SCD Diet Guide In 2022 [Food List & Recipes Included] (2023)

In this article, we will review the SCD diet, go over the SCD diet list, and even include a few sample recipes. After reading through, you will be able to decide if this diet is right for you or not!

Table of Contents

(Video) Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • 1 What is the SCD Diet?
    • 1.1 Carbohydrates have two basic types of chemical structures:
  • 2 Any evidence for SCD diet in digestive diseases?
  • 3 SCD Diet for SIBO and IBS?
  • 4 SCD Diet: Getting Started
  • 5 SCD Diet Food List
  • 6 Sample SCD Diet recipes
    • 6.1 Breakfast:
    • 6.2 Lunch:
    • 6.3 Dinner:
    • 6.4 Recipe 1: Garden Vegetable Omelet
      • 6.4.1 Ingredients:
      • 6.4.2 Instructions:
      • 6.5.1 Ingredients:
      • 6.5.2 Instructions:
  • 7 Conclusion

What is the SCD Diet?

SCD Diet Guide In 2022 [Food List & Recipes Included] (1)

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) was developed by a gastroenterologist and then publicized by a patient’s mother and researcher. The patient was a five-year-old child with ulcerative colitis who followed this diet and found great success. It is based upon the theory of carbohydrate fermentation which takes place in the gut.

Carbohydrates have two basic types of chemical structures:

  • Single sugar molecule carbohydrates called monosaccharides
  • And those with more than one carbohydrate/sugar molecule called disaccharides or polysaccharides.

The simple molecule carbohydrates breakdown quicker and are absorbed better than the molecules containing more sugars.

The multiple molecules of sugar require a little more work on the body’s part for digestion and absorption. If they are not fully digested a process called fermentation may take place. Fermentation is the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive system by bacteria with the help of enzymes1.

This process is beneficial in the large intestine and at the correct rate. When it takes place in other parts of the digestive system at large rates, problems can occur. If carbohydrates are reduced, so is fermentation and bacterial growth.

Any evidence for SCD diet in digestive diseases?

SCD Diet Guide In 2022 [Food List & Recipes Included] (2)

(Video) The Mediterranean Diet and Specific Carbohydrate Diet for IBD

This sounds very reasonable in theory but is there any evidence that this diet actually works?

This diet has been studied for multiple digestive disorders particularly Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Many studies were focused upon the pediatric population2. Results showed positive results such as reduced or elimination of medication use3,4, 5.

Other studies demonstrated patients believed remission was achieved attributed to the specific carb diet6. On the other hand, other studies demonstrated only partial healing of the gut7. Researches feel further study should take place.

Studies directly linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome have also been conducted, yet they are very few in number. In a study comparing the sufficiency of the low FODMAP diet versus the SCD, more significant clinical findings were found with the low FODMAP diet than the specific carb diet. Yet positive results did occur when using the SCD diet8.

SCD Diet for SIBO and IBS?

SCD Diet Guide In 2022 [Food List & Recipes Included] (3)

This begs the question, is the specific carb diet a wise choice for individuals with SIBO and IBS? This question might be best answered in the form of pros and cons.

(Video) 43 Low FODMAPs versus Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for SIBO

The pros of this diet include the most desired outcome- a reduction of bacteria growth through the reduction of fermentation. The typical American diet is very high in processed foods. These foods are typically low in nutritional value. The specific carb diet eliminates processed foods. It also encourages less fast food meals and encourages more homemade meals made from fresh wholesome foods.

However, when following this diet, whole foods groups such as grains and dairy are removed. This can be problematic. Nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, and calcium can become low if not addressed. Through supplementation or increased food intake, these nutrients can be replenished. Iron and some of the B vitamins can be found in fresh meats.

Other B vitamins such as folic acid may be found in fruits and vegetables. Calcium can be found in certain vegetable such as spinach and in the allowed cheeses and homemade yogurt. Because this diet is quite restrictive, reading food labels very carefully is important. It may also cause challenges when eating out.

PROSCONS
Removal of specific carbs in the diet to reduce fermentation and bacteria growth.Whole food groups are removed which may lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Processed foods are eliminated.Possibly too restrictive for individuals with unintentional weight loss, underweight, or issues with fructose malabsorption.
Promotes foods made at home.Eating out can be quite challenging.

One question still remains. The low FODMAP diet limits certain fruits and vegetables that typically tend to increase fermentation. The specific carb diet has fewer restrictions for these two groups. This has led researchers to further study.

One such explanation is the anti-inflammatory effect of these foods. The low FODMAP diet may not decrease inflammation in the intestine but the SCD is known for this property9, thus leading to a favorable outcome.

In conclusion, the SCD diet can be considered as an option for SIBO but an even better SIBO specific diet is the Low FODMAP diet or a hybrid of both.

(Video) Specific Carbohydrate Diet or SCD| Food allowed for ulcerative colitis| Food not allowed for colitis

SCD Diet: Getting Started

The specific carb diet can be intimidating at first. As with any new diet, it is recommended to check with your medical professional before starting. To follow the specific carb diet, one must understand the food recommended and those not recommended.

SCD Diet Food List

ALLOWED FOODSFOODS TO AVOID
VegetablesCanned vegetables
Certain legumes: dried beans, split peas, lentils (all soaked)Chickpeas, soy, chickpeas, bean sprouts,
Fresh meat, poultry, fish, eggsProcessed meats
Nuts, nut butters, peanuts & natural peanut butterAll grains
Oils: coconut, oil, soy, cornOils: canola, vegetable, safflower
Condiments: mustard, vinegar, fresh spicesCondiments: (commercial) ketchup, mayo, margarine, balsamic vinegar
Dairy: natural cheeses and homemade yogurt, nut milksDairy: milk, ice cream, whey, creams, fresh cheeses, processed cheese
Fruits & pure fruit juicesAll simple sugars: table sugar, molasses, candy, chocolate, corn syrup, cookies, cakes,
Honey (in moderation)Starchy vegetables: potatoes, yams, parsnips
Drinks: water, weak tea and coffee, dry wine, club sodaDrinks: drinks containing sugar, beer, juice with added sugar

Sample SCD Diet recipes

Recipes can also help you get started on a new diet. Below is a quick and easy menu for one day with recipes that only include the recommended foods.

Breakfast:

  • 1 serving Garden Vegetable Omelet (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup Mixed Berries

Lunch:

  • Fruit & Nut Chicken Salad Cups
  • 1 cup cut fresh Vegetables with Olive Oil Dressing

Dinner:

  • 4 oz. Grilled Salmon
  • 1 cup fresh, steamed Green Beans
  • ½ cup Cauliflower ‘Rice’

Recipe 1: Garden Vegetable Omelet

SCD Diet Guide In 2022 [Food List & Recipes Included] (4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp onion
  • 1/4 c. spinach
  • 1 Tbsp tomato
  • 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp water

Instructions:

  1. In a skillet, heat oil.
  2. Chop onions, spinach, and tomatoes. Add to oil. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Saute until spinach is wilted and onions are soft. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile combine egg, water, salt and pepper. Place in skillet. Allow egg mixture to cover skillet.
  5. Once egg begins to cook and is set, add vegetables. Flip when egg is set. Cook thoroughly.

Yield: 1 serving

Recipe 2: Fruit & Nut Chicken Salad

SCD Diet Guide In 2022 [Food List & Recipes Included] (5)

Ingredients:

  • 4- 3 oz. cooked chicken breast
  • 4 green onion sprigs, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • ½ c. grapes, chopped in halves
  • ¼ c. pecans, chopped
  • ½ – ¾ c. homemade plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bibb lettuce

Instructions:

  1. Shred chicken and combine with all ingredients except lettuce.
  2. Mix well and refrigerate for 4 hours. Serve in lettuce cups.

Yields: 4-6 servings

(Video) Confused About Your IBS and SIBO Diet Plan? WATCH THIS

Check out SIBOSurvivor Cookbook to explore our vast collection of delicious, easy to prepare, and SCD-diet-friendly recipes!

Conclusion

Evidence shows that adjusting carbohydrates can be beneficial to those who suffer from SIBO. The low FODMAP is recommended more often than the specific carb diet plus has more scientific evidence to support it. Yet, as research has shown, the specific carb diet can be beneficial. Following the strict guidelines for the specified time, may be helpful to those with SIBO.

If you’re looking for a complete guide to eliminate SIBO, check out this SIBO Elimination Toolkit Now!

FAQs

Can you eat oatmeal on SCD diet? ›

Because we recognize the importance of soluble fiber, we allow steel-cut and rolled oats on the diet (SCD does not allow grains of any kind).

Can you eat potatoes on the SCD diet? ›

Foods to Eat

These are some of the SCD's legal foods: Fruits: Most unprocessed, fresh or frozen fruits and juices. Canned fruits may be allowed as long as they don't have added sugar or starch. Vegetables: Most vegetables, except for potatoes, yams, plantains and some other high-starch vegetables.

Are eggs allowed on SCD diet? ›

"Legal Foods" on the SCD include:

fresh and frozen meats, fish and eggs.

Is butter allowed on SCD diet? ›

MILK, CREAM, AND BUTTER

Ghee, pastured-cow or “grass-fed” butter. Milk from animals is not allowed. No kefir or margarine. No milk- and cream-based products (although it is okay to use these to make the homemade yogurt).

Is balsamic vinegar SCD legal? ›

Balsamic vinegar must be pure to be “legal” on GAPS/SCD. Even still, it's sweetness makes you wonder. No matter. This balsamic vinegar is the best I've had by far.

Can you eat peanut butter on SCD diet? ›

Please avoid peanut butter, many SCD adults report problems with peanut butter. Peanuts are legumes,and legumes are advanced foods.

Is white rice allowed on SCD diet? ›

Foods such as nuts, aged cheeses, fish, beef, and unsweetened juices are allowed. Examples of foods that are not allowed include sugars, oats, pasta, potatoes, rice, sugar substitutes, and wheat.

Are carrots SCD legal? ›

Carrots are the cornerstone vegetable of the SCD diet. They are the first vegetable that Elaine recommends to eat for a good reason. Carrots contain extremely high amounts of carotenoids, which have been linked to fighting cancer, fighting parasites, protecting vision, and reducing heart disease.

Are bananas allowed on SCD? ›

Please only use the regular bananas and only when they are very ripe and have black spots on their skin. Unripe bananas contain starch and are not allowed on the diet. Please avoid peanut butter, many SCD adults report problems with peanut butter.

Is Bacon SCD legal? ›

Bacon is allowed on the diet, which is nice because you may feel like you've given up everything, but then bacon is still there!

How long does SCD diet take to work? ›

A 2018 case study reported substantial changes in the fecal microbiome in a person with ulcerative colitis in the 2 weeks after they started SCD. The person was able to see changes as early as a week after starting the diet.

What tea is SCD legal? ›

Ordinary black tea is legal but should be made weak. Instant tea,Ojibwa tea (Essiac), many herbal teas, teas made from bark etc are full of polysaccharides and are illegal. Peppermint and spearmint herb teas are legal, and you can make a tea from ginger which is also legal.

What should I eat after SCD intro? ›

  • After you have been on the Introductory Diet for 2-5 days to clear your system, Elaine Gottschall recommends adding cooked fruit, speckled banana, and additional cooked vegetables to your diet. ...
  • Once you've finished the Intro Diet and are feeling better, you can begin to try any of the other legal foods that look good.

Is almond milk SCD legal? ›

Alternative Milk & SCD:

Rice, oat, and soy milk are not allowed at all as they contain either grain or soy. Almost all nut milks and coconut milk are allowed though, and can easily be made at home to meet SCD requirements.

Are lemons SCD legal? ›

Citrus can be introduced in stage 3 of the SCD diet in a cooked format. This includes lemon, lime, and orange. In stage 4 these fruits can be consumed raw and include their juices.

Why is honey allowed on SCD? ›

There have been many questions about why honey is accepted on the SCD. The main reason why honey is legal is because it is a natural sugar which means that it doesn't have any additional ingredients or additives if you choose an option that has as many natural ingredients in it as possible.

Is tomato sauce SCD legal? ›

For folks who follow SCD, there is some confusion around whether canned tomato sauce and other canned fruits and vegetables are allowed. While many will have strong feelings one way or the other, the bottom line is that cans with no additives or processing aids are allowed on SCD.

Is spinach SCD legal? ›

SCD legal foods highest in Zinc are seafood, beef and lamb, spinach, pumpkin and squash seeds, nuts, pork and chicken, navy beans (soak overnight, cook, and wait 3 months), and mushrooms.

Is Stevia SCD legal? ›

It is not SCD legal." However, on the Elaine's Children list, she indicated that it might be used in strictly limited quantities for those children who absolutely cannot tolerate either honey or saccharin. Powdered stevia should be approached with extreme caution.

Is mozzarella cheese SCD legal? ›

A Snack Idea for the SCD

Even though mozzarella cheese (along with other soft cheeses) is considered to be “illegal”, I've been able to find some aged, sharp white cheddar alternatives that don't seem to upset my stomach: Sargento Natural Cheddar Cheese Sticks.

What is SCD yogurt? ›

SCD or GAPS Diet yogurt is not the same as store-bought yogurt, nor is it the same as regular homemade yogurt. SCD or GAPS Diet yogurt is fermented yogurt that is virtually lactose-free and easier to digest. The yogurt is allowed to ferment for 24 hours, at which point, the lactose is “eaten up.”

Is almond butter SCD legal? ›

Almond butter with no sugar added is allowed. May be tried after being on the diet for 6 months. Almond milk is legal if you make your own.

Are olives SCD legal? ›

Olives are legal as long as they do not contain illegal ingredients; read the labels carefully. Use fresh onions. Onion powders have starch added as anti-caking agents.

Is quinoa allowed on SCD diet? ›

What foods are not allowed on a specific carbohydrate diet? You should not eat these foods when you follow a specific carbohydrate diet: Grains like barley, corn, oats, quinoa, rice and wheat.

Are chickpeas SCD legal? ›

Foods allowed on the SCD are beans: Black, kidney, lentil, lima, split pea, navy bean and peanuts. Chick peas beans, soy and cannellini beans are not allowed. Nuts: All kinds — sesame seeds and sunflower seeds but not chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp seeds.

Are dates SCD legal? ›

Date sugar has a large amount of antioxidants according to this study. Medjool and California dates are allowed.

What grains are allowed on SCD? ›

SCD Food List Overview
FishAllowed
RiceExclude
Grains other than wheat, corn, oats, and rice, which are listed separatelyExclude
Starchy Vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips, etc)Exclude
Artificial SweetenersExclude
25 more rows

Is Ginger SCD legal? ›

No herb tea except the mints, black, and green regular tea, and ginger is SCD legal.

How long does SCD yogurt last? ›

It can last up to three weeks in the fridge, but the bacteria will remain active in it for two weeks at most.

Is Ham SCD legal? ›

The SCD™ is a progressive diet and the introduction of many of these foods should be delayed until healing has taken place, please read the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" for further information.
...
FoodLegal / IllegalNote
HamLegalOnly if cured with salt, it is illegal if cured with sugar dextrose etc see Ham
10 more rows

Is coconut flour SCD legal? ›

Fresh or unsweetened, shredded coconut and coconut flour are all legal.

Is butternut squash SCD legal? ›

The SCD diet doesn't allow potatoes, but butternut squash is IN, so I dusted off my cast iron, diced up some butternut squash, and gave it a whirl. The results? We LOVE it – kids and grownups included – and so do non-SCDers (extended family).

Is cocoa powder SCD legal? ›

Haas advised not to use cocoa or chocolate and this still goes, it isn't just the sugar he was worried about." Cacao, cocoa and chocolate products are NOT compliant with the SCD diet.

Are radishes SCD legal? ›

Whole30 Roasted Radishes are an easy to make low carb side dish and a great alternative to roast potatoes. The radishes become tender when roasted and are seasoned with just salt, pepper and parsley. They are Keto, Paleo, Vegan and SCD.

When should I introduce yogurt to SCD? ›

SCD yogurt can be introduced after the initial intro phase, but should be added slowly to make sure it can be tolerated. If you have a milk allergy or find you cannot tolerate the milk version, you can also make SCD coconut, or almond milk yogurt using the same instructions.

What is modified SCD? ›

Modified SCD is a diet that is derived from SCD but attempts to add back in a few select healthy whole foods to offer patients expanding options and to potentially feed a more diverse microbiome. Note that the definition of modified SCD is evolving.

Does the SCD diet work for Crohn's? ›

New York, NY – For Crohn's disease patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms, a Mediterranean style diet and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ appear to improve symptoms and quality of life, according to a new study published in Gastroenterology and funded by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and the Patient-Centered ...

Are bananas SCD legal? ›

Ripe fruit is allowed on GAPS and SCD, though if you are doing the ketogenic version of the GAPS Diet you will want to avoid bananas for the most part, as they are high in carbs.

Is Bacon SCD legal? ›

Bacon is allowed on the diet, which is nice because you may feel like you've given up everything, but then bacon is still there!

Is Cheddar cheese SCD legal? ›

Organic Valley provided me a list of their cheeses meeting the SCD 30 days or longer aging requirement that would be SCD legal (but always double check the ingedients list): Cheddar (sharp, raw or pasteurized): 8 months, Cheddar (mild, raw or pasteurized): 60 days, Parmesan: 10 months.

What is SCD yogurt? ›

SCD or GAPS Diet yogurt is not the same as store-bought yogurt, nor is it the same as regular homemade yogurt. SCD or GAPS Diet yogurt is fermented yogurt that is virtually lactose-free and easier to digest. The yogurt is allowed to ferment for 24 hours, at which point, the lactose is “eaten up.”

Are carrots allowed on SCD? ›

Carrots are the cornerstone vegetable of the SCD diet. They are the first vegetable that Elaine recommends to eat for a good reason. Carrots contain extremely high amounts of carotenoids, which have been linked to fighting cancer, fighting parasites, protecting vision, and reducing heart disease.

What tea is SCD legal? ›

Ordinary black tea is legal but should be made weak. Instant tea,Ojibwa tea (Essiac), many herbal teas, teas made from bark etc are full of polysaccharides and are illegal. Peppermint and spearmint herb teas are legal, and you can make a tea from ginger which is also legal.

Is spinach SCD legal? ›

SCD legal foods highest in Zinc are seafood, beef and lamb, spinach, pumpkin and squash seeds, nuts, pork and chicken, navy beans (soak overnight, cook, and wait 3 months), and mushrooms.

Is applesauce SCD legal? ›

In addition to the homemade yogurt and bone broth, I would say applesauce is another essential item for the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) diet. This is one of the first foods that we eased into after we completed the introduction phase.

Is almond milk SCD legal? ›

Alternative Milk & SCD:

Rice, oat, and soy milk are not allowed at all as they contain either grain or soy. Almost all nut milks and coconut milk are allowed though, and can easily be made at home to meet SCD requirements.

Is Ham SCD legal? ›

The SCD™ is a progressive diet and the introduction of many of these foods should be delayed until healing has taken place, please read the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" for further information.
...
FoodLegal / IllegalNote
HamLegalOnly if cured with salt, it is illegal if cured with sugar dextrose etc see Ham
10 more rows

When can I introduce yogurt on SCD diet? ›

SCD yogurt can be introduced after the initial intro phase, but should be added slowly to make sure it can be tolerated.

When can I introduce yogurt on SCD? ›

I would recommend introducing a tablespoon or two a day of SCD yogurt after you completed the Intro Stage. Also -yogurt is sour so add honey and/or berries. Cheeses – these can be added slowly after Intro Diet.

Are lemons SCD legal? ›

Citrus can be introduced in stage 3 of the SCD diet in a cooked format. This includes lemon, lime, and orange. In stage 4 these fruits can be consumed raw and include their juices.

How long does SCD diet take to work? ›

A 2018 case study reported substantial changes in the fecal microbiome in a person with ulcerative colitis in the 2 weeks after they started SCD. The person was able to see changes as early as a week after starting the diet.

How do you drip SCD yogurt? ›

To download this recipe, click here. To make "dripped" or Greek style yogurt, line a large strainer with coffee filters. Pour yogurt into the strainer, place over a pan and allow to drip until yogurt is thickened.

How long does SCD yogurt last in the fridge? ›

It can last up to three weeks in the fridge, but the bacteria will remain active in it for two weeks at most.

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