The Specific Carbohydrate Diet - in simple terms - was designed to starve out the intestinal bacteria that cause many kinds of pain and inflammatory bowel diseases. These "bad" bacteria happen to thrive on starches and sugars (long-chain carbohydrates). If the food for these critters is gone, then they won't be around to cause us pain.
The SCD at its essence is a gluten-free, grain-free, lactose-free, and refined sugar-free diet. That doesn't mean that dairy and sweets are out of the picture! Although it sounds similar to a no-carb or low-carb diet, it is distinctly different; the goal with the SCD is to eliminate all long-chain carbohydrates. Short-chain carbohydrates that are allowable come from fruit, honey, homemade yogurt, nuts, and legal vegetables.
The specific foods allowed and not allowed are listed in complete detail in "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall, which must be read to grasp the major ideas of the diet and specific foods allowed. However, to make the SCD more understandable to you, I'll list some of the foods you can eat while on the diet:
As you can see, the diet is extremely healthy and well-balanced. For anyone wondering if this food is enough to maintain a healthy body, let me just say that my blood work has consistently come back after my physicals with enviable numbers in every area, including cholesterol. I've never felt or looked more healthy in my life, and my three pregnancies progressed perfectly as I stayed 100% on the SCD.
For more detailed information on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, please visit our page, "Starting the Diet," and follow the link below to the official Specific Carbohydrate Diet web site. If you are starting the diet, it is important to start with the Beginners Diet for a few days or up to a week.