My grandfather used to tell me that longevity is based on three components: diet, exercise, and attitude. While it’s always been more difficult for me to control my mindset (too many worries) and exercise (too little time), I typically try to establish a very healthy diet, believing a good diet can cure most ills, even stubborn skin infections. Lately, I have been reading much about the antifungal diet, which is ideal for people who have issues with yeast and accompanying skin problems. The scope of this article will cover what constitutes an antifungal diet and what to avoid on such a diet — all in the hopes of defeating infections, including skin infections, such as angular cheilitis.
Going on an Antifungal Diet
The first task to perform when you’re on an antifungal diet (also termed a ‘Candida diet’) is to eliminate wheat and yeast. I like to remove most carbs and startches as well, including most grains, and high carb vegetables like potatoes. Getting rid of carbs and wheat can be tricky since these foods are found in so many products, especially in processed foods.
Sugars and alcohol are other items that must be eliminated. Unfortunately, you cannot use artificial sweeteners to replace sugar, as most antifungal diets do not allow them either. To do the best job of avoiding sugars, you must cut down on many fruits that are high in sugar, such as bananas and oranges.
Specific types of sugars that are avoided in an antifungal diet include glucose, lactose, fructose, maltose and mannitol. Products like molasses, honey or any other syrup based food must also be avoided. (Topical Manuka honey can be used to thwart angular cheilitis, however.) Most bread and cereal products or anything high in carbohydrates should also be removed from the diet. It is further recommended to avoid sweet goods, such as cookies, soda and chocolates, as they are usually high in sugar. Although many processed foods may not taste sweet, several contain high amounts of added sugars. It is highly advisable to read through the labeling on canned or jarred diets before purchasing.
This is the basis for the prominent Doug Kauffman diet – weaning oneself off sugar and starches in order to starve the fungi from its food source, although he is more relaxed about using sugar substitutes, such as Stevia. Kauffman advises that sugar and starch intake should be low to non-existent for about 30 days (Phase 1). During this time, the diet should consist of poultry, lamb, turkey fish, and lean mean, such as beef, accompanied by most fresh vegetables, save for mushrooms and starchy veggies, like corn and potatoes.
During Kaufmann’s deemed Phase 2 period, dieters can reintroduce sweet but healthy foods, such as high-sugar fruits and even those starchy vegetables and mushrooms. However, sugar intake should be monitored, and lowered much more than the average American does (a sugar percentage decrease change) which Kaufmann deems the ‘lifetime phase.’
An antifungal diet should also consist of taking antifungal supplements, such as caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract (GSE), and oil of oregano. You can purchase all these items easily on Amazon. It’s advisable to take a combination of antifungals simultaneous so the fungi/yeast cannot readily adapt to them. You can rotate antifungals, but not too often, to prevent fungi from building a resistance to any given one.
To further ensure yeast die-off and introduce friendly bacterial to your system, take probiotics. Now some of the above mentioned antifungals have antibacterial properties so some of the probiotics will be eliminated, but enough should remain to help you restore balance to your gut. It’s further recommended that you start the antifungal treatment and then wait a week or two to begin probiotic supplementation to prevent severe yeast die-off and concomitant discomfort. You can then take these remedies at the same time, much as you would when taking antibiotics with probiotics.
Why Eliminate Fungi/Yeast?
Yeast in the system can lead to an assortment of health issues. An antifungal diet can often help address these issues, which can include skin problems, digestive upsets, and infections. These health problems and others are often a direct result of an overabundance of yeast in the body. The antifungal diet’s main purpose is to get rid of this yeast by not eating the things that cause yeast to multiply or grow.
Let’s consider the skin condition, angular cheilitis. Now as you know from the site, perleche may be directly caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. If the underlying problem is fungal in nature, an antifungal or Candida diet can help eradicate the offending microbes. This may not happen overnight and may not necessarily help you in a current bout with cheilitis. However, an antifungal diet may very well help to prevent future occurrences and perhaps make your immune system strong enough to battle wayward fungi, or even a bacterial onslaught.
While the antifungal diet is controversial, I am particularly interested in it as a mechanism to defeat problematic fungi. Indeed, a vast multitude of human ailments and diseases, literally from head to toe (scalp dandruff to toe nail fungus), has been linked to fungi, and some even attribute cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity. and other conditions to detrimental fungi.
Speak with your doctor about the advisability of starting an antifungal diet, not just to help get rid of angular cheilitis and other skin conditions, but to get you on the road towards better health in general.
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