Both hypoglycemia and Candida respond well to a low-sugar diet, but for very different reasons. Limiting simple carbs helps regulate both high and low blood sugar, stabilizing glucose and insulin production and preventing hypoglycemia. Candida albicans, a form of yeast-like bacteria, feeds off sugar that the simple carbohydrates provide. The same dietary changes can help resolve both health concerns.
Sugar, Simple Carbs and Hypoglycemia
Low glucose levels can be the result of skipping meals, exercising too vigorously or taking too much diabetes medication. However, they are most likely the result of the dramatic decline that follows a rapid spike in blood sugar caused by eating too many simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs such as starch and sugar are easily converted to glucose; the faster your body produces glucose, the more insulin your pancreas releases to try and move that glucose into your cells for use or storage. An overproduction of insulin leaves you with too little glucose in your bloodstream, and hypoglycemia results. The first signs of hypoglycemia are often hunger and a craving for more sugar, which will start the cycle of high and low glucose levels all over again.
Sugar, Simple Carbs and Candida
Candida is a microorganism -- one of many -- that lives harmlessly in your digestive tract until it is allowed to multiply unchecked. An overgrowth of Candida may result in a vaginal yeast infection, jock itch, diaper rash, athlete's foot, oral thrush and canker sores. Medications including antibiotics and birth control pills can interfere with the beneficial bacteria that normally keep Candida in check. Because Candida bacteria feed on sugar, one of the ways you can help control the Candida population in your GI tract is to limit sugar in all its forms, including natural sugars, refined flour and starches that your body easily converts to glucose.
You do not need to eliminate carbohydrates or follow a low-carb diet. You do need to eliminate all added sugars, including organic sugars and syrups such as invert cane syrup, corn syrup, malt syrup and maple syrup. Natural sugars such as fructose, the sugar in fruit, and lactose, the sugar in dairy products, should also be eaten sparingly, although the Candida diet requires you to repopulate your beneficial bacteria by consuming probiotics. Probiotics are live "friendly" bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir. Limited consumption of cultured dairy products is okay for both hypoglycemia and Candida.
The bulk of your diet should come from vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Although whole grains are high in fiber and good for hypoglycemia, they may contain too much sugar for the early stages of a Candida diet. However, once the overgrowth has been controlled, you may start to gradually add in foods, including sprouted whole grains. Avoid grains which contain gluten, such as wheat, rye and barley; instead use rice, millet, and quinoa. Eating protein and fat, which don't contain carbs, will help slow digestion, regulate glucose production and help starve Candida.