Eating salad has become such a dieter’s cliché. How many times have you encountered someone saying “I will just have a salad because I am watching my weight”? Salads are an extremely healthy choice for dieters. They are often packed with a variety of raw vegetables which ensures you are getting the highest level of nutrients from them. Additionally, it is so easy to add protein with eggs, meat, fish, tofu and/or beans. The possibilities for salad combinations are endless. The problem with salads however comes with the salad dressing. Many people fail to realize that adding certain types of salad dressing often turns this healthy meal into a huge diet blunder. Even the low-fat or low-calorie salad dressings marketed to be “healthy” are problematic. This is especially the case for those trying to adhere to the Candida diet.
The Candida diet is the cornerstone of treatment for a condition known as candidiasis. Candidiasis is an overgrowth a certain type of yeast (Candida albicans) in the intestinal system. Candida albicans is typically a benign microorganism that contributes to healthy intestinal microflora. It works in combination with friendly bacteria to effectively rid the body of toxins and waste. However, external factors, such as overuse of antibiotics, birth control, diets high in processed foods/sugar and stress all contribute to causing Candida to become an opportunistic microorganism. Once Candida becomes opportunistic it causes a variety of symptoms, such as fatigue, irritability, respiratory infections and gastrointestinal problems. This diet seeks to treat candidiasis by cutting off the Candida albicans’ food supply. Candida albicans thrives on sugar and quick acting carbohydrates and by cutting off this food supply the Candida will die and balance can be restored. This is the very reason that salad dressings can be so problematic on the Candida diet. They are filled with sugar and other problem ingredients.
Many people give up salad when they start the Candida diet because they cannot find a suitable salad dressing. This is really sad because salads are a really good idea for the Candida diet. This diet encourages you to eat plenty of raw low carbohydrate vegetables and what better way to eat these vegetables than in a salad. So how do 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 dressing will be out of the question. Most salad dressings contain vinegar, sugar, yeast extract, monosodium glutamate (MSG), citric acid and salt. These are all prohibited ingredients on the diet. Fortunately, I have found one brand of dressing in Whole Foods that appears to be okay for the Candida diet. Annie’s Naturals Lemon and Chive Dressing contains all Candida diet friendly ingredients. Additionally, you can easily make your own vinegar free salad dressing by substituting lemon juice. If you just use some herbs and olive, safflower or canola oil with the lemon juice you can create a variety of salad dressings right at home. So before you give up your salad for the sake of the Candida diet give these two options a try.
For more information on the Candida Diet including free recipes visit Yeast Free Living.