Meal Plan for a Yeast Free Diet
There are hundreds of species of yeast found on virtually every organic surface. Of these, only a few are commonly found in or on the human body. One species, Candida albicans, is very common in the moist areas of our bodies: inside the mouth, the digestive tract, the urinary tract and the genital areas. We also have some bacteria species which live in our bodies symbiotically and these feed on the yeast and keep its growth in check. However, when something throws off the balance between bacteria and yeast, candida can get out of control. The balance can be upset due to antibiotics prescribed to target harmful bacteria but also affect the good bacteria. Also, contraceptive pills, steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, fatigue, stress and other factors can affect the levels of our good bacteria.
Symptoms of yeast overgrowth include diarrhoea and abdominal pain the short term, but if this goes on for longer, an overgrowth of candida leads to thrush, or candidiasis, which can affect the mouth, vagina (vaginitis) or penis or the digestive tract. Candidiasis in the digestive tract can lead to a range of symptoms including bloating, constipation and excessive gas.
Mostly yeast infections remain localised on a moist surface, but in some less common cases, prolonged growth can cause the yeast to shift to the fungal form which takes hold into the mucosal surface. This can cause a condition where food, toxins and other substances can penetrate the usually impenetrable gut wall and leak into the body. This is know as leaky gut syndrome and is a systemic infection associated with a number of symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, thrush and even allergies due to the body's immune system 'attacking' itself. Some associated auto-immune symptoms include fatigue, eczema, respiratory problems, joint pain, dizziness, acne and irritability. In extreme cases, the yeast itself leaks through and enters the bloodstream causing fever and possible damage to organs.
To help inhibit the overgrowth of candida, you can follow a yeast free diet; this also means avoiding sugars and sugary foods wherever possible as yeasts feed on sugars. Aim to follow the diet for three to six weeks, but in some cases people need to follow such a diet long term. Include probiotic supplements as well as these will increase the levels of your good bacteria.
Sources of yeast in the diet to avoid:
- Bread made with yeast or yoghurt (soda breads are yeast-free)
- Buns and cakes made with yeast (e.g. crumpets, doughnuts, teacakes)
- Foods made with bread (e.g. bread sauce, stuffing, bread and butter pudding, apple charlotte, summer pudding)
- Foods containing bread as a 'filler' (e.g. sausages, burgers, rissoles, meat loaf)
- Foods coated in breadcrumbs, (e.g. fish fingers, fish cakes, breaded fish, potato cakes, scotch eggs)
- Cheese, yoghurt, buttermilk, soured cream, some synthetic creams
- Wine, fortified wines (e.g. vermouth), beer, cider
- Fruit juices (unless freshly prepared and consumed)
- Grapes, plums and any over-ripe fruit
- Dried fruit such as sultanas, raisins, currants, dates, figs or prunes and foods containing dried fruit (e.g. fruit cake, mincemeat, muesli)
- Soya sauce
- Pickles (e.g. pickled onions, pickled beetroot)
- Vinegar and vinegar-containing products (e.g. tomato sauce, salad dressing, mayonnaise)
Yeast and meat extracts
- Marmite, Bovril
- Oxo and similar beef, chicken or vegetable stock cubes
- Gravy mixes
- Many tinned and packet savoury foods (e.g. soups, sauces)
- Brewers yeast tablets
- B vitamins, either as multivitamin or single preparations, are often produced from yeast
- Malted milk drinks
- Cream crackers
- Any manufactured food with yeast as an ingredient on the label
The following is a suitable meal plan for someone following a yeast freed diet, based on an average weight individual with a sedentary job for weight maintenance. Use this to give you an idea of what are healthy nutritious foods to include, but don't forget to vary your food choices and to drink plenty of water through the day.
2-3 rice cakes
Sandwich: 2 slices soda bread + butter + slice off bone chicken or salmon
Mixed salad inc tbsp sunflower seeds
Low fat natural yoghurt + fruit
Handful mixed nuts
Large chicken breast or
fillet white fish or
lean red meatBasmati rice or
potatoes / sweet potatoes
Loads of veg or
Sandwich: 2 slices soda bread + butter + slice off bone chicken or tuna
Mixed raw veg
Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.