Sugar and Candida

by Christine Winderlin and Dr. Keith Sehnert. Reprinted with permission from Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas.

Of all the foods that can damage the body, sugar seems to be the most effective.  Sugar is sweet but has no nutritional value, lowers immune defenses, and encourages Candida growth.  Sugar and Candida go hand in hand. If large amounts of sugar are consumed on a daily basis, the result may be an immune system unable to fight infection.

Dr. William Crook sums up the relationship between sugar and yeast growth: “Feeding sugar and simple carbohydrates to Candida organisms is like pouring kerosene on a fire.”

The average American consumes more than 130 pounds of sugar every year – 14 times more than was consumed only 100 years ago.  Obvious evidence of our need for sugar is everywhere.  Many supermarkets dedicate entire aisles to cookies, candies, syrups, sugar-coated cereals, and ice cream treats and desserts.  Less obvious examples of sugar-laden foods are tucked throughout the store: some examples are beverages, like fruit juices and soda, that contain large amounts of sugar.

Some foods that are less apparent sources of sugar include condiments like ketchup and mustard, salad dressings, fruit juices, dried fruits, and fresh fruits.  Molasses, maple syrup, and honey are also forms of concentrated sugar.

Even most toothpastes contain refined sugar or concentrated chemical form of sugar.  Sugar has little nutritional value and provides only carbohydrates that are quickly used by the body.  Sugar contains no A, B, C, D, and E vitamins and no minerals whatsoever, two elements essential for human life.

Several studies comment on the effect sugar has on the body.   One concerns sugar’s effect on the white blood cells that fight infections by eating invaders.  One type of white blood cell that is affected by sugar is neutrophils.  Not only do neutrophils fight infections, they also consume tissue debris, aiding the body in repairing damaged tissue.

Sugar basically deadens the blood cells that protect us against infection.  A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 100 grams of sugar from sucrose, glucose, honey, or even orange juice caused a significant decrease in the ability of white blood cells to perform their main purpose, which is to destroy foreign substances in our bodies.  This decrease in function lasted five hours.

In addition to weakening the immune defenses that protect us against Candida infection, sugar also feeds the Candida organism. Candida thrives on simple carbohydrates like the ones found in a wide variety of sugars, including cane and beet sugar, honey, molasses, and corn and maple syrup.  Eating fruits also promotes Candida growth because fruits, which are high in fructose, are converted to simple sugars into the body.  Some low-sugar fruits are not as harmful.

White flour is another example of a food product that can encourage yeast growth.  It can easily be broken down into simpler carbohydrates that feed Candida.  (Milk also contains larger amounts of simpler carbohydrates, and it is a good idea to avoid both of these foods.)  In addition to providing Candida with nutrients to grow, refined flour is also lacking in many of the nutrients essential to proper immune function.

The refining process results in drastic nutritional losses: 89% less cobalt, 86% less manganese, 85% less magnesium, 78% less zinc, 68% less copper, 46% less molybdenum, and 40% less chromium.  These aren’t the only nutrients lost.  Other casualties include selenium, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E.  What does stay in the flour is cadmium, a harmful heavy metal that would have been countered by the zinc if it hadn’t been removed.  In order to get the required nutrients from your food, try to eat whole-grain products whenever possible.

Like sugar, junk foods lack nutritional value and put addition stress on the immune system.  Junk foods are refined, processed and full of hidden ingredients.  They are also loaded with sugar, salt, food coloring, additives, chemicals, and hardened vegetable oil. Some examples are soft drinks, processed snacks, and fast foods.

Leftovers can be unhealthy because they are more likely to contain yeasts and molds.  In addition, nutrients naturally decrease as time passes, so leftover foods often contain few nutrients.  Chemical processes and additives also lower the nutrient value of food. Preservatives, coloring agents, foaming agents binders, thickeners, stabilizers, and emulsifiers also remove valuable nutrients from food.

People with Candida-related complex should avoid sugar and junk food whenever possible. Make sure you read every label and select restaurants carefully.


Sucrose, fructose, molasses, honey, cane and beet sugar, candy, baked goods, syrups, soda, ice cream, most breakfast cereals, dried and fresh fruit and their juices, ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, white flour, dairy products.