The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Frequently Asked Questions

India - SCD in India

Suneeti writes the following to a fellow SCDer headed to India:

I am from India - lived in New Delhi for a long time.

Now for foods available in India - fresh vegetables are available year-round in the markets. Some are seasonal. BTW, they taste just delicious - specially the carrots! The metropolitan cities are like any other well-equipped place in the world as far as meats etc. go.

I personally would not trust any sort of labelling on the products. Buy only fresh produce and make everything from scratch.

You will find that folks are quite used to making yogurt at home and you may even see it available in the stores - DO NOT USE THIS YOGURT - it is still not fermented according to the BTVC rules - 24 hours, 110 degrees etc. Buy the milk, take a whole bunch of yogourmet starter packets with you and make the yogurt accordingly. I think you have better chances of finding non-pasteurized, raw milk there, which is much better than the ultra-pasteurized stuff (I have fond memories of watching the cow being milked daily in our backyard in Bangalore).

Also the voltage used for appliances in India are the same as in Europe, not the U.S. I do believe that now the upscale department stores in India carry pretty much all electric/electronic appliances available in the Western part of the world, so you may not need to carry the yogurt maker with you, but do check just in case (there may not be much of a market for a yogurt maker in India - everyone makes it as a matter of routine at home).

Since you are just starting out on the diet you really should not be eating any lentils but one of the SCD legal lentils you can get there (red lentils) is called 'masoor daal'. Do not, of course eat the lentils prepared by anyone but yourself, because you need to pre-soak the dried lentils for 6-8 hours and then cook it. Most people do not pre-soak the lentils. There is quite an abundance of variety in lentils there most of which are illegal on SCD! You'll find plenty of clarified butter - 'ghee', which is good for you.

Drink ONLY bottled water! AVOID all salads, cut fruits. NO okra (bhindi) or drumsticks, since they are a mucilagenous food and therefore illegal, NO agar-agar, NO bitter-gourd (karela), NO fenugreek seeds (a spice 'maythee' seeds), NO asafetida (another spice 'heeng'), also NO fenugreek leaves (called just 'maythee') which is available seasonally in the winter and is very popular there.

You will find lots of squashes which is very helpful specially when starting the diet: you should find butternut squash, calabaza, pumpkin, 'lauki' which is a long narrow green-colored bottle-gourd (remove its seeds when you cut it), 'teenda' which is a small apple-shaped light green squash variety and easy on the digestive system. Not sure if zucchini (courgettes) are readily available there.

Plenty of spices - always available in their whole form, so you can then grind them to a powder - I highly recommend this to avoid any possible 'mixtures' in the pre-packaged powders. You can even get whole turmeric (shaped like the ginger root) and grind it to a powder.

Last warning: Forget eating out! Find a place where you can cook your own food if on the move.

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"We must never forget that what the patient takes beyond his ability to digest does harm."
    Dr. Samuel Gee

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