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What are the Pros and Cons of a Yeast Free Diet?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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A yeast free diet, as the phrase denotes, refers to a diet completely lacking in yeast. Yeast is commonly found in sweets, chocolates, bread, dairy, cheese, mushrooms, processed foods like bacon, and fermented products such as beer. In general, anything that is sweet and processed has yeast in it, which applies to both solid food and liquid drinks. If a doctor suggests a yeast free diet, they usually mean to avoid these food items.

The main reason for having this kind of diet is to treat an ongoing yeast infection within the body. A yeast infection is caused by a mold or fungus called candida, and so it is also called candidiasis. A particular species called candida albicans is the most common agent attributed to candidiasis. The infection can take place in the mouth region which is known as oral candidiasis or thrush, in the pubic area which is known as vaginal candidiasis in women, or in the digestive system. The yeast infection can also be systemic, which means that it is blood-borne and therefore affects the entire body.

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Normally, various kinds of microorganisms and fungi are present within the body, including candida, and other more potentially harmful microbes. When there aren’t too many of them, they cause no harm and the person is healthy. It is when the normal balance between the good and bad microorganisms in the body becomes unbalanced that problems begin to occur. This happens because the bad ones proliferate to abnormally large amounts, which then causes various types of infections. In order to eliminate this problem, a yeast free diet may be warranted.

A person becomes prone to such an infection when they are sick, under great stress, or taking certain medications such as antibiotics and contraceptive pills. Pregnant women are also prone to candidiasis. Normally, taking an anti-fungal will cure the infection. However, for some people, the infection recurs again and again. When this happens, treatments using medications are combined with a yeast free diet.

A disadvantage of a yeast free diet is that it deprives the person of good nutrition. They have to give up on some of their favorite foods and desserts. As mentioned, most yeast-rich food items are those that are sweet and filling, including cakes, chocolates, soda and ice cream. The advantages far outweigh this sacrifice, because eating only yeast free foods will help hasten recovery from a yeast infection, and will also help prevent recurrences. Adopting the diet will further lessen the unpleasant symptoms of having too much yeast in the digestive tract; symptoms like bloating, stomach upset, and gas.

The idea behind going on a yeast free diet is to decrease the amounts of further growth from the harmful fungi inside the body. Such a diet is not meant to be a permanent recourse; typically, it is recommended for up to one month only. By this time, the infection should have been eliminated. Anyone can in fact take a candida cleanse, or a short-term yeast free diet, to clean out excess amounts within the digestive system. This usually takes about one week of avoiding yeast-rich food items.

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