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Diet for Adrenal Fatigue, Hypoglycemia and Candida

Hi Cynthia, I just wondered what would be your suggestions for a suitable diet, specifically carb intake when the adrenals, liver and colon are compromised?

This is coming from the angle of someone who really needs some carbs in the diet due to adrenal weakness and being severely underweight, yet chronically constipated with a congested liver and candida

Some conflictions I’ve noticed….

– Fruits – will swing blood sugars and possibly feed Candida, however eaten on there own appear to be good for digestion

– Grains – Low GI and gluten free good for balancing blood sugar however difficult to digest with Candida. Potentially feeds them.

– Starchy veg – Will swing sugars if sensitive and potentially feed Candida.

– Beans – good source of low GI carbs/protein and fiber although again difficult to digest and problematic for those with Candida.

– Juicing veg – again the majority of options are too potent for those with AF to handle, especially those who don’t have the energy to tolerate detoxification.

In summary, what are we supposed to eat?!!

Many thanks, Matt.

Great question Matt. Yes, there are so many different opinions out there on diet that it can make your head spin and actually result in immobilizing you instead of motivating you to take action.

So to add to the confusion, or shed a little light on the situation, depending on how you look at it, here is my opinion.

My advice is based on what I have found to be true and effective in my own personal experience and the people I work with. I have dealt personally with each of the conditions you mention.

The good news is that there is one diet that addresses each of your conditions and concerns. Each of these conditions demands a diet that is high in animal protein, a moderate amount of fat and low in carbohydrate. Or it could also be fat, animal protein and carb in that order. The diet I recommend to everyone, and the one that I follow is a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet, also known as the caveman diet or hunter-gatherer diet. The Paleolithic diet is the healthiest diet for your liver, adrenals, colon, digestive system, metabolic system, heart, immune system, nervous system and whatever condition you’re addressing because it is the diet that nature intended you to eat.

To summarize briefly, the Paleolithic diet is the diet that we are genetically designed to eat through the process of evolution. It consists of animal protein, fish, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and a moderate amount of healthy fat. It does not allow grains, dairy, legumes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, corn, peas, peanuts, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, additives, preservatives and pesticides. The human body was not genetically designed to process these foods, and therefore they result in the vast number of chronic health conditions we see in society today like Candida, hypoglycemia and adrenal fatigue.

The Paleolithic diet is the diet that human beings have eaten for more than 2 million years and what we are coded genetically to eat at this time as well. The Agriculture Revolution introduced grains, beans, potatoes and legumes to the diet and ever since then our health has taken a drastic decline and continues to do so. Astute health experts like Dr. Al Sears, Dr. Mercola and Professor Loren Cordain are a few of the professionals who support this line of thinking that I have found to be true in my own life.

However, for people with Candida, hypoglycemia and weak adrenals, the Paleolithic diet must be modified slightly. Fruits must be kept to a bare minimum because they will exacerbate each of these conditions. Stick to the low sugar fruits like berries and reserve sweeter fruits for special occasions. Nuts usually have to be restricted as well for people with Candida and colon health problems, as they tend to make yeast flare and may aggravate the colon of sensitive people.

Additionally, most fish is contaminated with mercury and other pollutants, which should be avoided by people with Candida, unless you can find some clean sources. Eggs are a common food that people have an undiagnosed food sensitivity to, so sometimes they must be avoided. Tomatoes are high in acid and tend to aggravate yeast, so usually have to be avoided or restricted.

To address some of your points specifically — as mentioned above, beans and grains should be avoided completely, because they are harmful to our bodies in many ways. They disrupt our metabolic system, nervous system, gastrointestinal system and immune system. Fruits should never be eaten on an empty stomach, this makes instant food for Candida, spikes blood sugar and cortisol levels which contributes to or exacerbates hypoglycemia and adrenal fatigue. Fruit should be eaten with fat because it reduces the impact on blood sugar.

Starchy vegetables should be avoided as they too are too high in sugar, are not processed well by the body and fall under the not allowed list in the Paleolithic diet. Although occasional juices may be okay, for the most part, fruits and vegetables should be eaten in their whole and natural state.

All your carbohydrate and fiber intake should be supplied through your vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds — not grains, beans or potatoes. However, with Candida, hypoglycemia, and adrenal fatigue, then most of it should be supplied through vegetables.

As for being underweight, I recommend you read this post on weight loss on the Candida diet. But to summarize, if you tolerate nuts and seeds then increase your intake of those foods. Although I encourage the avoidance of all grains including alternative grains, you could add a serving or two a week of one of the alternate grains. Eat avocados frequently – they are high in fat. Add walnut oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil to your veggies. Drink a protein drink. Again, although I don’t advocate the use of dairy products on a regular basis, you could add a serving of yogurt or butter to your menu for a while until you gain some weight. Add a few fatty cuts of meat to your menu, only until you put on a few pounds.

I recommend sticking to the modified Paleolithic diet as close as possible, but sometimes when many health conditions are involved we can have conflicting needs that will require some compromising.

So basically, to sum up the answer to your question, what should you eat?

On the ideal diet to address Candida, hypoglycemia and adrenal fatigue, animal protein should make-up a little more than half of your meal, and be accompanied by a moderate amount of fat and a limited amount of carbohydrate. Or you may feel better going ketogenic, in which the diet would be richer in fat than animal protein, but still low carb.

It’s also important to keep in mind that healing is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Maintaining optimal health requires a life-long commitment to healthy eating choices as I’ve outlined above.

All the best,
Cynthia

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • WORMGIRL1 September 23, 2010, 8:12 am

    I found this very interesting– I have been following a paleolithic diet for about 6 months now. Although I am not strictly adherent (I put milk in my coffee & eat an occasional baked potato) I have effortlessly lost 22 pounds. However I had a urine test recently for infection & the doctor pointed out ketones in the urine. I don’t think this is a big deal but I would appreciate any comments about this finding. Thanks.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins October 12, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Wormgirl1,

    Contrary to what many believe ketosis is not harmful. It simply means the body is burning fat instead of carbs. Ketoacidosis, which is very different from ketosis, is what is harmful. I refer you to a good article on this topic at Dr. Mercola’s site.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/07/27/carbs2.aspx

    Carbohydrates in the form of potatoes, whole grains, beans and other starchy foods are completely non-essential in the diet. Your body gets everything it needs in a diet that consists primarily of meat, fat and low-starch vegetables with a small amounts of nuts, seeds and fruit.
    Cynthia

  • cc December 1, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Great article! My question is: If your liver is congested, does all of the meat (high protein) stress it?

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins December 13, 2010, 11:20 am

    Hi CC,

    No the protein does not put too much stress on the liver. Carbohydrates put stress on the liver.

    However, if the liver is congested, and even if it isn’t, a good quality digestive enzyme should be used and steps should be taken to improve functioning of the liver.

    Cynthia

  • Judy April 8, 2012, 2:42 am

    Anyone have any suggestions for a decent breakfast? lunch and dinner – no problem… I just cant seem to find anything I can eat for breakfast without my blood sugar crashing. Diagnosed 2 yrs ago with a Candida overgrowth, now showing strong symptoms of hypoglycemia 🙁 not yet diagnosed but I have a Dr appt in 2 days to look into it.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins April 24, 2012, 4:07 pm

    Hi Judy,

    I’ve written about this on the following page

    What to Eat for Breakfast on Candida Diet
    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/what-do-i-eat-for-breakfast-on-the-candida-diet/

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Janet September 6, 2013, 5:22 am

    Hi – I have a similar problem. My husband had emergency surgery for a tumour in his transverse colon 10 months ago. He lost about a stone immediately after surgery due to the colon taking time to accept any food. He is not a big man in the first place and doesn’t easily put weight on. I would think most of the loss was muscle. Putting it back on has been 2 steps forward and 2 sometimes 3 steps backwards.

    I am in confusion now as I believed the high meat diet he used to eat may have been contributory to his cancer (though I have my doubts as to whether it may have been a candida tumour) – I have therefore restricted red meats and kept him of sugar as I understand insulin feeds cancer tumours. He has some grains – mostly rye and spelt as I felt he needed something to build him up. He has been on an anti candida diet in the past and lost weight

    I have done so much research and get conflicting thoughts everywhere I go – Having spent most of my life helping people to lose weight – this one has me stumped

    Yours in confusion!!

    Janet

  • Janet September 6, 2013, 5:24 am

    I forgot to say the tumour was removed in its entirety and no further treatment was necessary

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins October 22, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Hi Janet,

    Red meat does not cause cancer. If one is eating meat from the mainstream grocery store, it contains a variety of substances like hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. And it is fed grain which means it has an imbalance in its fatty acids. All of which can contribute to cancer. However, it is the presence of these substances that cause cancer, not meat itself. Meat should be organic, grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free.

    Please take a look at the following pages

    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/it%E2%80%99s-excess-carbohydrates-that-will-kill-you-not-red-meat-and-fat/

    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/does-eating-red-meat-really-cause-cardiovascular-disease-cancer-and-premature-death/

    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/why-recent-attacks-on-high-protein-low-carb-diets-are-nonsense/

    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/12-reasons-you-should-eat-more-meat/

    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/who-should-eat-meat/

    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/the-whole-grain-lie/

    https://www.holistichelp.net/paleolithic-diet.html

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Anita May 21, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Hi Cynthia. I have been reading in your blog and find it stabilizing. I am dealing with adrenal fatigue, candida and hypoglycemia and am wondering why it appears you recommend restricting fats? I have been eating a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet for quite a few years. With some recent emotional stressors I’m finding I do better with increasing my meat protein but haven’t decreased my fats.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins May 30, 2018, 4:56 pm

    Hi Anita, this article is very old. From 2010. Back then I was advocating the Paleolithic diet as I learned it from Loren Cordain. Loren Cordain’s view of the Paleo Diet is that it should be low in fat. Over the years I evolved to learn from people like Mark Sisson in The Primal Blueprint that we need an abundance of fat. So I changed my position on fat. I have updated this article to reflect my new view. So thanks for calling this to my attention

    I do not recommend restricting fat. Fat should be abundant in the diet, especially for the person with adrenal fatigue, candida and hypoglycemia. Each person should eat as much fat as needed to feel satiated and provide the energy they need and what helps their conditions most. Some people do best with animal protein, fat and carb in that order and some people do best with fat, animal protein and carb in that order. But, in either case, it should be at least a moderate amount. You can learn more about my most recent views on diet in my new book found on this page

    https://www.holistichelp.net/blog/get-my-new-book-healing-chronic-candida-in-bookstores-now/

    Best,

    Cynthia

  • Anita June 26, 2018, 7:44 pm

    Thank you Cynthia!

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