For many years candida sufferers have been religiously following anti-candida diets that restrict all sugar and foods containing it and taking natural antifungal remedies. Even milk is excluded as lactose, the milk sugar, feeds the candida. Fruit is often restricted as well because of fructose, the fruit sugar. Many people have struggled with the diet only to find that they never really get rid of candida yeast overgrowth.
But some raw food and natural hygeine proponents maintain that fat and not sugar is the culprit where candida is concerned. This theory suggests that excess fat rather than excess sugar causes overgrowth of candida.
The fat in the bloodstream coats the hormone insulin, reduces the cells sensitivity it so sugar (glucose) is not carried into the cell as it should be. The sugar then feeds the yeast that is naturally present in the blood stream.
Doug Graham, author, athlete, and a 27-year raw fooder, says that yeast, or candida, is a constant presence in the blood serving as a life preservation mechanism, blooming when there is an excess of sugar in the blood stream to bring blood sugar down to a non-threatening level. But when the glucose feeds the candida rather than your cells they are unable to produce energy so you feel tired and rundown.
The cure for candida then is to go to the root of the problem and reduce the fat rather than try to kill the candida. Of course eating refined sugar and foods containing it is never good but this model does not insist on the long term elimination of fruit stipulated by many anti-candida diets.
There is no doubt that excess saturated, trans and damaged fats in the diet is a cause of the cell’s resistance to insulin. The answer then is to go on a really low-fat diet for a few weeks, avoiding all animal products, oil, nuts, seeds, avocado and coconuts.
Many people have turned to raw food diets in attempt to cure candida and allergies only to binge on nuts, seeds, avocados and desserts made from nuts, seeds, dried fruit and coconut perpetuating their problem of candida overgrowth.
Johanna Zee, natural hygienist practitioner advises a water fast followed by a cleansing diet of easily digested blended salads, raw soups, green smoothies, and fresh whole fruit. Sounds good to me!
Doug Graham proposes the 80/10/10 diet where 80% of the diet is carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables and 10% or less of calories each from fat and protein. Conventional nutrition recommends that no more than 30% of the diet should be fat and only 11% of that saturated.
For someone on a 1500 – 2000 calorie diet 10% fat equates to about 1oz nuts, 1-2 tsp oil or half a small avocado a day. Starchy vegetables and grains are automatically excluded on a raw food diet. Graham claims success with many health conditions using this approach.
Although I was skeptical of this theory it seems that many people who have been battling with candida problems for years apparently get almost instant relief from following this low-fat diet. I suspect the truth is that there are a number of factors involved in persistant candida overgrowth but the fat theory deserves serious consideration.