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Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

This diet eliminates grain to treat a number of digestive conditions.

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The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, also known as the specific carb diet, was created by Dr. Sidney V. Haas in the 1920's to treat patients with celiac disease. Today, it is promoted at an alternative treatment for celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome(IBS).

The theory behind the specific carbohydrate diet is that some people cannot properly digest complex carbohydrates such as disaccharides or polysaccharides. For these individuals, the undigested foods remain in the digestive tract and allow harmful bacteria to flourish and there is an increase of waste and other irritants. This condition is known as dysbiosis, which causes the production of mucus and other symptoms. The diet aims to starve off the bacteria by removing it source of nutrients from the digestive system.

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  • A number of doctors and nutritionists have recommended this diet in published works
  • There is anecdotal evidence supporting this diet
  • Although it eliminates many foods, still allows for many healthy options
  • There are a number of recipe books that have been created for people on this diet
  • Diets that element many foods can be challenging to follow
  • No scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of this diet

The specific carbohydrate diet is not technically a low-carb diet, although it eliminates all grains and processed sugars. It is more than a gluten-free diet that is typically recommended to those with celiac disease. The list below can give you a general idea of the foods that aren't allowed.

Foods Not Allowed: - Grains (pasta, corn, flour, rice, oats, wheat) - Bean sprouts - Agave - Sugar (and any product containing added sugar) - Dairy - Canned vegetables - Chocolate and carob


There are no exercise recommendations associated with the specific carbohydrate diet.


The specific carbohydrate diet is generally considered an alternative medical approach, but we still encourage you to consult with your doctor before starting this diet. This diet should not be used as a substitute for medical attention. That said, although there have been no studies published about the efficacy of this diet is treating digestive disorders, research is under way and many individuals have reported relief from their IBS, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease after following this diet.

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