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Specific Carbohydrate Diet

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is marketed to those with inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, diverticulitis, cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhea. It was introduced in the 1920s by gastroenterologist Sidney Haas and popularized in the 1980s with Elaine Gottschall’s book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle.” The book was inspired by Ms. Gottschall's use of the SCD diet to achieve cure for her own daughter's severe ulcerative colitis.

The SCD diet is the basis for the GAPS diet but differs from the GAPS diet. The SCD diet restores balance to the gut micobiome not by adding beneficial bacteria ie fermented foods but by starving out harmful bacteria by eliminating complex carbohydrates. The specific carbohydrates that are allowed on this diet are monosaccharides easily absorbed through the intestinal wall. Meals focus on meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, certain beans, nonstarchy vegetables, and fruit. "Illegal" foods include processed foods, all grains, potatoes, most dairy, most legumes, and most processed sugar and sweeteners. As with the GAPS diet, foods not on the "legal" list may be introduced after symptoms resolve, in a controlled manner.

The SCD diet has also been used for patients with autism. Research is ongoing in this area. There is a high prevalence of gastrointestinal disorders in patients with autism so I do recommend specific dietary modifications for those with autism - stay tuned for more on this!

In my house, we do not use as many principles from SCD as we do from GAPS, but cutting out processed foods is definitely something to keep in mind!

Here's to your health, and have a wonderful day!

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