This post is dedicated to Jill and Erin of the SCD Info support group (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/scdinfo/).
For people who are athletic (endurance sports etc), there is a limit to what advice I could offer, having had no experience of your lifestyle. But where I would really like to go with this is that SCD will change your ideas about what is healthy, and what is not.
We are indoctrinated over the last 30 years or so with the “low fat” message, and over that same period I wouldn’t mind betting our carbohydrate intake will have increased quite radically. Also over that period a worldwide Diabetes epidemic seems to have appeared out of nowhere? It is my belief that the high carb/grains supports in a very big way, commercially manufactured food. Can anyone imagine what would happen, if we all suddenly stopped eating bread/crackers and rice and pasta as we do on the SCD? These three and “packaged food” generally would take one heck of a hit and global conglomerates (think Heinz, Nestle etc), would suddenly find their share prices plummeting. I apologise if I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I’m just trying to stand back a bit and look at the “big picture” here.
Anyway back to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). My husband has been on SCD (our own semi-vegetarian version) for nearly 5 months now, and has not suffered even once from his Celiac Symptoms since the very first day on the diet! Our son and myself are not doing the diet, but we are certainly eating very differently to what we were. Much lower bread/grain consumption. Much lower packaged food consumption. Much higher whole/fresh food consumption. Our son is 6 1/2 and I had been looking at him for the last 12 months or so, wishing there was more color in his cheeks. He seemed healthy enough, but not as glowingly so as I would have liked to see. Now that he and I are “semi-SCD” we eat loads more fresh fruit and he is gaining a very gratifying little pink blush to his face. Hubby’s skin is smoother, younger looking. It seems to have regained it’s elasticity and his complexion is a more even colour. Our friends are commenting that our skin looks healthier and we look younger. Hubby is 62 and I am 49.
Most people would have thought of us as “eating healthy” prior to SCD when we were on basically a vegetarian diet, with a couple of meals of fish each week and very high bread consumption. But we all feel and look healthier now, and our diet bears little relation to the “Food Pyramid” which is supposedly the basis for health and wellbeing. Hence going by our personal experience so far, we suspect that the politically correct dietary advice generally peddled today, is far from useful in terms of optimum human health. You might find the information here (http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/pcnutrition.html) a bit of an eye-opener. It is not well-referenced, but it wouldn’t take too many “Google searches”, to establish its accuracy I imagine.
So I would suggest to anyone who is health conscious or athletically active like Erin and Jill, to get your blood levels for sugars, cholesterol, iron (or whatever else you fancy), taken at the start of the diet, then get them done again, say 3 or 6 months into it, and again at the end of a year. This way, you will find out pretty much beyond doubt, whether SCD has been a “healthy” option for you in fat/cholesterol terms.
The concerns about saturated fats/cholesterol appear to be overstated when you consider that only a relatively small percentage of your cholesterol comes from your food. I think the majority of it is manufactured in the body by the liver. So be brave ladies. Ditch your attachment to the accepted “wisdom”, and monitor for yourself, what is or isn’t healthy, for you.