INTRODUCTION: Candida albicans being a part of the normal oral microbial flora is one of the most commonly isolated species from the oral cavity. Recent studies have shown a steady rise in the number of non C. albicans species, which are relatively resistant to common antifungal agents and are being recognized as potential pathogens. It is vital to ascertain the predisposing factors leading to such a shift in the oral candidal flora. AIM: To estimate the prevalence of candidal species among vegetarians and non-vegetarians. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Clinical data including age, gender, and diet preference of 238 participants were noted. Participants with a history of systemic disorders, oral prosthesis, salivary gland disorders and habits such as smoking, alcoholism, and tobacco usage were excluded from the study. The participants were asked to gargle a 10 ml solution of phosphate buffered saline for one minute before depositing the same in a sterile container. The samples were cultured using Hicrome agar media. Data analysis was carried out using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS software) version 10.5 and differences between individual groups were tested by Chi-square test. RESULTS: Among 238 samples, 127 (53.3%) samples were positive for Candida. The candidal prevalence in vegetarians (68.5%) was higher than non-vegetarians (40.7%). C. albicans was the most common species to be isolated in both vegetarians (35.1%) and non-vegetarians (39.2%). Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis showed a higher prevalence in vegetarians (30.5% and 10.1%, respectively) in comparison to non-vegetarians (8.4% and 2.3%, respectively). Candida krusei was isolated only from vegetarians (4.6%).CONCLUSION:Results indicate that diet plays a major role in oral candidal prevalence and species specificity which in turn may predispose the vegetarians toward these pathogenic organisms.