Tomatoes are such a big part of my life and although I would love to always have fresh ripe tomatoes on hand it just does not always work out that way. I do use fresh tomatoes in my cooking but keeping these around and in usable condition is a daily or at least a several times a week task. If I buy too many at one time, surprise, surprise, they go bad. This leaves me frustrated at the fact that I have now wasted money and I still don’t have the tomatoes I need to cook with. That is why having canned tomatoes in the kitchen is a must. However, using canned tomatoes becomes very tricky when you a trying to follow the candida diet. A candida diet is used to treat a condition called candidiasis, an overgrowth of yeast (candida) which can be caused by a variety of external factors. Symptoms of this condition vary widely but are usually characterized by a multitude of seemingly unrelated symptoms. These symptoms can range from something as vague as fatigue to mood disorders.
The problem with canned tomatoes and the Candida Diet is that canned tomatoes contain preservatives that have been found to feed candida and therefore exacerbate candidiasis symptoms. The prohibited ingredients most commonly found in canned tomatoes are citric acid and calcium chloride. Since citric acid is the biggest offender and very widely used and since I have found that very few brands of canned tomatoes contain calcium chloride I will only discuss why citric acid is problematic for candida dieters.
Citric Acid is used to flavor and preserve foods. It exists naturally in citrus fruits, but the type used in commercial food products often causes problems for candida dieters. Most commercially used citric acid is produced by fermentation, a process by which yeast is added to convert a sugar form into an alcohol form. This whole process is contrary to the candida diet as adding yeast, sugar and alcohol are all prohibited. So it is not citric acid itself that is the problematic, but rather the process by which it is created. I have seen canned tomatoes with naturally derived citric acid in their list of ingredients all though it is naturally derived from fruit citrus fruit sources it still undergoes the fermentation process.
So what are we candida dieters to do? Must we live with rotten tomatoes and constant frustration? The answer is no. Fortunately I have found a few brands of canned tomato products that do not contain citric acid, calcium chloride or any other preservative. These brands are okay for the candida diet. I have found most brands of tomato paste to be safe. Pomi brand tomatoes have no preservatives and come in sauce and chopped varieties. Cento makes a variety of tomato products without preservatives. Stop & Shop’s Nature’s Promise line also has some canned tomato products without preservatives. Although I use these brands regularly in my candida diet kitchen I urge you to always read product labels as things can change. I hope that this helps fellow candida dieters who were experiencing the tomato dilemma. For more information on the Candida Diet visit Yeast Free Living.