Diving into the Low Mold Diet: Guidelines and Steps for Success
Chances are, you’d never knowingly eat food covered in mold. But what you might not realize, is there are certain foods that can contain hidden mold, or worse – can essentially fuel any damage triggered from toxic mold exposure. And on the flip side, there are some powerful, healing foods that can help your body detox and bounce back from mold-related illness.
The key to tapping into the healing power of food is to follow what’s known as a low-mold diet. But before we dive into the ins and outs of this dietary protocol, let’s define what exactly a mold-related illness is in the first place.
So, What Is Mold-Related Illness?
Exposure to certain strains of toxic mold can trigger a plethora of illnesses – hence the name mold-related illness. Just some of the conditions that can potentially be traced back to mold exposure include:1,2
- Brain inflammation
- Mast cell activation disorder
- Mood and sleep disorders
- Respiratory infections
- And even death!
Mold-related illnesses are often challenging to diagnose and treat because symptoms can seem vague and unrelated at first – ranging from coughing to chronic headaches to persistent rashes and everything in between. So, how exactly are mold-related illnesses treated once you’re able to finally pinpoint toxic mold as the culprit behind your symptoms?
How Are Mold-Related Illnesses Treated?
Addressing mold-related illness requires a big-picture approach that has two primary areas of focus. The first step is to eliminate and/or remove yourself from sources of exposure. Whether that means temporarily or permanently moving to a new location or undergoing in-depth mold remediation, it’s pivotal to stop any ongoing exposure.
Once you’ve removed yourself from exposure, it’s time to move on to the second step – giving your body the support it needs to heal and begin detoxing. And one of the most powerful ways to help jumpstart your body’s ability to recover and detox from mold is by following a low-mold diet.
The Benefits of Adopting a Low-Mold Diet
The low-mold diet is strategically designed to support your body in bouncing back from mold illness in several distinct ways:
- Limiting further exposure: Certain foods can be chock-full of mycotoxins (the tiny toxins found in mold). By limiting your exposure to potentially contaminated food sources, the low-mold diet prevents the accumulation of these microscopic poisons.
- Restoring nutrients: The low-mold diet helps flood your body with healing nutrients to restore any deficiencies and address any imbalances triggered by mold exposure.
- Boosting immunity and calming inflammation: Following a low-mold diet helps boost your body’s immune function and helps soothe any inflammation – allowing your body to more effectively heal while speeding up the removal of any accumulated toxins.
- Combatting candida and yeast: Candida and yeast overgrowth can exacerbate mold-related illness. So the low-mold diet reduces exposure to refined carbohydrates that feed these microbes.
So let’s explore what a low-mold diet entails.
Foods to Avoid on the Low-Mold Diet?
When it comes to following a low-mold diet, you’ll want to strictly avoid specific food groups for a period of time. These food groups can be broken down into the following three categories:
Foods High in Simple Sugars
Sugars are one of the primary sources of fuel for mold as well as other microbes that exacerbate mold illness. Sugar, in particular, can be especially sneaky because it can be disguised under many different names and may be hidden in places you wouldn’t expect – even in foods you might consider “healthy”.
When following the low-mold diet, you should avoid:
- Baked goods
- Maple syrup
- Table sugar
While fruit can certainly be a part of a healthy diet, when trying to recover from mold, you’ll want to avoid certain fruits that have a notoriously high sugar content. These include:
- Dried fruits and fruit juices
While sugar is often the biggest dietary culprit that can contribute to mold growth, fast-absorbing carbohydrates and man-made additives can also encourage mold growth – which leads us to our next category of foods to avoid.
Heavily Processed and Pre-Packaged Foods
Heavily processed and pre-packaged foods almost always contain sugars, simple carbs, and/or additives that can fuel mold growth. For that reason you’ll want to avoid things like:
- Bottled condiments: Vinegar, mayonnaise, pickles, soy sauce, mustard, relish
- Canned foods: Baked beans, soups, ready-made sauces
- Pre-packaged meals: Ready-made meals, breakfast cereals, frozen foods
- Processed drinks: Soft drinks, fruit juices, flavored water, energy drinks
Try getting in the habit of reading the ingredient list of any product before you buy it. If it has more than five ingredients or is full of things you don’t recognize – it’s probably best to avoid it while on the low-mold diet.
Foods Containing Mold and Yeast
Some foods have a reputation for being contaminated with mold or fungal growth and should be avoided when adopting the low mold diet. Some examples are:
- Alcoholic beverages: Beer, wine, cider, liqueur, whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, etc.
- Cheese and sour milk products: Buttermilk, sour cream, cream cheese, aged cheese, sliced or block cheese
- Dried fruit: Raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, dates, etc.
- Edible fungi: Mushrooms, truffles
- Fermented foods: Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt
- Grains: Wheat, rice, oats
- Nuts: Peanuts, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts
- Packaged and smoked meats: Sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, pastrami, smoked fish, ham, bacon
While this list may seem restrictive at first glance, the good news is, there are still plenty of tasty foods permitted on the low-mold diet.
So, What Foods Are Allowed on the Low-Mold Diet?
Following the low mold-diet is not entirely cut-and-dried. There are some foods you should avoid entirely, some you can have in moderation, and some you can eat freely. Now that you know which foods you should avoid, let’s get to the fun part – the foods you are actually allowed to eat on the low-mold diet.
Foods to Eat in Moderation:
Foods you can incorporate into the low-mold diet in moderation include:
- Gluten-free grains: Brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, teff, certified gluten-free oats
- Starchy vegetables and legumes: Sweet corn, potatoes, beans, peas, lentils, sweet potatoes, squashes, turnips, parsnips
- Low-sugar fruits: Berries, apples, pears, peaches, avocados
These foods are fine to add in occasionally, but the bulk of your meals should be centered around the foods in the next category.
Foods to Eat Freely:
When it comes to the food you eat, quality is the name of the game. This is true always, but is especially important when following a low-mold diet. So when purchasing meat, try to opt for organic, pasture-raised, and grass-fed options. If you’re buying fish and seafood, wild-caught is always a superior option. And when it comes to any kind of produce, opt for organic as often as possible.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s go over the foods you can indulge in freely while following a low-mold diet:
- Beverages: Filtered water, mineral water, non-fruity herbal teas, fresh vegetable juice
- Fish (wild-caught only): Salmon, tuna, anchovy, sardines, flounder, catfish, caviar
- Gourd vegetables: pumpkins, squash, eggplants, zucchini
- Healthy fats: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, ghee, organic butter
- Herbs: Parsley, cilantro, basil, chives, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, tarragon, etc.
- Leafy greens: Romaine, kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, green and red cabbage
- Meats (grass-fed only): Beef, goat, lamb, buffalo, wild game, rabbit
- Other vegetables: Cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers
- Poultry (pasture-raised, organic only): Chicken, eggs, turkey, quail, pheasant
- Raw nuts and seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, pecans, sesame seeds
- Root vegetables: Carrots, onions, radishes, garlic
- Spices: Pure vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, wasabi, horseradish
Centering your meals around these whole, nutrient-dense foods will help support your body and give it the building blocks it needs to properly heal and detox.
Getting Rid of Moldy Foods
It’s also important to thoroughly inspect any food you’re going to eat and assess for any signs of mold growth. If you do happen to discover mold on any of your foods, immediately discard it and make sure to follow these guidelines:3
- Do not sniff the item. This can cause respiratory issues.
- If it’s covered and unsalvageable, wrap it up in plastic and discard it in a covered trash can.
- Thoroughly clean the area where the moldy food was.
- Check the nearby food items to see if the mold has spread. Remember, it can spread quickly in fruits and vegetables.
Your diet is undoubtedly one of the most important factors when it comes to detoxing from mold exposure. But the low-mold diet works especially well when paired with some other mold-detoxing strategies.
Additional Ways to Enhance Mold Detoxification
In addition to following the low-mold diet, you can support and supercharge your detoxification capabilities and speed up your time by also implementing some or all of the following strategies.
Use Detox Binders:
Detox binders are molecules that work as a sort of sponge – drawing in, binding to, and trapping toxins in your body so they can be safely eliminated.
Take Detox-Enhancing Supplements:
Certain supplements contain nutrients that can help facilitate detoxification. Some of these supplements include
- Milk Thistle Extract
- R-Lipoic Acid
Combining detox binders and detox-enhancing supplements can go a long way in supporting your natural detoxification pathways.
Incorporate A Mold Detox Protocol
A mold detox protocol combines lifestyle adjustment with a strategic blend of nutrients to specifically target the effects of exposure to toxic mold. By completing a short-term mold detox protocol – like that found within my 30-day Miracle Mold Detox Box – you can give your body the support it needs to:
- Mobilize, release, and effectively eliminate accumulated mycotoxins
- Amplify your body’s natural detoxification pathways
- Enhance cellular energy and recovery
- Pump the brakes on inflammation
Incorporating a mold detox protocol can go a long way in helping your body bounce back in the aftermath of exposure to toxic mold. Click here to learn more about the Miracle Mold Detox Box.
So, How Long Does It Take to Recover From Mold-Related Illness?
How long it takes to recover from mold illness depends on three main factors:4
- Length of exposure: In general, the longer the exposure, the longer the recovery time. If you’ve been exposed for long periods of time, such as years, you’re likely to have mold buildup in your body – hence why removing any sources of mold exposure is the very first step in recovering from mold illness.
- Type of exposure: Nearly 90% of all molds don’t affect the majority of the population due to them being nonpoisonous. However, the remaining 10% of molds contain toxic metabolites known as mycotoxins that can accumulate in your body and cause damage over time.
- Your level of sensitivity: Some level of mold exposure is inevitable – we’re all exposed to mold on a daily basis. And for many, that’s not a problem. But if you’re unlucky enough to be particularly sensitive to mold exposure, it can impact just how long it takes your body to recover.
Everyone’s road to recovery will look a little different and take a different amount of time. But with persistence and the right strategies, it’s absolutely possible to bounce back from mold-related illness.
Dealing with mold illness can feel arduous, challenging, and sometimes downright discouraging – especially when it takes time to begin seeing improvements in your symptoms. But with the right approach and lifestyle modifications (like following a low-mold diet), it’s absolutely possible to detox and heal from mold exposure.