The specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) is a style of eating that focuses on removing complex carbohydrates from one’s diet in order to soothe and heal the gut lining. The very general principle is that the more complex the carbohydrate structure is, the more difficult it is to fully break down in our digestive systems–which can be especially so for someone whose digestion may be compromised due to autoimmune issues, inflammation or other imbalances in the gut.
There is an intro phase to this diet, where even more care is taken to reduce any potential difficult to digest carbohydrates (such as nuts, seeds and the outer layer and/or peels of vegetables that are otherwise edible). After the intro phase, people work on bringing back into their diet whole foods that are still considered non-complex carbohydrates. Lactose, sucrose and artificial ingredients or compounds (such as powdered stevia or guar gum added to thicken liquids, found in many brands of canned coconut creams, as an example) are also removed.
Like any of the other style of eating, the SCD diet is used to help someone regain health and repair the integrity of their gut and its function. This means that the timeline in which someone uses this diet may range from one year to much longer, depending on what factors have brought them to use this nutritional approach. Looking at other supports that provide that deeper healing in the gut, aside from removing the irritation of difficult to digest carbohydrates, often include targeted supplement protocols and using quality probiotics, often seeking the guidance of a qualified practitioner.