How to Start a Yeast Free Diet

Four Methods:Assessing the ProblemTrying a Four to Six Week DietShifting Your Diet for the Long TermMaking Meal Plans

A yeast-free diet is one method that's been suggested to combat symptoms caused by Candida yeast infections. Not everyone agrees that it is effective, but anecdotally at least, many people stand by the results, so you may want to try it. The theory is that the natural balance of yeast within a person's system is thrown off by an overgrowth, so taking out yeast-containing foods for about six weeks can restore the proper balance and quiet the infection. People who are prone to yeast infections regularly may find it useful to reduce the amount of yeast in their diet overall.

Method 1
Assessing the Problem

  1. 1
    Consider your symptoms. A yeast infection most commonly occurs as itching, burning and white patches either in the oral or genital area. However, some people have experienced further symptoms, including depression, headaches, fatigue, stomach pain, and indigestion.
    • Common, recurrent oral or genital yeast infections may be a sign of a more general yeast sensitivity. While the infection can be treated with a prescription, it is worth considering an underlying cause.
    • Some yeast infections will not respond well to prescriptions and you may find trying a yeast-free diet useful just to regain the a balance that has been thrown off. Since it is not a high-risk endeavor, trying a yeast-free diet is a popular method for people suffering from persistent infections.
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    Consult your GP. You should check with your doctor to be diagnosed, as many of the symptoms suggested are general and can be due to multiple causes. Candida yeast overgrowth can often be measured, but even that may not be certain, and diagnosis by symptoms alone is disappointingly speculative.
    • If it is believed to be a yeast infection, you can get a prescription for antifungal medication (preferably a six week course) which you can take while on this diet as it will help kill the yeast infection. Appropriate antifungals include: Diflucan (Fluconazole), Lamisil (Terbinafine HCL), Nystatin, Sporanox
    • Many traditional practitioners are unconvinced [1] that yeast-free diets are medically useful, so don't be surprised if your GP is not interested in what you choose to eat. Diet changes are difficult to measure (and could depend on individuals) so evidence may be limited for practical reasons, but nonetheless, not much exists.
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    Prepare to change your diet. Whether you are imagining this to be simply for the next month and a half, or possibly for the foreseeable future, changing your diet can be a big undertaking if you aren't mentally prepared. Any time an elimination diet is starting, it is important to know all parameters of the diet and to be fully prepared. This is the number one key to success. Try to prepare yourself in advance, and find supportive people.
    • Remember that the first few days are likely to be the worst as your body transitions to a new diet. With a yeast-free diet, the physical balance in your body is thrown off even further before it rights itself, like trying to a right a boat in a rocky ocean.
    • Don't reward yourself with ways to cheat on the diet — instead, reward yourself with things that you love in other contexts, like being allowed to spend money or waste time on something you enjoy. Like other elimination-type diets, even the smallest "cheat" can cause a relapse of symptoms.

Method 2
Trying a Four to Six Week Diet

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    Familiarize yourself with the foods that are off-limits. While you don't want to concentrate on the negative in a diet, it is important to know the boundaries as you adapt to a new set of habits.
    • Stay away from anything that contains yeast, like most breads, processed foods, and baked goods.
    • Sugar in any form (this included sucrose, glucose and fructose) is also a danger as yeast feeds and grows on sugar.
    • Refined grains, malted products, and fermented products (vinegar, soy, ginger, beer and wine), including all alcohol, either contain yeast or quick-acting carbohydrates which feed the growth of yeast.
    • Dairy products should be avoided, as with most cheese. The primary exception in this category is yogurt with living cultures.
    • Any mushroom or fungus is out.
    • It is recommended that you avoid stimulants like coffee, chocolate, black tea and so forth, as they release stored sugar into the body and so provide a breeding ground for yeast. The same applies for artificial sweeteners and spicy foods.
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    Familiarize yourself with the foods that you can eat. Much easier than creating a list of foods you can't eat, is to create a list of foods that you can eat and stick to those. Find ways to make these foods interesting and broaden your horizons if any of these foods are ones you have yet to try. Essentially you are aiming for a diet of fresh greens and fresh proteins, with limited fresh fruits and dairy (as they are higher in sugars), and complex grains. But get to know the details so that you can make foods you enjoy! Things you can eat include:
    • Fresh meat, chicken and fish.
    • Eggs.
    • Garbanzo beans and lentils.
    • Avocado.
    • Walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, and coconut.
    • Brown rice (no white rice) and rice cakes.
    • All vegetables, fresh or frozen, including onions and garlic.
    • Fruit that is not bruised (but no melons or grapes).
    • Limited milk (125ml per day) or soya / rice milk.
    • Plain yoghurt with active cultures.
    • Low fat cottage cheese with no sugar.
    • Homemade popcorn.
    • Plain chips with no MSG.
    • Herbal teas.
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    Familiarize yourself with treats. These are foods allowed weekly (only one item of each), that won't throw off your balance entirely in one serving, but will disrupt things if they become habitual. Foods like these include:[2]
    • Whole wheat pasta.
    • Tomato paste.
    • Cheeses such as Camembert or feta.
    • Tinned tuna in spring water (as opposed to fresh tuna, which is regularly acceptable).
    • Spices.
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    Continue this diet for four to six weeks. At the end of this period, the system infection should be gone, and all the symptoms relieved. If you are not feeling fit and healthy after committing to the diet for this period, then a yeast infection may not be the underlying cause of your symptoms as that should be long enough for your body to retain balance
    • And, as with any allergy, removing the culprit from your diet for a set period is a perfect way to test for a sensitivity. The trouble can be that while some allergies have very clear, obvious reactions like a skin rash or asthma attack, you may consider the symptoms of a yeast sensitivity difficult to be sure about. It's important to remember to trust what you feel.
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    Slowly add foods back into your diet over a period of a few weeks. If your infection has cleared up and you would like to start eating certain foods again, it is safe to do so slowly without triggering the same infection.
    • However, if you are sensitive to yeast infections in general your system will still react to a high level of yeast or yeast-generating environments. Therefore, it is sensible to add foods back slowly and be aware of any negative reactions. This way, you can determine whether it is a sensitivity to yeast or to something else you happened to stop eating.
    • You may find that you feel better on a yeast-free diet for the long-term, as some systems are prone to yeast imbalance. You can try it and see!

Method 3
Shifting Your Diet for the Long Term

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    Change your attitude. The primary thing to keep in mind is that you will be focusing on eating completely fresh foods — nothing fermented, nothing baked, nothing fungal, and nothing that is likely to have attracted any growths. While there is more to it than that, this overall mental attitude can help you make decisions when you come across a new food. Don't have an "I can't have that" attitude; have an "I choose not to have that" attitude!
    • Think of your food not as a treat for your mouth but fuel for your entire body, and choose things that will be pleasing for every part of a healthy you. Mentally associate positive health and feeling good with the foods that are beneficial, and remember the consequences of the foods that are off-limits.
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    Remove yeast from your diet. If you think a yeast-free diet may be more healthy for your body type overall, try working toward taking yeast out of your diet for good. Rather than thinking about specific foods that are or aren't allowed, imagine creating a diet that will serve your body most effectively.
    • Gluten-free diets have become more popular among a wide range of people, but it has been suggested that some of those cases may actually be yeast allergies, since the two show up in many of the same places. If you have tried a gluten free diet that works some of the time but not always, it may be worth investigating where the two differ.
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    Partner up with a friend. Mutual support is a great way to keep a project in the air, and a healthy diet will benefit anyone. Even if you are not eating exactly the same food, congratulating one another and reminding each other what's off limits is more useful than you might think. It can keep you motivated and help you hold yourself accountable.
    • Planning meals in advance can keep your momentum going. Two people are better than one since there will be back-up if either of you starts to fall off the wagon, and preparing food will be a motivating force.
    • Eating together is a positive social interaction. Certainly not everyone will have the time to spend every meal together, but even checking in on a regular basis will make a difference. Whether it's dinner every day with a spouse or lunch once a week with a co-worker, any form of patting each other on the back is a plus.
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    Talk to a nutritionist. If you are serious about changing your relationship to food, it is worth planning meals that you like and that are good for you. A professional can help you determine the best combination to meet your needs.
    • Each individual will find a different arrangement of meals that works best, so talking to someone can be a useful method to make starting a new diet a good experience, rather than stressful or frustrating. Remember, eating food that is good for your body should ultimately be pleasing. It may take a period of adjustment, but don't expect to suffer endlessly. A nutritionist can help figure out what you need to be satisfied.

Method 4
Making Meal Plans

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    Create breakfast that you will eat. Some people think of breakfast as something they grab as they run out the door, while others believe it is the most important meal of the day, and has to have enough calories to get the day started. Recognize your own tendencies and interests, and make meals that are right for you.Consider these options when making Breakfast:
    • One piece of fruit.
    • Porridge – oats or rice cereal.
    • Yeast-free bread or rice cakes.
    • Egg with avocado and tomato.
    • Cottage cheese.
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    Create lunch and dinner that you'll enjoy! Do you need to bring food with you to work? Are you cooking for two (or more) at home? Some people like to eat small amounts and just snack a lot, while others want to have a nice big plate of food at dusk. Get to know what you really want to eat. Consider these options for lunch or dinner:
    • Lentil soup.
    • Any meat with plenty of vegetables.
    • Vegetable stir fry with brown rice.
    • Cold chicken with cottage cheese.
    • Potato salad.
    • Hummus sandwich on pita bread.
    • Avocado sandwich on sourdough bread.
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    Write down ideas you come across so that you can start building up your own collection of options. You will start to use certain ideas regularly, and have a selection of go-to dishes, as everyone tends to on any diet (one they are watching or not), but it is always worth keeping a few possibilities nearby to mix things up now and then.
    • You can do a search for yeast-free meals to look for new recipes, as there are always new ideas being posted and talked about online. Sometimes you will simply be reminded of ingredients you haven't thought to use in a long time - and the same stir-fry can be a whole different meal whether you center it around bok-choy and carrots or brussels sprouts and kale.
    • You can also just look up a few of your favorite ingredients, and modify the results a little if it's necessary. Remember that you can usually replace regular milk with soy milk, or vinegar with lemon juice, so long as the recipe is simple.


  • Focus on what you can eat rather than dwelling on what you can't. There are plenty of very tasty, healthy foods that you can enjoy.
  • Keep healthy snacks handy to nibble on if you are likely to get hungry so that you don't turn to unhealthy options or start to feel grumpy about the limits of what you can eat.
  • Allow extra time in your day to prepare your meals.
  • Symptoms may get worse within the first few days. This is normal, and is called the "die off" period. They should slowly begin to reduce afterwards.
  • Make sure you eat enough food! A diet is a lifestyle, not a challenge. You should enjoy the food that your body needs and can use.
  • Talk to a health care professional if you’re not sure what you should or shouldn't eat, especially if you also have other health needs.


  • Antifungal pills may have side effects; if that happens, consult your GP immediately.

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