I think that when you are vegetarian it is second nature to check the ingredients on packaged and canned food. So when I had to start buying food for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I didn't find it difficult to adapt to! To make things easier for those of you following a vegetarian form of the diet, I have included a list of legal SCD foods which can be found on the tab bar at the top of the site. If I've left anything out, please leave me a comment! I thought it might also be useful to expand on the list a little so I've composed a short guide to help you to eat safely on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
- Elaine did not recommend using canned vegetables, just frozen and fresh. However, in the UK, we can buy Organic tomatoes, lentils and beans packaged with nothing or just water added. We can also buy Organic passata and tomato puree which is just tomatoes and nothing added.The concern about canned or packaged vegetables arose because the law stated that if certain ingredients constituted less than 2% of the total weight or volume of the tinned or packaged food then those ingredients did not have to appear on the label. Labelling laws in the US have been improved since the book was written as well as in the UK where the law states that all ingredients must be included on the label but those of less than 2% may appear in any order, unlike the main ingredients which have to appear in order of weight.
- Be aware that fillers, which are usually starches, are often added to spices. Watch out for curry and chilli powders - it is best to make your own from scratch.
- The preparation of beans is very important. When preparing dried beans and lentils follow the instructions on the SCD website. If you are using canned beans try checking with the manufacturer first to see if they have been prepared correctly.
- Most of the English regional cheeses are not included in the list. The guidelines in the book are as follows - "permitted cheeses are those which contain virtually no lactose, the manufacturing process must include separation and removal of the whey (containing most of the lactose) from the curd as well as a "curing" of the remaining lactose by the addition of a bacterial culture". If it is aged more than 30 days it is OK. This covers most of the English Regional cheeses. However, I don't know if the red cheeses such as Red Cheddar and Red Leicester are legal. If anyone can advise on this, please leave a comment.
If you are a newcomer to the diet, I would strongly advise using only fresh ingredients to be on the safe side as this was recommended by Elaine. "It is unwise to undertake this regimen unless you are willing to follow it with fanatical adherence".
Go carefully and check, check, check!!!
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