The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Frequently Asked Questions
The following letter is a favorite of Elaine's.
It sounds like you're having trouble with your BF's adherence to the diet. Can you help him understand that trying to analyze the contents of every item on SCD is a zero sum game? The nature of organic molecules is extremely complex. A glucose molecule alone contains 24 atoms in a complex 3D structure, and any given starch can contain thousands of simple sugars attached in a huge variety of configurations. Then there's the interaction of carbohydrates with heat, time, and other components of the food. And there are so many factors in how our bodies interact with foods -- our bacterial ecosystems (1000's of different organisms), the many, many enzymes that break down foods, our microvilli, our cellular absorption. Most popular nutrition books break nutrtion down to 3 categories: carbohydrate, protein, and fat, but the reality is far more complex.
SCD should be considered evidence based medicine. We follow it because it works for *so* many people. Period. If we try to tweak it to our hopes and wishes you will get nowhere but very confused. Nutrition is still in the dark ages -- about where pure chemistry was 150 years ago. The importance of vitamins was only recognized in the middle part of this century. Compound that with the massive influence of the food industry on science and medicine. And the fact that the chemical composition of foods are changing rapidly due to agritech etc. And the difficulty of conducting clinical trials in nutrtion because there are so many factors to control for. And the fact that each scientist can only focus on one tiny piece of a huge puzzle. SCD is a beacon of light in a black hole of misinformation as far as I'm concerned. But until they put teams of reasearchers and millions of dollars into it, no one can answer your every question about "why".
Here are some ideas to get your boyfriend to stick to it. I'm sure you've thought of most of these already.
1. Get him to stop thinking in terms of "regular" food and develop a cuisine that is unique to SCD. For example, make a lasagne - who needs noodles? Combine some dry curd cottage cheese, roasted eggplant, tomato sauce, cheeses, suateed mushrooms, onions and garlic.
2. Fill his plate with a variety of meats and vegetables and cooked fruits. For example roast beef, cooked apples, and a spiced turnip & carrot puree. Baked chicken with sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and greens with pine nuts. Restauraunt quality!
3. Other ideas: Quiches and pies made with almond crust. Pancakes made with almond flour, banana and dry curd cottage cheese. Cookies for snacks. Fruit custards for dessert. How could he complain?
4. Maybe try some Indian cooking? It seems to lend itself well with using lentils, split peas, yoghurt, chutneys and lots of spices that aid digestion. (Just make sure the beans are legal and soaked 8 hours and the soaking water is thrown away.)
5. Read all recipies on www.scdiet.org. There are even recipies for SCD legal sour cream!!! -- so you don't have to use yogurt in everything creamy. (Aren't we lucky to have such a nice diet?)
6. Also get Lucy's cookbook, it will give you great ideas which you may never have thought of. (Hazlenut green beans, out of this world, unlike anything I've ever had!)
7. Since he loves food, remind him how much *more* he can eat without all the heavy starches.
8. Remind him this doesn't have to be forever (although his intake of starches & sugars will always be regulated and limited I hope). The sooner he sticks to the diet and starts healing, the sooner he will have a symptom-free year and be able to go back to other foods.
9. Entertain if you can, so you have friends over instead of going to out to eat.
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