Eating salad has become a dieter’s cliché. How many times have you come across someone who says “I’m going to eat a salad because I’m watching my weight”? Salads are an extremely healthy option for dieters. They typically contain a variety of raw vegetables, ensuring you’re getting the highest level of nutrients from them. Plus, it’s super easy to add protein with eggs, meat, fish, tofu, and/or beans. The possibilities for salad combinations are endless. However, the problem with salads comes with the salad dressing. Many people don’t realize that adding certain types of salad dressings often turns this healthy meal into a huge diet mistake. Even low-fat or low-calorie salad dressings that are marketed as “healthy” are problematic. This is especially the case for those trying to stick to the Candida diet.
The Candida diet is the cornerstone of treating a condition known as yeast infection. Candidiasis is an overgrowth of a certain type of yeast (Candida albicans) in the intestinal system. Candida albicans is typically a benign microorganism that contributes to the health of the intestinal microflora. It works in combination with friendly bacteria to effectively remove toxins and waste from the body. However, external factors such as overuse of antibiotics, birth control, diets high in processed foods/sugar, and stress all contribute to Candida becoming an opportunistic microorganism. Once Candida becomes opportunistic, it causes a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, irritability, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal problems. This diet seeks to treat yeast infection by cutting off the food supply of Candida albicans. Candida albicans thrives on sugar and fast-acting carbohydrates and by cutting off this food supply, the Candida will die and balance can be restored. This is why salad dressings can be such a problem on the Candida diet. They are full of sugar and other troublesome ingredients.
Many people give up salad when they start the Candida diet because they can’t find a suitable salad dressing. This is really sad because salads are a very good idea for a Candida diet. This diet encourages you to eat plenty of low carb raw vegetables and what better way to eat these vegetables than in a salad. So how can we still enjoy salad on this diet? Do we have to learn to eat our salads without dressing? The answer is no. Most commercially available salad dressings will be out of the question. Most salad dressings contain vinegar, sugar, yeast extract, monosodium glutamate (MSG), citric acid, and salt. All these are prohibited ingredients in the diet. Fortunately, I found a brand of dressing at Whole Foods that seems to be fine for the Candida diet. Annie’s Naturals Lemon Chive Dressing contains all Candida diet-friendly ingredients. Also, you can easily make your own salad dressing without vinegar by substituting lemon juice. If you just use a few herbs and olive, safflower, or canola oil with the lemon juice, you can create a variety of salad dressings at home. So before you give up your salad for the sake of the Candida diet, try these two options.
For more information on the candida-diet including free recipes, visit Yeast Free Living.