Someone asked me the other day what a SCD was and why someone would follow it. It made me realize that information is becoming widespread about being gluten free as a lifestyle however the medical side is a little less understood. The SCD stands for Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Many people find relief or complete recovery following this diet. Here is some basic information from wikipedia:
The rationale of the diet, as described in Gottschall's Breaking the Vicious Cycle, is as follows:
- When the body receives complex carbohydrates (disaccharides or polysaccharides), these substances must be broken down before they can be absorbed.
- In the body of a person who is not able to break these substances down efficiently, an influx of undigested material causes harmful bacteria to flourish.
- Bacterial overgrowth is accordingly followed by a significant increase in the waste and other irritants they produce.
- Irritation in the lining of the digestive tract results in the overproduction of mucus and injury to the digestive tract, which in turn causes malabsorption and makes it even more difficult to maintain proper digestion.
The purpose of the diet is to break the ongoing cycle caused by an overpopulation of harmful bacteria in the gut. When the body is able to absorb the proper nutrients from simple sugars and other carbohydrates that are easy to digest, the inflammation and other complications caused by many autoimmune diseases can be lessened. The goal is to rid the body of complex saccharides so the gut will be able to heal itself and enable further healing to occur.
The method of the diet is to keep the bacterial flora well balanced and to allow the gut to digest all of the food it is given, thereby starving out the harmful bacteria.
Certain foods, such as commercial syrups and sugars, starchy vegetables, and dairy products are not allowed while on the diet. Other foods, such as fruits, greens, animal protein, and nuts, are allowed.
I personally feel I was headed toward Crohn's Disease and stopped it in its tracks with this major food and lifestyle change. I am not perfect but a work in progress bettering my life with knowledge from other people and there success. One of my favorite blogs for recipes and information that is presented in such a beautiful way is called Roost blog by Caitlin. Her husband has crohn's disease and both follow the SCD. She also has a few tips to get you started in her Q&A:
"I am new to the SCD diet, what should I load up on: Almond flour, coconut flour, eggs and meats from pasture raised animals, lentils, milk for yogurt making (raw is preferable), nuts nuts and more nuts (for snacking, making nut milks, granola bars...etc), dates, coconut oil, shredded coconut, honey (buy local honey, it is great for seasonal allergies and your local economy), nut butters, fruit, veggies and lots of greens, Larabars(keep in mind not all flavors are SCD legal-our favorites are Coconut Cream Pie, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Apple Pie and Carrot Cake), cheeses (aged more than 30 days)."
Its a major challenge but feeling good, actually great, is my motivating factor. Most of my recipes are moving in this direction. I will share recipes via pinterest for those interested.