Candida Diet Approved Sweeteners

 
Candida Diet Approved Sweeteners | Natural Health Answers

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.

I recommend Xyla brand because it’s made from the purest North American Birch. and non-GMO. I toured their plant in Broomfield, CO and was extremely impressed with the integrity of the company. It was really interesting to see the machines cranking out their tasty little mints and candy. It smelled heavenly in that warehouse!  

*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 more pure 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?

 

 

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

What causes Candida overgrowth? Fill out this Candida questionnaire to find out of Candida may be an issue in your health challenges.

 

Many things can cause Candida overgrowth leading to an imbalance.

Some of them include:

  •  Over use of antibiotics without replacing the lost beneficial bacteria (probiotics)
  •   Nutrient Poor Diet:  that is rich in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice pasta, ice cream, sodas, processed foods, etc.)
  •   Constipation: this common problem can be caused by Candida. However constipation can also lead to Candida. A digestive tract which is constipated is slow moving and becomes very alkaline. The more alkaline the digestive tract the more Candida growth.
  •   Parasites and Intestinal Worms: Some researches have estimated that over 85% of all people living in North America and Canada have parasites. These unwelcome guests destroy friendly bacteria in the intestines making yeast overgrowth possible.
  •  Excessive Stress: Stress can cause yeast growth for several reasons. It raises cortisol, a stress hormone, which depresses the immune system, raises blood sugar which feeds yeast cells allowing them to grow quickly. Another thing to be aware of is that cortisol can be addicting to the body. It raises sugar and relieves inflammation. There are several simple nutrients that help lower cortisol levels back to normal by telling the nervous system to relax.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: It has long been recognized that an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can be a cause in yeast overgrowth.
  •  Birth Control Pills or Device: Oral birth control pills are mostly the hormone estrogen. Supplemental estrogen in the synthetic form has been found to promote the growth of yeast. A common complaint of women on birth control pills is yeast infection. The copper IUD is another possible promoter of yeast.
  •  Hypothyroid: The thyroid gland has an important effect on the immune system and digestive system.
  • Heavy Metals: Toxic metals show up consistently in people experiencing Candida. They are Mercury, Copper and Arsenic. These metals disable the exact part of the immune system that seeks to control Candida! They are often found in dental fillings and in tap water. As they pass through the intestinal tract they can stimulate the growth of more Candida. It’s important to get rid of the yeast before removing heavy metals since clearing them first will spread the yeast!
  • Other things that may contribute to Candida overgrowth include drugs and alcohol, antacid use, diabetes, hypothyroidism, excessive bowel cleansing, an imbalance of minerals such as copper dysregulation.

Wondering if your health could be affected by Candida overgrowth?

Here are some questions that can help determine if you may have Candida overgrowth:

1. Do you have skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes?
2. Do you have mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression?
3. Are you typically bloated, especially after meals?
4. Do you have trouble losing weight?
5. Do you have constant cravings?
6. Do you have thrush (a white coating of the tongue)?
7. Do you suffer from frequent colds or flu?
8. Do you have night sweats?
9. Have you used antibiotics or birth control pill in the last 2 years?
10. Do you have gas or bloating?
11. Do you have sugar cravings?
12. Do you have low blood sugar?
13. Do you have history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athlete’s foot, or
jock itch?
14. Does your partner have a history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral,
athlete’s foot, or jock itch?
15. Are you sensitive to smells?
16. Are you sensitive to alcohol?
17. Do you suffer from symptoms that your doctor cannot explain like;
headaches, migraines, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, IBS (Irritable Bowel
syndrome), itching, menstrual or sinus problems?
18. Do you feel fatigued all the time?
19. Do you have a hard time concentrating?
20. Do you just not feel right?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions it would be in your best interest to make sure Candida isn’t part of the problem.

Fill out the full Candida Questionnaire.

If you scored high on the questionnaire and need help with getting it under control you are welcome to schedule a free 30-minute Health Discovery phone session with me to see how I can help you get things balanced with a program designed just for you.

Read the first part of this post “Is Candida Sabotaging Your Health?” to learn more about Candida and it’s symptoms.

 

Is Candida Sabotaging Your Health?

Candida Sabotaging Health? Bloating, gas, rashes, brain fog plus a whole host of other nagging health issues are signs your body needs attention.

 What Is Candida albicans?

First before I get into the details about Candida, I would like to share with you why this is a topic that I know a lot about. I found out a while back that I was actually born with Candida overgrowth and have had multiple health challenges in my life where Candida was the culprit. I had to figure out on my own how to get rid of it and it was a daunting process. It has come back a few times in the past twenty years when I’m under quite a lot of stress or I eat a bit off my usually sugar-free, clean diet. Unfortunately once you’ve had it you’re more prone to having another bout with it.  I will go right back on the diet, deal with my stress and take a natural anti-fungal if needed.

I can honestly say that I’m blessed to have had the experience (I’m done now though!) of having Candida overgrowth because now I can share the information that helped me with my clients. After working with clients for 15 years I noticed that up to 80% of people that walked through my door had some level of  Candida overgrowth. This is why I decided to specialize in helping women with this issue. Candida overgrowth is very common and my goal is to educate people on how to get back into balance and feel better!

So what exactly is Candida albicans? It is a type of yeast that is present in the gut flora of a healthy human body. You may be shocked to learn that we each house two to five pounds of live bacteria inside our bodies! The balance of these bacteria is what’s important as they fend off foreign invaders plus a lot more. The balance of Candida is normally controlled by bacteria in the intestines. But when something destroys helpful bacteria, the yeast begins to invade and colonize the body tissues which can lead to what is termed “leaky gut”. This is where the tissues become porous allowing these yeast colonies to release powerful chemicals called mycotoxins into the bloodstream, causing a variety of symptoms that I’ve listed below.

 

Is Candida sabotaging your health? Pain, gas, itch and brain fog are signs your body needs attention.Microscope slide of esophageal candidiasis via wikipedia

 

Signs and Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Both men and women can have candidiasis, however women do experience it more frequently and usually more severely. 

Candida symptoms fall into these main four areas:

Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary Symptoms

These include gas and bloating – Candida produces carbon dioxide in the intestine, the result is persistent gas and bloating, thrush, coated tongue,  constipation, chronic diarrhea, rectal itching, indigestion, heartburn, bladder infections,  recurrent yeast vaginitis, vaginal burning and itching, vaginal discharge, “jock itch”, loss of sexual feelings and inflammation of the prostate.

Allergic Symptoms and Skin Symptoms

(These symptoms occur with the passing of toxins into the bloodstream.) These symptoms include hay fever, earaches, hives, headaches, sore throats, coughing, recurrent bronchitis, acne, nasal stuffiness, congestion, runny nose, chemical sensitivities to tobacco smoke, perfume and foods, “sick all over feeling”, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, rashes, dry scaly skin, frequent colds.

Glandular and Organ Symptoms

These include infertility, menstrual problems, PMS, ovarian failure and ACTH deficiency, inability to lose weight,  hypothyroidism, chronic lymphocystic thyroiditis, diabetes mellitus, impotence and endometriosis.

Emotional and Mental Symptoms

These occur because of central nervous system involvement. These include brain fog — poor memory, fatigue, drowsiness, feelings of unreality, coordination problems, numbness and tingling, muscle and joint pain, muscle weakness, irritability, inability to concentrate, confusion, anxiety and severe depression.

 

Other imbalances in the body can cause similar symptoms as well. I feel it is important to rule out other issues like gluten or dairy sensitivity, adrenal burn out, blood sugar imbalance issues, emotional issues and even general fatigue before diagnosing yourself with Candida overgrowth. There are always “layers” to our healing process.

If you have several of the symptoms for a Candida imbalance, following some simple steps for re-balancing your body should help move you in a healing direction whether or not the root issue is a Candida imbalance, or if the Candida imbalance is a symptom of another issue.

If you are experiencing many of the symptoms mentioned above and need some help getting it under control you are welcome send me a note on my contact page or schedule online for a free 30-minute Health Discovery Session to see how I can help you get rid of Candida overgrowth for good.

It can be overwhelming when there are so many things going on with our health and I know if I would have had someone to help me way back when I was going through all of my Candida symptoms I would have felt less overwhelmed, confused and felt better much faster! There are so many factors to be aware of and it’s always smart to be sure that there is not a deeper imbalance going on that needs professional attention. No need to suffer if you don’t have to, it’s a positive step to seek help.

 

Candida Diet Recipe: Turkey Sausage Patties

 

Candida Diet Recipe Turkey Sausage Patties

The question I get asked most about the Candida diet is “what can I eat for breakfast?”

 

It’s one of those things where the diet can leave you scratching your head as to what’s left if toast, oatmeal and cereal are out!  I was such a cereal “junkie” that it was a challenge for me to find something I could get excited about eating for breakfast on the Candida diet.

After much trial and error I now have my go-to meals and like to offer up my choices to my clients as well.  I’ve been amassing my Candida diet recipe ideas (which I will be sharing more of in future posts) for well over 15 years now.  I know what I like but it has been a challenge for me to come up with ideas for the all the different tastes that people do have and is part of what makes my job fun!

I love hearing that the recipes I shared were delicious and easy to make. If I can help take some stress off of what otherwise is a very stressful time for those healing from Candida then I’ve done my job.

These two Candida diet recipes for turkey sausages are a favorite of mine for breakfast.  I like that they can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge or frozen and defrosted for those busy mornings.  Just add some sauteed veggies and a half an avocado and you’ve got yourself a hearty, nutritious Candida diet friendly meal. You’ll also have lots of energy and focus until lunch.

Enjoy!

Turkey Sausage #1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground turkey
  2. 1 tsp. sea salt
  3. 1 tsp. sage
Instructions
  1. Mix all together, make patties and cook in frying pan.
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Turkey Sausage #2
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  2. 1 egg white
  3. 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  4. 1/2 tsp. fennel seed (optional)
  5. 1/8 tsp. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; mix well. Shape mixture into 4 patties and chill at least one hour. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Place patties in skillet; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Place cooked patties on paper towels to drain; serve warm.
Notes
  1. This makes 4 servings but I usually double the recipe and put the leftovers in the fridge for another day’s breakfast.
  2. Also I have made these and not put them in the fridge to chill and they came out fine.
  3. **Always choose the highest quality meats when possible.
Adapted from Simply Colorado Cookbook
Adapted from Simply Colorado Cookbook
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Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite Candida diet recipe for breakfast?  Do you have any new and interesting breakfast ideas?