 4-6 day meal plan: E.g. Breakfast: oatmeal and fresh or cooked fruit. Lunch: split pea soup/raw veggies/crackers or corn chips. Dinner: fish or seasoned beans/salad/cooked rice. Baked apple for dessert.
- READ LABELS: try and make things from scratch
- Drink lots of water. Grapefruit, tomato, and lemon juice are allowed if not allergic.
- Get outside for a walk.
- Get enough rest: You are detoxing and your body is working overtime.
SUGAR - All to be avoided, these include:
Sucrose: Usually in a crystalline form, from cane and beets. Double sugar composted of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose.
Raw sugar: A course, granulated solid obtained from evaporation of sugarcane juice. Raw sugar is approximately 96-98% sucrose covered by a thin film of molasses. FDA regulations prohibit the sale of ‘true’ raw sugar unless impurities are removed. SUCANAT is a brand name now available in granulated form that has more of the vitamins and minerals remaining.
Turbinado sugar: Has gone through some refining process that removes most of the molasses.
Brown sugar: Sugar crystals in a molasses syrup with natural flavor and color though some refiners make brown sugar by simply adding syrup to white sugar. 91-96% sucrose.
Total invert sugar: An equal mixture of glucose and fructose.
Honey: An invert sugar formed by an enzyme from nectar gathered by bees.
Corn syrups: Corn syrup, particularly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is cheap to produce. Contains a good deal of "free" or unbound fructose.
Fructose: Also known as levulose. A commercial sugar, sweeter than sucrose. Found in fruits and honey.
Dextrose: Also known as glucose or corn sugar. Made commercially from starch by the action of heat and acids or enzymes. Often sold blended with regular sugar.
Lactose: Also known as milk sugar. This is usually found in homeopathic pills.
Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol: Sugar alcohols derived from sugar molecules. Though they may be used in place of sugar by most people on a low-carbohydrate diet or who have diabetes, it is best to avoid at this time as they may act as "trigger foods," causing sugar cravings or binges. Over-consumption may produce a laxative effect. For more information see: http://www.ific.org/publications/factsheets/sugaralcoholfs.cfm
maple syrup: Boiled-down sap of maple trees. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
molasses: Made from 100% pure, natural sugarcane juices, clarified, reduced, and blended.
Barley Malt: Derived from a natural process that sprouts and then heats and dries barley. Maltose: Sprouted grains and cooked rice heated and fermented until starch turns to sugar.
Date Sugar: Made from dehydrated ground dates. Does not dissolve well in liquids.
Fruit Juice Concentrates: Made from the juice of fruit that has been reduced about one quarter by slow cooking.
Agave Nectar: Low glycemic sweetener made from the agave plant.
Stevia is allowable on anti-fungus diets (make sure they do not contain maltodextrin or any other sweeteners), artificial sweeteners are not allowed