The ketogenic diet significantly reduces carbs to mainly just the small amounts you consume from low carb vegetables. The rest of the diet is mainly protein and fat. This diet is pretty much the anti-candida diet and the SIBO diet. And if we had to be honest, all three of these diets practice well-known longstanding food combining rules.
Candida is a yeast that exists normally in our bodies, but it can overgrow and cause and/or contribute to the following symptoms:
Digestive issues (bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, excessive belching)
Skin concerns (infections, eczema, psoriasis, acne)
Brain fog or cognitive trouble
Fatigue and exhaustion
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Intense cravings for sugars, sweets, and breads; and thus weight gain
SIBO is an overgrowth of normal or harmful bacteria in our small intestines, and can cause many of the same issues as candida overgrowth.
The candida diet gained popularity because so many people have been experiencing digestive issues. In the US, many of us have taken too many antibiotics in our lives. This throws off the normal microbial environment (normal balance of good bacteria) in our digestive tract. When that happens, there can be overgrowth. Both yeast and bacteria feed off of carbs
so reducing carbs helps to curb their growth, and symptoms. Our food is also laced with preservatives and toxins such as Roundup, which also causes imbalance of our normal flora. The level of chronic stress we experience in this country does the same as well. Food combining rules suggest that animal protein should never go with starch. The digestion will be impaired and toxic fermentation can take place. Protein, fat, and green leafy vegetables are a better combination according to food combining rules. I think genetics can play a role in what types of diets we are individually best suited for (as we discuss ketogenic, many people are currently thriving on vegan diets that still include carbs). However, only one generation ago, much of the US was eating carbs without the severity of problems we experience today.
I remember a friend of mine telling me of her experience in another country, in which she was scared to eat the normal cuisine there (not due to fear of getting sick, but just because she was uncomfortable with the choices). She decided to eat mainly fried foods and bread the rest of her stay, with no major changes in exercise, and still lost weight. Let's not forget that stress can lead to weight gain, and stress tends to reduce on vacation. But to me, this story also conveys that the quality of even 'bad' food in other countries that do not use preservatives and chemicals in their food supply has the potential to be much higher than it is here.
So if you had symptoms like the ones listed above, and have experienced great success with the ketogenic diet, it may have been because of an imbalance of your microbes. There is a chance that if you try to go back to eating the way you were before, or even a healthy diet that includes more carbs, you may still experience symptoms. Thus, it is worth getting tested to see where your bacterial and candida levels are now, for the diet is just part of the solution.
Selected herbs and probiotics, and rotation of them, can be pivotal in helping to rebalance your microbial environment.
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