Autism - The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) - What is The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).  Bright Tots - Information on child development - Autism information.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
The Specific Carbohydrate diet is a strict grain-free, lactose-free, and sugar-free diet. The theory behind the diet is that damaged
intestinal walls and bacterial overgrowth are causing harm to body's health and immune system. The diet restricts the type of
carbohydrates that feed these bacteria, therefore restoring the body's internal environmental maintenance. The diet was designed
for patients with intestinal diseases alone, but has recently come into use by parents of children with autism. Research reports
indicate that some children do very well with this regimen.

The SCD diet is more restrictive than GF/CF diet. It eliminates starches, while allowing some sugars, and consists mainly of
meats, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. The diet begins with a limited number of foods and gradually
expands as the intestinal tract heals. There are a number of reasons this diet makes sense for children with ASD. It is known
that gluten and casein sensitivity, leaky gut, chronic bowel problems, etc are symptoms of a damaged intestinal tract with an
overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria (capable of causing disease) or yeast and a insufficient amount of intestinal flora (harmless
microorganisms that live in the intestinal tract and are essential for its normal functioning).

The SCD diet presumably starves the yeast which causes the susceptibility, and get to the root of the underlying problem. In
addition, when the yeast themselves are starved out direct yeast related problems are alleviated. If SCD can heal the gut more
effectively and restore the function of the intestine, food sensitivities may resolve, allowing for ample food choices in the future.
Better restoration of the barrier between the gut and the bloodstream appears to reduce behavioral problems, improve sleep, eye
contact, and neurological function in some children. Normal stability of the intestinal tract will often result in improvement of

The SCD diet combats bacterial and yeast overgrowth by restricting the energy they require to live while keeping the child well
fed. This requires eating foods with little or no carbohydrates, or eating foods that contain simple sugar which are quickly
absorbed by the body. This diet calls for strict adherence to obtain relief from symptoms.

The diet prohibits the following foods:

Sugars: Do not eat sugar, molasses, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, or any processed sugar.

Veggies: All canned vegetables are not permitted.

Grains: All grains are not permitted, such as: corn, wheat, wheat germ, barley, oats, rye, rice, buckwheat, soy, spelt, amaranth,
and others. Some legumes are not.

Starchy foods are not permitted, such as: potatoes, yams, and parsnips. Seaweed and seaweed byproducts, such as agar and
carrageenan, are not allowed.

Beans: Chick peas, bean sprouts, soybeans, mungbeans, faba beans, and garbanzo beans.

Meats: All canned meats are forbidden. Most processed meats are not permitted. Make sure processed meat doesn't contain any
harmful additive such as corn, corn products, starch, and sugars.

Dairy: All variations of milk are not allowed: whole, skim, 1%, 2%, chocolate, etc. Some cheeses contain high lactose content
and are restricted: ricotta, mozzarella, cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, and processed cheeses and cheese spreads.
Commercial yogurt contains a high amount of lactose and is not allowed. Heavy cream, buttermilk, and sour cream are not

Other foods that are not permitted include: bread, pasta, other starchy foods, canola oil, commercial mayonnaise (because
of additives), ice cream, candy, chocolate, carob, whey powder, margarine, commercial ketchup, stevia, baking powder,
commercial nut mixes, and balsamic vinegar.

The diet allows the following foods:
*Quantities are not restricted if you eat a balanced diet

Sugars: Honey is the only allowed sugar product. Not everyone can tolerate it, so use with caution.

Veggies: Most vegetables, fresh or frozen and raw or cooked, are allowed including: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower,
artichokes, beets, Brussells sprouts, cabbage, carrots celery, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, rhubarb, peppers,
garlic, lettuce, spinach, mushrooms (unless you have candidiasis), onions, turnips, and watercress. Be careful of raw vegetables
when diarrhea is present.

Legumes: Dried navy beans, lentils, peas, split peas, unroasted cashews, peanuts in a shell, all natural peanut butter, lima beans,
and string beans.

Meats: All unprocessed meats such as: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, quail, ostrich, fish, shellfish, lamb, venison, rabbit, and
eggs. Some processed meats are allowed, but many require writing letters to manufacturers to verify the absence of restricted
foods. Many processed meats contain sugar, starch, corn products, and other disallowed foods.

Dairy: All natural cheeses except those listed above are allowed: cheddar, Colby, Swiss, havarti, dry curd cottage cheese, etc.
Homemade yogurt that has been turned for a minimum of 24 hours is allowed and encouraged.

Fruits: Most fruits are allowed such as: avocadoes, apples, tomatoes, olives, apricots, ripened bananas, coconuts, dates,
berries, cherries, citrus fruits, peaches, pears, tropical fruits, and grapes.

Nuts: Almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, chestnuts, filberts, and pecans.

The following miscellaneous foods are allowed: olive oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, weak tea, weak coffee,
unflavored gelatin, mustard, vinegar, saccharin, and juices with no additives.
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