Specific Carbohydrate Diet™
Specific Carbohydate Diet
“The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™” is based on the principle that specifically selected carbohydrates, requiring minimal digestive processes, are well absorbed and leave virtually none to be used for furthering microbial overgrowth in the intestine. As the microbial population decreases due to lack of food, its harmful byproducts also decrease, freeing the intestinal surface of injurious substances. No longer needing protection, the mucus-producing cells stop producing excessive mucus, and carbohydrate digestion is improved. Malabsorption is replaced by absorption. As the individual absorbs energy and nutrients, all the cells in the body are properly nourished, including the cells of the immune system, which then can assist in overcoming the microbial invasion.”
The simpler the structure of the carbohydrate, the more easily the body digests and absorbs it. Monosaccharides (single molecules of glucose, fructose, or galactose) require no splitting by digestive enzymes in order to be absorbed by the body. These are the sugars we rely on in the diet. They include those found in fruits, honey, some vegetables, and in yogurt.
Double sugar molecules (disaccharides: lactose, sucrose, maltose and isomaltose) and starches (polysaccharides) are primarily avoided on the diet. Some starches have been shown to be tolerated, particularly those in the legume family (dried beans, lentils and split peas only). However, they must be soaked for 10-12 hours prior to cooking, and the water discarded since it will contain other sugars which are indigestible, but which are removed in the soaking process. Small amounts of legumes may only be added to the diet after about three months. The starches in all grains, corn, and potatoes must be strictly avoided. Corn syrup is also excluded since it contains a mixture of ‘short-chain’ starches.
Finally, the SCDiet™ relies on properly fermented yogurt, and in some cases, acidophilus supplements, to help repopulate the gut with healthy intestinal flora. By increasing the population of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, the overgrowth of harmful bacteria is put in check. As the competition for nutrition between the various strains of bacteria resumes, the variety of intestinal flora is brought back into balance. Yogurt must be properly prepared by fermenting it for 24 hours. This allows enough time for the bacteria in the yogurt culture to break down the lactose (disaccharides) in milk, into galactose (a monosaccharide). All SCDiet yogurt is homemade, as commercially available yogurts are not properly fermented.
For a highly detailed, scientific explanation of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet™, please read Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall.