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The Legal / Illegal list P

The following is a list of foods that are allowed (legal) and foods that are not allowed (illegal) while following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet™, as outlined in the book,
Breaking the Vicious Cycle
by Elaine Gottschall. 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.

Some general guidelines are, no grains (i.e. rice, wheat, corn, oats, etc.), no processed foods, no starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes, yams, etc.), no canned vegetables of any kind, no flour, no sugar, no sweeteners other than honey and saccharin, and no milk products except for homemade yogurt fermented for 24 hours, prepared according to the instructions in the book.

This is the SCD Legal/Illegal List with the Most Foods and the Newest Information!

Click on the letters below for other sections of the list.


Legal / Illegal
Pappadum Illegal They are an Indian snack made from lentils - they're like a chip. Also contains rice flour
Papayas Legal  
Paprika Legal  
Parmesan cheese Legal May be used occasionally.
Parsley Legal  
Passion Fruit Legal  
Parsnips Illegal At one time, I had them included in my book but after getting feedback from the inflammatory bowel listserv, I took them off. Some children do well with them; others do not. However, they are pretty good from a carb
standpoint and Dr. Haas allowed them. - Elaine
Pasta Illegal  
Pau 'Arco Illegal Bark tea (Pau d'Arco) contains steroidal saponins and is both an immune booster and a laxative.
Pea flour Illegal  
Peaches Legal  
Peanut Butter See note Peanut Butter
Peanut Oil Legal  
Peanuts Legal Peanuts in the shell may be tried cautiously after 6 months on the diet if diarrhea is gone. Shelled peanuts are illegal. Nuts sold in mixtures are not allowed, as most are roasted with a starch coating.
Pears Legal  
Peas Legal  
Pecans Legal Nuts sold in mixtures are not allowed, as most are roasted with a starch coating. Nuts should only be used as nut flour, in recipes, until diarrhea has subsided.
Pectin Illegal It is a polysaccharide which, in the presence of acid and sugar, gels. It is used as a thickener in jams, and occurs naturally in some fruit, like apples. In apples, it's mostly in the peel, and for someone beginning the diet, you normally wouldn't get too much from eating an apple, because you'd peel it. Pectin as an added ingredient is not legal, as it is a complex sugar.
Peppermint tea Legal Some brands out there put in natural flavourings which would make them illegal, so check the ingredients carefully - Charlene
Peppers Legal Green, yellow, and red peppers are permitted. Also jalapeno peppers, habanera peppers, chili peppers, poblano peppers, relleno peppers, etc. are legal.
Peptizyde Legal  
Persimmons Legal  
Pickles (dill) Legal

Dill pickles are legal as long as they do not contain illegal ingredients; read the labels carefully.
DILL PICKLES by Elaine Gottschall

Pine nuts Legal They are very hard to digest and even grinding them for pesto doesn't make them any easier on your gut. May be tried in small amounts after symptoms have subsided.
Pineapple Legal  
Pineapple juice Legal Fresh pineapple juice that does not have sugar added is allowed. We use Dole's unsweetened pineapple juice in the can, as it has been checked out and does not have sugar added. Juice should be diluted with water before drinking.
Pinto beans Illegal Even after soaking they have the wrong kind of starch
Pistachio nuts Legal They are legal, but the skins can be really tough for newbies. And don't get the pink dyed ones, or the salted ones because they can have starch added to them. You can get unsalted, unroasted pistachios at the health food store and then roast them yourself. For instructions see, Pistachio Nuts
Phosphatidylcholine Legal Another name for lecithin which is legal. Eggs have a huge amount of this but if you are not eating eggs, perhaps
a bit of supplement is fine. - Elaine
Plantains Illegal They contain too much starch.
Plums Legal  

Polysorbate 80

Illegal See Polysorbate 80
Pomegranate concentrate Illegal  
Pork Legal Fresh and frozen are allowed as long as nothing has been added during processing; check the labels carefully.
Pork Rinds Legal Use the plain pork rinds with no added flavourings and check the label carefully to make sure they don't contain illegal ingredients
Port wine Illegal Its full of sugar
Port du Salut cheese Legal May be used occasionally.
Postum Illegal  
Potassium Sorbate Legal (supplement ingredient)
Potatoes Illegal Both white and sweet potatoes are illegal.
Poultry Legal Fresh and frozen are allowed as long as nothing has been added during processing; check the labels carefully.
Primal Defense Illegal See, Primal Defense
Primost cheese Illegal  
Processed cheeses Illegal See the appendix of the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, for a complete list of illegal cheeses.
Protein powder Illegal See, Protein powder
Provolone cheese Legal Although not listed with the other cheeses on page 140 of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, provolone cheese is legal.
Prunes Legal  
Psyllium husks Illegal They are loaded with cellulose and lignin which some bacteria thrive on. We accept that the cellulose in vegetables and fruit can be handled OK but a concentrated form such as husks would not be in order.
Pumpkin Legal Fresh pumpkin is legal, canned pumpkin is not allowed. Butternut squash may be used as a substitute for pumpkin in baking.
Pumpkin (canned) Illegal Canned pumpkin is illegal. Butternut squash may be substituted for pumpkin in baking.