The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Breaking the Vicious Cycle

The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet


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The following is a list of foods that are allowed (legal) and foods that are not allowed (illegal) while following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet™, as outlined in the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle.

Click on the food items below for more information.

P   (50 items found)

Pappadum Illegal They are an Indian snack made from lentils - they're like a chip. Also contains rice flour
Parmesan cheese May be used occasionally.
Parsnips Illegal

At one time, I had them included in my book but after getting feedback from the inflammatory bowel listserv, I took them off. Some children do well with them; others do not. However, they are pretty good from a carb standpoint and Dr. Haas allowed them. - Elaine

Passion Fruit
Pasta Illegal
Pau 'Arco Illegal Bark tea (Pau d'Arco) contains steroidal saponins and is both an immune booster and a laxative.
Pea flour Illegal
Peanut butter Natural peanut butter with no sugar added is allowed.
Peanut Oil
Peanuts Peanuts in the shell may be tried cautiously after 6 months on the diet if diarrhea is gone. Shelled peanuts are illegal. Nuts sold in mixtures are not allowed, as most are roasted with a starch coating.
Pecans Nuts sold in mixtures are not allowed, as most are roasted with a starch coating. Nuts should only be used as nut flour, in recipes, until diarrhea has subsided.
Pectin Illegal It is a polysaccharide which, in the presence of acid and sugar, gels. It is used as a thickener in jams, and occurs naturally in some fruit, like apples. In apples, it's mostly in the peel, and for someone beginning the diet, you normally wouldn't get too much from eating an apple, because you'd peel it. Pectin as an added ingredient is not legal, as it is a complex sugar.
Peppermint tea Some brands out there put in natural flavourings which would make them illegal, so check the ingredients carefully - Charlene
Peppers Green, yellow, and red peppers are permitted. Also jalapeno peppers, habanera peppers, chili peppers, poblano peppers, relleno peppers, etc. are legal.
Phosphatidylcholine Another name for lecithin which is legal. Eggs have a huge amount of this but if you are not eating eggs, perhaps
a bit of supplement is fine. - Elaine
Pickles (dill)

Dill pickles are legal as long as they do not contain illegal ingredients; read the labels carefully.
DILL PICKLES by Elaine Gottschall

Pine nuts They are very hard to digest and even grinding them for pesto doesn't make them any easier on your gut. May be tried in small amounts after symptoms have subsided.
Pineapple juice Illegal

fall 2010 update: "The Dole 100% Pineapple juice in the can now adds Vitamins A, C and E. The Vitamin A is bound with cornstarch."

old info: Fresh pineapple juice that does not have sugar added is allowed. We use Dole's unsweetened pineapple juice in the can, as it has been checked out and does not have sugar added. Juice should be diluted with water before drinking.

Pinto beans Illegal Even after soaking they have the wrong kind of starch
Pistachio nuts They are legal, but the skins can be really tough for newbies. And don't get the pink dyed ones, or the salted ones because they can have starch added to them. You can get unsalted, unroasted pistachios at the health food store and then roast them yourself. For instructions see, Pistachio Nuts
Plantains Illegal They contain too much starch.
Polysorbate 80 Illegal See Polysorbate 80
Pomegranate concentrate Illegal
Pork Fresh and frozen are allowed as long as nothing has been added during processing; check the labels carefully.
Pork Rinds Use the plain pork rinds with no added flavourings and check the label carefully to make sure they don't contain illegal ingredients
Port du Salut cheese May be used occasionally.
Port wine Illegal Its full of sugar
Postum Illegal
Potassium Sorbate (supplement ingredient)
Potatoes Illegal Both white and sweet potatoes are illegal.
Poultry Fresh and frozen are allowed as long as nothing has been added during processing; check the labels carefully.
Primal Defense Illegal See, Primal Defense
Primost cheese Illegal
Processed cheeses Illegal See the appendix of the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, for a complete list of illegal cheeses.
Protein powder Illegal See, Protein powder
Provolone cheese Although not listed with the other cheeses on page 140 of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, provolone cheese is legal.
Psyllium husks Illegal They are loaded with cellulose and lignin which some bacteria thrive on. We accept that the cellulose in vegetables and fruit can be handled OK but a concentrated form such as husks would not be in order.
Pumpkin Fresh pumpkin is legal, canned pumpkin is not allowed. Butternut squash may be used as a substitute for pumpkin in baking.
Pumpkin (canned) Illegal Canned pumpkin is illegal. Butternut squash may be substituted for pumpkin in baking.
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My 12 year old son was diagnosed with IBD a year ago and we bought the book and started the diet right away. He got immediate relief from his symptoms and although he has had a couple flares, I'm sure if not for this diet, he would be so much worse! The book is easy to follow, contains recipes, and is a wealth of information. The diet is one we should ALL follow, as it eliminates all processed/junk food and focuses on good healthy food. Elaine is a scientist who saw this diet save her daughter and wants to share it with as many others as possible. I strongly recommend it to everyone I know!!
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- Lynne J.
Amazon customer

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