The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD Diet) is a group of foods that are starch-free, unprocessed, grain-free and sugar-free. This diet focuses on removing many of the foods in our society that are toxic and harmful to our bodies; it’s a simple diet similar to what our grandparents ate – whole, real foods.
I’ve used this diet per my doctors orders to ‘reboot’ my gut and give myself an overall health boost. I needed far more help beyond this diet but it surely helped quite a bit.
A few years ago, my doctor had me read the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet by Elaine Gottschall, who dedicated her life to researching the gut/diet connection that we all know about today. She coined the name of this diet and has helped so many people with their health issues.
The main guidelines of this diet is that not everyone’s digestive tract has evolved to optimally digest complex carbohydrates and other man-made processed foods such as sugar. Any food that is not properly digested causes bacterial and yeast overgrowth when undigested carbohydrates are fed on by bacteria and yeast in our intestinal tracts. This is what happened to me. This then starts a chain reaction of excess toxins and acids which cause irritation of our small intestine cells damaging them and causing absorption issues with our food – which then only fuels the cycle even more.
This diet is a simple way to break the cycle of bacteria and yeast overgrowth by eliminating the food sources they feed on. When you work to restore gut flora back to normal levels, then the intestinal tract can start to repair any damage itself.
When you eliminate complex carbs, sucrose, lactose and other man made ingredients – the body is able to start healing. As our gut flora levels start to stabilize, the reduced irritation from undigested food, toxins and other man made ingredients allows the inflammation levels to decrease. This is accomplished by starting the diet with easy to digest, whole foods.
Here is a brief list (NOT Complete) of what is allowed and not allowed on this diet.
- wild game
- fresh or frozen vegetables such as:
- Brussels sprouts
- string beans
- and a few more noted in the book
- only natural 30-day aged goat and cow cheese
- Brazil nuts
- chestnuts (only in RAW form)
- black beans
- split peas
- lima beans
- kidney beans
- navy beans
- white beans
- only non-mixed spices without anti-caking agents are allowed
- No cereal grains such as wheat, barley, corn, rye, oats, rice, buckwheat, millet, triticale, spelt, quinoa or bulgur.
- No processes meats such as ham, sausages, lunch meats, bratwurst, turkey dogs, or hot dogs.
- No canned vegetables.
- No soybeans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), bean sprouts, mung beans, or fava beans.
- No processed cheeses: cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, gjetost, mozzarella, Neufchâtel, Primost, ricotta, or processed cheese spreads.
- No starches such as potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, arrowroot, parsnip, cornstarch, or tapioca starch.
- No mixed spices such as curry powder, onion powder, or garlic powder.
- No instant coffee, commercial juices, sherry, brandy, flavored liqueurs, soda, or wine.
- No cane sugar, coconut sugar, table sugar, etc.
- No agave nectar, maple syrup or artificial sweetener.