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The Legal / Illegal list S

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
Saccharine Legal  
Saccharomyces boulardii Legal Saccharomyces boulardii is legal as long as the product does not contain any added illegal ingredients.
Safflower oil Legal  
Sago starch Illegal  
Sage Legal  
Sake Illegal

It is not a distilled spirit like Vodka and it is the distillation that removes the illegals - Seth
Both sweet and dry sake still have sugar and actually the dry sake has more sugar than the sweet sake but you can't taste it because of the acidity. - Kim

Salt Legal Ordinary iodized table salt, altho it sometimes has dextrose, is legal because it is important to get that iodine
Sashimi Legal (Japanese sushi-style raw fish served all by itself w/o rice)
saurkraut Legal Only for advanced SCD'ers
Scotch whisky Legal Only have it occasionally.
Seaweed Illegal Seaweed is high in polysaccharides and therefore illegal.
Seed Butters See note Seed Butters
Seed Flour Illegal It is not allowed because the quantity of the flour way surpasses the few seeds that Elaine had in mind when she said "seeds are permissible after 3 months of no symptoms."
Seeds Legal Permissible after 3 months of no symptoms.
Seltzer Legal Seltzer is legal as long as the product does not contain any added illegal ingredients. Plain is legal but the ones with flavors are not legal
Sesame seeds See note Sesame seeds
Sesame oil Legal  
Sharifa Legal Also known as custard apple or cherimoya
Shellfish Legal Fresh and frozen are allowed as long as nothing has been added during processing; check the labels carefully.
Sherry Illegal  
Silica Legal (supplement ingredient)
Silicon Dioxide Legal (supplement ingredient)
Slippery elm Illegal It is a mucilaginous herb. Mucilaginous herbs are loaded with starch. This starch is food for the pathogens that the SCD™ is designed to starve out.
Smoked meats Illegal Unless you know with certainty that no sugar has been added during the smoking process, they are not permitted.
Sodium Benzoate Legal (supplement ingredient)
Sodium starch glycinate Illegal  
Sorbitol Illegal Sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol are all sugar alcohols and are not SCD™ legal. They fall under the category of indigestible carbs and sugars, and so allow companies to label things 'sugar free', even though they are providing nutrition to the bacteria that live in your digestive tract.
Sour cream Illegal  
Soy Illegal See - Soy
Soy Lecithin Legal Derived from soy (illegal). There is plenty of good lecithin in egg yolks, and Elaine sees no particular need to take it outside of a whole food. Also see Carlsons fish oil
Soy Sauce Illegal Soy sauce is a fermented soy product and also contains wheat so it is illegal.
Soybean milk Illegal  
Soybean oil Illegal  
Soybeans Illegal  
Spearmint Tea Legal  
Spelt Illegal  
Spices Legal Spices of all kinds may be used, but avoid spice mixtures; buy spices separately.
Spinach Legal  
Spirulina Illegal We do not use algae (Spirulina) because IBD involves the immune system and can aggravate an already disturbed immune system.
Splenda Illegal There are several reasons why it is illegal, see Splenda
Split peas Legal Dried legumes must be prepared according to the instructions in the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle.
Sprouted Grain Bread Illegal  
Squash Legal Both winter and summer squashes are legal.
Stevia See note Stevia
Stilton cheese Legal May be used occasionally.
String beans Legal Also called Green Beans
Sucralose Illegal There are several reasons why it is illegal, see Splenda
Sulphates Legal When a fruit such as peaches (dried) and coconut is sulphated, it means it has been exposed to sulphur to keep the color from darkening. Some people are allergic to sulphated products but most of us are not bothered by them.
Sunflower oil Legal  
Sweet Potatoes Illegal  
Swede Legal Another name for rutabaga
Swiss cheese Legal May be used freely.