Directions for SCD

Success with SCD

Getting Ready to Do SCD

The Intro Diet

After the Intro Diet

Food Preparation

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Gaining Weight Ready Made Foods Improving your Results Stages Overcoming Difficulties

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Make sure that all your foods are allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Link to legal SCD foods list.

One of the most common mistakes is to assume that plantains are legal; unfortunately, plantains contain starch and are illegal. The tiny bananas also contain too much starch. Please only use the regular bananas and only when they are very ripe and have black spots on their skin. Unripe bananas contain starch and are not allowed on the diet.

Peanut butter

Please avoid peanut butter, many SCD adults report problems with peanut butter. Peanuts are legumes,and legumes are advanced foods. You may add peanut butter when digestive problems have resolved but watch carefully that there are no changes after adding this food. Peanuts affect the thyroid. PEANUT BUTTER SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE MAJOR REASON FOR FAILURE WITH SCD.


Many children cannot digest nuts during the early phase of the diet,some children may never tolerate them. If you did not do the intro diet then you may consider removing nuts for a while and observe if there are improvements. Carefully watch for any reactions when nuts are consumed again. Do not over consume the nuts.

Avoiding foods that SCD legal but are difficult to digest

Cashews, dried fruit, whole nuts, beans, lentils and peanut butter are advanced foods and should only be tried several months after GI healing has taken place. Some folks report problems with carrots and green beans. Young carrots that are well cooked might be less problematic.

The intro diet

Please start out with the intro diet and gradually introduce new foods and watch carefully for any reactions. Many parents skip the intro diet and jump right in and get wonderful results. If you are one of these parents please consider restarting the diet;you will get even better results! I understand that many parents cannot restart the diet because they are overwhelmed by all the other therapies, but please remember that the real SCD will improve the results from the other therapies.

If you did not follow this introduction to SCD, then you are not doing the real SCD. The real SCD means that your child is only eating foods that he can tolerate,if he cannot tolerate a certain SCD legal food then he will not get the full benefit of SCD.

If you are a new parent and the intro diet seems to be daunting,should you go back to GFCF? No, many parents report getting great results with just eliminating starches,sugar and the most advanced SCD foods. Try using SCD foods that are not too advanced but remember that you might not be getting the full advantage of SCD. However, your child will learn to like veggies and other nutritious foods and you might have an easier time, restarting SCD in a few months.

Ready made foods

Please avoid ready made foods even if their ingredient list appears to be SCD compliant. Hidden additives, especially sugar, are very common in the food industry, even with organic foods.

The importance of strictness cannot be overemphasized!


I once counseled the mother of a child who had the most horrible GI symptoms. After the mother removed a supplement, the child's problem was resolved. You might need to remove all supplements and reintroduce them one at a time. Many children cannot tolerate any supplements in a capsule. You may need to open the capsule for them. Some pills are a medical necessity, please use good judgement and a compounding pharmacy to make them SCD legal if they contain illegal fillers.


While enzymes are not part of the original SCD protocol,some parents feel that "SCD plus enzymes" is a great combination. However,there are some children who cannot tolerate enzymes. You are the expert on your child; there is no substitute for careful observation. Enzyme section will soon be added to the website.


At the beginning of the diet many have found that taking a probiotic supplement helpful. It helps prevent hardy, nasty microbes from taking up residence when the easy-to-starve nasties die off.

Please make sure that the probiotic that you are giving your child contain only L acidophilus. Taking the wrong type of probiotic may sabotage your diet. Some children cannot tolerate any probiotic and regress when the probiotics are administered. Those children need to do the Slow and Low Method in order to introduce the probiotics. Click here to read the the Slow and Low Method. If the Slow and Low Method does not work then you might wait a few months before introducing the probiotics.


Yogurt brings fantastic results. Do not miss it's magic. Yes,most kids with autism can tolerate it after a length of time on the diet. Start out with 1/8 of a teaspoon and increase gradually. If you see any die off reaction that you do not want,decrease the amount of yogurt. For some children, the die off reaction might be a runny nose, irritability, worsening of digestive issues....


Children have an amazing ability to find illegals without the parents knowing anything about it. There have been instances where parents are sure that their child did not consume any illegal food and are surprised when their child confesses to having found a way to sneak some junk food.

Watch out for infractions. Make the avoidance of infractions the goal of your life. You have to remember that autism/GI damage is a major condition. If your child had a major illness then you would agree to put your child in a hospital for an extended stay. There is no excuse if the doctors promise a great improvement. If you have a child who fights SCD,then confine him to activities where he will be safe from foods that are toxic for him.

Blend the carbohydrates

One mother shares her experience:
"SCD cured my son of his chronic diarrhea in 5 days, BUT that was only after a year of non-success. We then became super fanatically strict about the diet and pureeing all of his carbs and voila: success. (mashing with a fork meant diarrhea, but mechanically pureed worked like a charm). That was just my son, not all kids will need pureeing to overcome the diarrhea. Btw, today my son can eat non-pureed food, it was just in the beginning that I had to puree, to give his gut a chance to heal."


Chelation is not part of the classical SCD protocol but we welcome parents who are doing chelation. Parents who do chelation must do SCD because many forms of chelation are extremely hard on the GI system. Please be aware that the damage to the stomach from chelation may sometimes prevent gut healing. If you do not see progress with SCD,then please take a chelation break and discontinue chelation for several months. Many parents report that they get better results with chelation after doing SCD. Some parents report that they get better results with SCD without DMSA.

Bone broth

Bone broths are a wonderful tool for healing the gut! Chicken soup and bone broths have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Click here to view recipes and info about the benefits of chicken soup and bone broths.

Eating smaller meals

When you are having a lot of symptoms you should eat smaller meals and more of them. So, instead of three big meals try 5-6 smaller meals of the same amount. Smaller meals are easier for the sore gut to digest. Also, try not to eat too much in the evening. The sore gut likes to have food earlier in the day - it digests it better then. If the gut is still sore, food in the evening after the last meal of the day can cause more diarrhea during the night or first thing in the morning. It is harder to digest and the bad microbes can increase and cause more symptoms.


Clostridium difficile is a bacteria that is very difficult to eradicate with SCD alone. If you are sure that you are doing SCD correctly and you still have problems, then you should get tested for Clostridium difficile.
You might need S Boulardii in order to solve the problem with Clostridium difficile.
More information about Clostridium difficile:

If you did not do the intro diet and want to report a non positive outcome with SCD on other list serves, then please explain to other parents that you did not do the intro diet and that there is a possibility that your child's progress was stalled by a food that your child cannot tolerate or digest well. This also applies to any other deviation from the protocol mentioned on this post. Parents who do not follow our protocol are also not eligible to compare SCD to other new diets.