Can you get away with a sugar binge if you have Candida?

candida and sugar binge

I know you are worried that you cannot eat your favourite foods on the candida diet.

How much easier would it be if you could have an occasional break from this hard diet regime and eat something you crave? Something sweet and comforting.


How much damage would it do? Would you have to start at square 1 again?

I understand your worries and confusion oh so well.

Many a times have I had to prepare separate food for myself, just to make sure there was no sugar in it in any form or disguise.

And how many times did I eventually give into temptation at some point or worse still – eat something at an event without realizing that it had some dairy or fruit in it that I simply wasn’t aware of.

You know yourself, that living according to Candida Diet rules is an absolute minefield and soul-destroyingly difficult to manage.

Yet, with all that said, I think it’s important to realize that small slips in your diet or the occasional piece of cake or fruit is not going to jeopardize all your health efforts.

It’s easy to panic when you see all those “foods to avoid” lists. I can’t blame you.

I felt really intimidated by the candida diet websites out there. “Don’t do this, don’t do that…” It just makes it sound impossible.

Especially if you have a demanding job or a family to feed as well as yourself.

What I have come to realize from living with candida for so long is that your body is very forgiving and also has an amazing capacity to heal itself.

Small slips in your diet make diddly squat difference in your overall recovery. But they can make all the difference in your well being.

A tiny piece of carob chocolate when you are on your way to a stressful business presentation…

fresh fruit smoothie

A fresh fruit smoothie once in a while at the weekend, or a croissant with a cafe latte or a glass of dry wine with a friend to unwind can go a long way towards enabling you to stick with the diet long term and to prevent you from falling into depression.

Don’t underestimate the impact your diet has on your mood and outlook in life.

I felt incredibly sad, frustrated and anxious during those first weeks and months of strict dieting. I can imagine it is or was the same for you.

And even now I easily feel disappointed when I see my loved ones care-freely munching on pizza, whereas I have to plan my meal in advance and chop and wash veggies for ages and the outcome never comes close to the instant gratification of the smell and crunchy bite of a pizza!

But we don’t have to forbid ourselves all nice foods ALL the time. That is not necessary.

gooseberry gateaux cake

I’m not saying go all out binging every weekend. That would clearly sabotage your recovery.

But don’t be too harsh on yourself either.

I kept Sugar Binges to family events and ate something nice at the weekends.

What worked for me really well was to eat light and sensible during the week (think veggies and protein i.e. fish or egg), and to enjoy slightly richer foods with more carbs/ sugar at the weekend.


For instance I would then allow myself to have wholesome pancakes or some oatmeal porridge with rice milk.

That’s very satisfying and gives you something to look forward to, so you don’t constantly feel like you are missing out.

I tried to eat cakes, desserts and puddings only at family get togethers. Not on a day to day basis.

TIP: Make a sugar free dish to take with you at family get togethers, that you can eat first to suppress your hunger.

That way you eat a lot less of the other sweet or rich foods, which will feel like a treat.

cake selection

How much damage will you do by eating the wrong foods?

It is impossible to say how much damage you do by eating foods that you are not allowed on the diet.

The damage will be a lot smaller than what it feels like to you though.

I have made many food experiments over the past 2 years. From just taking a bite out of a Cornetto and feeling irrationally guilty and scared of the consequences. To demolishing slices of the gateaux cakes you can see here on this page.

gateaux cake

So I think I have a pretty good idea now how long it takes to get back on track.

How long it will take you depends on how severe your symptoms are, how long you have had them and on your general state of well being, stress levels and body functions.

Oftentimes it’s not so much the candida overgrowth that’s causing the problem but all the infections and discomforts that have accumulated over the years from poor eating habits and lifestyle choices.

What exactly happens when you have a sugar binge?

Say because of the candida your immune system is down and you start suffering from recurring sinuses infections or you develop food sensitivities.

Now what happens if you have a sugar binge is that the candida prospers, providing an ideal breeding ground for bacterial infections and imbalances in your hormonal or metabolic functions.

 Initially you might feel great.

But once the excess candida is dying off again it floods your blood stream with toxic by-products that interfere with your normal cell communication. Causing hiccups in your system.

Common Symptoms after indulging on Sugary Foods when you have Candida:

  • You might feel slightly nauseous.
  • You might notice that your nose is becoming blocked or some body part starts itching or you notice a discharge or swelling.
  • More often than not you’ll also feel on edge, sad or anxious without being able to say why.

All this can happen very subtly if your candida levels are already quite well under control. Or they can knock you for six, if your immune system is already struggling.

For me the new symptoms ranged from 1-2 days to a couple of weeks – a month at the most.

Sometimes you can even be lucky and get away with it without any repercussions. Especially if you take measures to support your immune system.

Useful strategies to Support your Immune System when you know you’ll be eating the wrong foods:

  • Take a double-strength probiotic supplement.
  • Try to eat fruit only on an empty stomach.
  • Eat cakes and puddings mid afternoon or in between meals not directly after; best combined with a bit of probio yoghurt or almonds, in between meals.
  • Eat root vegetables and breads, pancakes… in combination with some greens.
  • Take swedish bitters drops and drink dandelion root or fresh ginger tea after your meal to improve digestion.
  • Apple cider vinegar before sipped before and during the meal is also beneficial to balance out the acidity of the sugary snacks.

The main thing to remember is that you can treat the symptoms locally very quickly for immediate relief. The remaining symptom residue will not impact on your life much. It is more a minor nuisance than a big deal generally.

The bad conscience for having eaten the wrong foods on the other hand can be much more debilitating. It can cause a deep insecurity, the feeling that that you’ll never heal. Try and avoid that trap by following my advice:

When you slip up in your diet, grant yourself this pleasure generously, and have faith in your ability to self heal.

All it takes is perseverance!

Be kind to yourself. Nourish your body.

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Do you have any questions regarding die off symptoms or reactions to certain foods? Ask me in the comments below.

Be well.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather @Gluten-Free Cat May 29, 2013 at 15:35

I’m new to the Candida Diet and love that you have such a balanced approach. Love the message of grace through this post!

I’ve really loved getting to know you and have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Come check it out!

No pressure to participate, but take a read and see what you think!



Sandra May 29, 2013 at 18:54

Aaaaw, thanks so much Heather, what a fab idea with the Liebster award, and how generous and kind of you to nominate me :-) I’d love to participate and spread the blogging love! Count me in!
Big hugs,


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