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Posted by Dr. Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D.

The best yeast free diet or Candida diet is a diet that excludes what the yeast Candida albicans needs and uses to grow. While that may sound simple, you will find many choices and unfortunately much disagreement on this. Common-–but wrong–recommendations for Candida diets is to eat a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, excluding baking yeast. Going gluten free is also popular now. Are these diets the best yeast free diets? Do these diets exclude what yeast like best? The answer is no. The best yeast free diet is the Feast Without Yeast  diet.   The old recommendations date back to the first doctor who wrote about Candida diets, Dr. Orian Truss.  He was a pioneer in the field and highly regarded, but his advice is not the most effective yeast free diet.

A high protein, low carbohydrate diet is not the most effective yeast free diet because it includes foods that yeast love to eat. So, when you eat the foods that yeast love, you feed the yeast. You can’t solve the whole yeast problem because the yeast in your gut continue to eat what you eat.   There are three main types of foods you need to eliminate for the best Candida diet.

The beer brewers can tell you what makes yeast grow. Yeast grows well with malt, which is a sprouted barley. The sprouted barley is then heat-killed to form the raw material for making beer. Breweries mix yeast with the malt to brew beer.

Why is malt so great for yeast and so bad for yeast free diets? Malt has all kinds of chemicals that help yeast grow. These are called “growth factors” for yeast. Just as malt helps yeast grow to ferment beer, malt that you eat helps yeast grow in your gut. To follow a yeast free diet, you have to exclude malt, not just carbohydrates in general.

Malt is in most processed foods, including many brands of white flour (Gold Medal and Pillsbury, for example).  It is in many baked goods, cereals, and even some sports energy drinks, instant cider, and other unlikely places.   Malt is a common cheap sugar substitute.   Maltodextrin is a common form of malt. It is malt mixed with either potato starch or corn starch. You need to look at labels to find malt. Malt is even in some sugar substitutes, and often is called a “natural grain based sweetener” in health foods. Look for anything with the word “malt,” including barley malt, malt syrup, malt extract, malt flakes, maltodextrin and also “grain based sweetener.” So for an effect yeast free diet, you need to eliminate malt, not just any carbohydrates. In fact, you can continue to eat many carbohydrates with no problem once you eliminate malt.

What other foods do you need to eliminate in an effective yeast free diet? Ask a baker. Bakers mix vinegar into their bread dough. Why? Because vinegar kills bacteria and leaves the yeast alone, so yeast can grow and make bread. Vinegar, which is in most salad dressings and condiments like ketchup, mustard, salsa, mayonnaise, and pickles, does the same thing in your gut. Vinegar kills the bacteria and leaves the yeast alone. If you want to eat right to have a yeast free diet, you must exclude vinegar from your diet. This includes apple cider vinegar, fermented vegetables such as pickles and sauerkraut.

So the two main foods to exclude for an effective yeast free diet are malt and vinegar.

A third main category of problematic foods for the yeast-free diet are actually nutritional supplements. Many nutritional supplements feed yeast, so going an a yeast-free diet but taking supplements may be counter productive and may cause food addiction.  To get more information on nutritional supplements, click here.

Which yeast free diet starts with eliminating malt and vinegar, and does not rely on expensive and counter-productive nutritional supplements? Our Feast Without Yeast diet.   The Feast without Yeast anti-Candida diet has helped many people be yeast free and clear many health problems, as described in the casebook An Extraordinary Power to Heal. Incidentally, this Candida diet can also be used to fight obesity and food addiction.

Feast without Yeast has complete directions on which foods to eliminate in which order, and is an easy to follow cookbook. The companion cookbook, Extraordinary Foods for the Everyday Kitchen, has even more recipes.