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Milk and the Candida Diet

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“Milk is good for the body.” I’m sure many of you remember seeing commercials and/or billboards with this slogan from the National Dairy Council promoting the health benefits of milk. Lately I’ve seen commercials about dairy products helping weight loss. In addition, mothers all over the world want their children to drink plenty of milk so that they can grow up strong and healthy. So if milk is so good for you, why is it banned from the candida diet?

The Candida diet is the cornerstone of treating a condition known as candidiasis. This condition is characterized by an overgrowth of yeast (Candida) in the intestinal system. External factors such as overuse of antibiotics, which kill all gut bacteria, and a diet high in processed/sugary foods, which feed candida, contribute to creating an imbalance in the gut system. When the natural balance of the gut system is upset, Candida grows and becomes an opportunistic microorganism that causes ailments throughout the body. The candida diet aims to restore balance to the intestinal system by cutting off the food supply of candida. It is the sugar content of milk that worries the candida diets and is therefore forbidden on the diet. Lactose, the sugar found in milk, is also difficult for many people to digest and can cause gastrointestinal problems that only make candidiasis worse.

It’s unfortunate that milk can make candidiasis worse, as milk is a great source of so many vitamins that are essential for optimal health. I don’t know if there is a comparable natural food source out there that could provide as complete a source of calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk. So what should a candida dieter do with milk? Of course, we do not want to do without these nutrients when trying to restore our intestinal balance. Luckily, with today’s prevalence of lactose intolerance and food allergies, there are a wide range of dairy alternatives that are fine for the candida diet. Many of these milk alternatives are fortified with calcium and vitamin D comparable to that of cow’s milk.

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Soy milk appears to be one of the most commonly used milk alternatives. With brands like Silk right next to cow’s milk in the grocery store, most of us have taken note of this heart-healthy dairy alternative. I use unsweetened soy milk a lot on the candida diet. It has a consistency similar to cow’s milk and behaves like it in recipes. However, soy is one of the top eight allergens and may not be suitable for everyone.

Almond milk is another popular milk alternative. It is ideal for people who cannot use soy due to sensitivity or allergy. I didn’t use almond milk because both of my kids are severely allergic to nuts. However, I’ve heard great things about almond milk, both in terms of taste and usability. Almonds are tree nuts, so they are also considered one of the top eight allergens and can pose problems for some.

rice milk is a good milk alternative. I use this for my kids because they have varying degrees of allergies to cow’s milk, soy, and tree nuts. Rice milk is great in muesli but only mediocre for cooking. The consistency is very watery, so it cannot be used effectively in some recipes. It’s also very sweet, even when using the unsweetened version. Rice milk is also high in carbohydrates, so it may not be ideal for Candida dieters, especially in the early stages of the diet.

hemp milk seems to be the new kid on the block but I haven’t used it yet. Contrary to what it sounds like, it’s not illegal, nor does it contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active chemical in marijuana. From what I’ve read, hemp milk has a creamy consistency and is good for cooking.

When choosing a milk alternative, make sure that it is unsweetened and does not contain any prohibited additives.

For more information about the candida diet Visit Yeast Free Living.

Thanks to Tennille Jordan

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