Candida Diet Approved Sweeteners

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When starting a Candida diet or even when a person wants to eat a healthier diet, I always get questions concerning which sweeteners are a good choice:

  • Can I have honey?
  • Okay, I’m giving up sugar but is there something else that I can use as a substitute?
  • Will an artificial sweetener make Candida yeast grow?

The good news is there are some good options but first I will share the sweeteners you’ll want to avoid.  Even if you aren’t on a Candida/Yeast clearing program this information is beneficial for everyone. Sugar in excess in anyone’s diet is a hazard to your health.  

The No No’s

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is at the top of that ‘NO’ list as far as I’m concerned. This means no commercial sodas — which all contain HFCS.

There has been a flurry of interest in a cactus-based sweetener called agave nectar, because of its low glycemic index (which means it does not cause a spike in your blood sugar levels like honey or sugar might.) Unfortunately, agave is a processed food, and it has a higher fructose level than HFCS (57% to 90%). It does have a low glycemic number, but its use can actually create insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II diabetes over time.

Artificial sweeteners are also on my “NO” list. Beware of the phrases “Sugar-Free” or “No Sugar Added” (commonly seen in baked goods, like pies). This is code that the product is sweetened artificially with products like Sweet ‘n Low (saccharin), Splenda (sucralose), aspartame, etc.). Though you will hear much controversy regarding these products the studies on the ‘positive’ side most likely will be funded by the industry that manufactures the artificial sweetener.  Several interesting studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are counter-productive for weight loss because they actually trigger the desire for sweets — without satisfying it.  That’s the last thing you need!

Makeup of Sugar

The newest studies on regular sugar show that it’s fructose that is the biggest problem. Table sugar (sucrose) is made up of 2 sugars called glucose and fructose in roughly equal parts. Honey is 70% fructose and though it has some healthful properties it should be avoided when on a Candida diet and used in moderation for most people.

If you get most of your sugar from natural sources like fruits and vegetables you are going to be okay, especially if you take a quality probiotic supplement because the sugar from these foods won’t interfere with the action of the probiotic. If you want sweetener in your coffee, tea or lemonade then there are some much healthier choices than those on the ‘no’ list above.

Acceptable Sweeteners on the Candida Diet

Sugar Alcohols

Xylitol and Erythritol are from an interesting family of sweeteners called ‘sugar alcohols’. The body processes them in a completely different way than it does sugar. In fact, the body doesn’t really see them as sugars and mostly won’t digest them. In large quantities, they can cause diarrhea and/or gas but in small quantities, they can make a nice sugar substitute, with the side benefit that they don’t promote tooth decay. In fact, Xylitol is antibacterial and anti-fungal.

There are many different sugar alcohols but Erythritol and Xylitol are my first choice. The others you see (all ending in -itol) are cheaper to make: forms like sorbitol, mannitol, etc. Erythritol and Xylitol (choose sources made from birch instead of corn) can be found in your health food store or online and is close to being as sweet as sugar.

Recommended brands that are made from 100% Pure Birch Xylitol:  Xyla, SmartSweet, Morning Pep, and DureLife.

*Important note: Sugar alcohols are NOT safe for animals.

SteviaSweeteners to Avoid & To Use on Candida Diet | Stevia | Natural Health Answers

One last and probably the best natural sweetener to use is Stevia. This plant-based sweetener is available at your health food store or online. This is a very good sweetener but it does have a bit of an aftertaste that some don’t like. It will depend on the brand you buy just how much or little of an aftertaste there is. The purer the processing of the plant (using just the leaves and not stems for instance) the better it will taste. I use SweetLeaf Stevia because to me it has no bitter aftertaste.

The food industries are starting to patent various forms of Stevia which are reduced to just the sweetest compound chemicals of the Stevia plant. Truvia is one you might see; another is PureVia. Although these manufactured sweeteners start with the Stevia plant, they add additional ingredients and processes so they can patent their products. I recommend you avoid these and stick with the natural forms of Stevia.  
 

 

Here’s a handy chart to use for Stevia to Sugar conversions in your recipes:

 

Stevia Conversion Chart | Candida Diet | Natural Health Answers

 

Looking for a sweet treat that’s Candida Diet approved? Check out my delicious Coconut Cupcakes recipe which uses only a candida diet approved sweeteners.

If you have insulin issues, you should avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin (insulin resistance).

I hope this has helped you have at least a fairly sweet life despite having to fight off Candida overgrowth. Don’t be discouraged: the good news is that as you get the Candida under control, your craving for sweets will become much less. Hang in there, steady and focused wins the race.

Keep taking your preventative supplements and eating the recommended foods and stay ahead of the yeast’s attempts to come back. 

 

 

Reader Feedback:  Have you tried Xylitol, Erythritol or Stevia yet?   If so, how did you like them?

 

 

33 Comments on Candida Diet Approved Sweeteners

    • If you have Candida overgrowth I would recommend avoiding coconut sugar as it is still a sugar and will feed Candida yeast.

  1. I have tried Erythritol, stevia and xylitol. They all have a horrible aftertaste! Is there anything else that I can use as a sweetener?

    Thank you, Marie

    • Have you tried Sweet Leaf stevia? That one for me has the least aftertaste. Also if you’re used to regular sugar there is going to be a transition phase for your taste buds to get used to the other types of sweeteners. Another one you may want to try is Lakanto that has Erythritol and Monk Fruit Extract and is has a zero glycemic index and according to Donna Gates does not feed Candida. It didn’t agree with my body but it has gotten great reviews from a lot of people.

    • I read someone said they blend the erythritol, xylitol and it’s not so bad. I know your taste buds need to be given time to adjust…it’s not easy…but they will eventually stop rebelling and adjust.

  2. Is it possible to every once in a while have a bite of sugar free cake and even sugar free frosting. it’s made with Splenda.they sell it at the market says sugar free but has sugar alcohol? . I’ve been on the candida diet for 2 months now went through die off for a week now I’m on antifungal nyastatin feeling good just don’t want to ruin my mojo.

    • I would say that you have to see how you feel after eating something sugar-free. If you don’t have digestive distress like gas, bloating and/or diarrhea, skin issues or headaches, etc. then it may be something you can eat once in a while. Another thing to watch is if you start having sugar/sweet cravings then this is a sign that these foods may not work for you until you get to the root of the cravings. I, personally, don’t recommend Splenda since it’s not the healthiest of options when eating sugar-free. Can you try some of the sweeteners suggested above instead? Have you tried my delicious Coconut Cupcake recipe yet? Enjoy!

  3. Hi what do you think about inullin(fos) ?
    actually iullin(fos) incuded in stevia sweetner(like Sweet Leaf stevia)
    but inullin has fructose (I think fructose more harmful than glucose)

    • I only use and recommend SweetLeaf products that are just Stevia. The clients I work with are so sensitive to additives that I suggest they avoid them and that includes inulin.

  4. Xyla is pretty amazing! Tastes almost exactly like sugar, but can be overly sweet if you use too much of it. We put it in our homemade ice cream and it’s delicious. The only drawback is that the ice cream doesn’t freeze as well, so you have to eat the whole batch right away 🙂

  5. I have a brownie recipe that is part of the Palo diet. It’s Candida friendly with the exception of 1/2C honey. Is there any ingredient similar to honey that I can use on the candida cleanse?

    • I have yet to find a liquid sweetener that is safe for the Candida diet. If anyone has please chime in. I use Erythritol in all my baking so you could give it a try and see if it works in your recipe. It does take some experimenting to see if the substitutions will work in different recipes. Sometimes it’s a flop and other times it’s a home run. You could also search for a brownie recipe that is sugar-free and uses an approved sweetener like xylitol, erythritol or stevia as the sweetener. Best of luck in your baking adventures!

      • Have you heard of Sukrin Fiber Syrup Alternative? I’m wanting to try it unless someone already has and it’s a no go. Sukrin does a lot of the erythritol sugar substitutes so I’m hoping that it can be added to the list candida safe sweetners!

        • Hi Amy, I don’t know enough about this product to comment. I will look into it some more and see if it would be a safe alternative for those on a Candida diet. Please let us know how it goes if you try it.

  6. I have a yeast overgrowth for about 9 months and it’s hard for me to find anything that doesn’t have sugar and yeast in it to eat and drink. I have been drinking water and coffee for 4 months but before that I was drinking diet cokes but when I found out I stop and started drinking water and coffee but I get tired of water and coffee. Is there anything else that I can drink besides water and coffee. And is there any candy and ice cream that I can eat that doesn’t have no sugar and yeast in it. Thank you

    • It can be a challenge to find things to eat and drink on the Candida diet but it can be done! I’m sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free so I know first hand that it is possible. I like adding lemon or lime slices to my water. Also, mint leaves and cucumber are amazing added to water as you feel like you’re having a spa day. 🙂 Some herbal teas like Peppermint, Ginger, Nettles, are safe for the Candida diet. Check out my recipes on my blog for sugar-free treats like my Coconut Cupcakes. I also have a Facebook page and Pinterest boards dedicated to Candida diet friendly recipes. You can also search for sugar-free desserts. Hope this is helpful!

    • According to Donna Gates from Body Ecology she states that it does not feed Candida and is safe for those with Candida overgrowth. The product she offers is called Lakanto and has Erythritol and luo han guo also known as Monk fruit. I did try it and I didn’t feel good when I ate it so I don’t use it. Some people don’t do well with the other approved sweeteners like Xylitol, Erythritol or even Stevia so it’s always good to test a small amount of anything new to see how you do.

  7. I used to get terrible athlete’s foot and never knew why until I went to a naturopathic dr. When he told me I had a yeast infection it all came together so many side affects of yeast. I then went on a Candida diet (can’t eat it diet) but I tell you I stayed on it for 6 months (yes I did!) but I cured that infection and I’ve never had athlete’s foot again but I notice when I eat too much sugar — well some of the other side affects show up. So after years I’m going to cut out the sugar again. I said all that to encourage others to hang in there. Also I used Stevia and found it most useful. Thanks for all the other suggestions for & against sugar substitutions. Appreciated that & you.

    • Thanks Judi for taking the time to share your story and give encouragement to others! I’m sure the readers here will feel encouraged by your words and feel your support. I appreciate you as well. 🙂

  8. I’m on a sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free diet for a couple of years now (due to candida and allergies/intollerances). It’s the second time in my life I go sugar-free, the first time I was just 22 and had a terrible yeast overgrowth which caused irregular and very heavy periods with a lot of pain and PMT. Once I treated the yeast infection with the help of a nutritionist specializing in candida, my periods got regular, the PMT and pain disappeared! I’m saying this so other women can see the benefits of going without sugar. I let it creep back into my diet (due to peer pressure – people who invite you to eat at their house don’t understand why you won’t have a slice of cake etc.) and after nearly 20 years of eating sugar and drinking alcohol again, I was pretty much back to square one and a huge candida overgrowth set me back on the candida diet. It was easier to come off sugar the 2nd time around, and most of the time I don’t miss it now. But every so often you fancy something sweet and I like to cook with xylitol and stevia – I find just a small amount is fine, anything more tastes sickly.
    So to all those women out there with really bad cravings, hang in there! Try to focus on the benefits of eating healthy savory food so you change your habits. Our forebears never ate the huge amount of sweet food we eat today, we have developed bad habits which we need to change. It’s really worth it in the end, and your body will thank you for it.
    My fave tip: when you look at a chocolate bar or cake, imagine it’s poison! Would you want to eat poison? Well, that’s what sugar is to your body. It’s a kind of self-hypnosis, I used it a lot during the cravings and it worked well for me (still does ;-).

  9. I just found Cassava syrup. Is that a candida friendly sweetener. It is REALLY delicious so I’m hoping it’s okay on the candida diet. Thanks!

  10. So I’m about to start a Candida diet soon & I’m trying to research things that I can & can’t eat while on this. What do you know about allulose? Is that safe to eat on a Candida diet? I’m looking at Know products which are Paleo friendly foods so there are no grains at all but when I looked at their ingredients they use allulose as a sweetener. It’s low on the glycemic index but not sure if ok for Candida.

    • To be honest this is new to me. I did find this excellent article about it, Is Allulose a Healthy Sweetener?. It looks like this is a promising alternative sweetener that may offer some health benefits. I can’t say for sure if it’s safe on the Candida diet. I always recommend testing small quantities of each new food to see how your body responds. If you don’t have any reactions, ie. rashes, congestion, headaches, gas, bloating, itching, etc. then it may be okay for you. You have to feel comfortable with what you’re eating no matter what it is. Let us know how it goes if you do try it.

    • Yes, these foods are usually okay for those with Candida. My usual precaution is to make sure they work for you.

  11. Sorry, one more thing. Is it ok to use apple cider vinegar while on a Candida diet? I have read that it helps to alkalize the body & is good in getting rid of Candida but not sure about it. Thanks so much!

    • Again this is individual. My experience with most of my clients is that they don’t test well for any kind of vinegar in the initial stages of the program because their Candida overgrowth is so bad. After being on the diet and supplements for 4-6 weeks some can add in Apple Cider Vinegar again and do fine with it.

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