The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is another diet that aims to eradicate intestinal yeast infection by carbohydrate restriction. Elaine Gottschall introduced the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in her book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet”.
It was originally introduced to treat many severe gastrointestinal problems, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, etc.
Over the years people have also find other uses of the Special Carbohydrate Diet, such as treating autism, ADHD, dyslexia, oppositional defiant disorder, speech and language delay, etc.
The Specific Carbohydrate diet suggests that many body ailments, such gastrointestinal diseases are caused by the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast/Candida in the intestine. These harmful residents thrive on carbohydrates that are not completely digested.
Complex carbohydrates in our diet take longer to digest, and end up further down to the large intestines where bacteria and yeast lives. These undigested carbohydrates provide a good source of nutrients for these harmful bugs.
The more yeast are in the body, the more toxins the yeast produces, which are the causes of many of the behaviors we see in children with ADHD, autism, and other developmental disorders.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet works by eliminating all complex carbohydrates and polysaccharides (multiple-molecule sugars, such as lactose, sucrose, starch, etc) to minimize any undigested carbohydrates from entered the lower portion of the intestines where these harmful bacteria and yeast reside.
In the SCD only monosaacharides, which are single molecule sugars, such as glucose, fructose, galactose are allowed. It is speculated that these single-molecule sugars, because of their simple structure, are easily absorbed in the upper intestine, leaving no undigested carbohydrates that would enter the lower intestine to be used by harmful bacteria or yeast/Candida. As a result, starving the harmful organisms to death and putting a stop to toxin production.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet emphasizes on carbohydrate restriction to eradicate the harmful toxin-producing organisms in our intestines. At the same time, good beneficial bacteria is introduced through SCD’s homemade goat’s milk yogurt and aged cheeses.
Hallmark of the Diet:
1. Avoid all polysaccharides, such as lactose, sucrose, and any complex carbohydrates. Polysaccharides are molecules made up of two or sugar units. These require special enzymes to break down the chain into single sugar units.
2. Allow only monosaccharides, such as fructose, glucose, and galactose. Monosaccharides are single unit molecules.
3. Only carbohydrates from fruits and non-starchy vegetables are allowed.
4. Honey and saccharine are the only allowed sweeteners. Saccharine is an artificial sweetener.
5. Only meats in pure unprocessed form are allowed.
6. Homemade goat’s milk yogurt and aged cheese are allowed as a way to introduce good bacteria into the intestines. As you know dairy products are good sources of lactose, which is a two-molecule sugar (galactose and glucose). However, the fermenting processes breaks up the lactose molecules into one unit each of galactose and glucose, both of which are monosaccharides, which are allowed on this diet. Recipes are provided in the book.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
When starting this diet, you will not feel great instantly. In fact, you will start feeling really sick, which is a good sign. Yes. That’s right. “It’s a GOOD SIGN”. This is a sign that the diet is working because the yeast/Candida is dying.
Remember there is an excessive amount of yeast in your body, so when they die, all the toxins from the yeast are being released, and that’s what’s making you sick. This is called “toxic die off“.
Besides, the fact that you’re missing your sugar and carbohydrates can make you feel cranky too. Expect some ADHD-related behaviors or symptoms to worsen during “toxic die off” and there may be regression in younger children. Don’t be discouraged. After the yeast/candida and their toxins are eradicated, you will discover the improvements.
For people who are allergic to cow’s milk protein, the goat’s milk may or may not be well tolerated. Be cautious about following the Specific Carbohydrate diet if you are sensitive to cow’s milk protein. There are alternatives yogurt that can be made from non-dairy beverages, such as coconut or rice milk.
Saccharine is an artificial sweetener that some of you may avoid due to its synthetic nature. You may use honey instead.
This is a very restrictive and regimented diet to follow. What I have here is just the surface of the diet. There are more to this diet than just avoiding sugars and carbohydrates, and eating yogurts. You’ll probably need some kitchen skills to maneuver around with some recipes.