A question that a lot of people ask is whether or not a Candida Diet should be low in carbohydrates (carbs) or if carbs feed yeast cells.
I think that carbs don’t have to be eliminated, but people do need to be smart as to the way they eat carbs and which type of carbs are consumed. First of all, it’s important to understand the basic biology of Candida albicans cells. These one celled organisms can only digest simple carbs like sugars, but not complex carbs such as those found in other carb dense foods.
However, even some complex carbs can be broken down quickly into simple carbs by the human body, which causes elevated blood sugar levels. This elevated blood sugar is what feeds Candida yeast cells systemically. A Candida diet seeks to keep blood sugar levels at a normal level. Therefore, foods that elevate blood sugar rapidly should be avoided. Since eventually all complex carbs will get broken down into the sugar glucose by the human body it’s important that this process be slow and steady rather than fast by choosing the right kind of slow digesting carbs.
A good Candida diet does tend be on the lower carb side of the scale, but does include low GI, nutritionally dense carbohydrates. Carbs that have a high fiber content are usually good choices because fiber slows down the rate of sugar conversion.
Carbs to Choose
- Long grain brown rice
- Lentils (Dried and boiled)
- Black beans
- Brown Rice Pasta
- Chic peas
- Green beans
- Kidney beans
- Egg Plant
- Soy Beans
- Most other vegetables not on the foods to avoid list.
- Chia seeds
Note: With all of the beans and legumes above, it’s better to buy the dried versions then the canned versions. The canned versions have a much higher GI index.
A good rule to follow is to have 1/2 of your plate full of vegetables, 1/4 plate protein, and 1/4 plate complex carb. Between the carbs in the vegetables and the complex carbs in the long grain brown rice for an example, it will give you the energy your body needs to function, but won’t spike your blood sugar levels which will feed the hungry Candida albicans yeast cells.
A candida diet does tend to be lower in carbs and therefore, calories than most traditional western diets, which is why most people tend to lose weight on the diet. If you don’t have weight to lose, just make sure you are eating plenty of vegetables and some of the good complex carbohydrate sources mentioned above. Completely eliminating carbs might seem like an easy way to get rid of yeast, but this won’t promote a healthy body or immune system, which in the long run won’t really fix the problem of systemic yeast infections.