As diets, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and the Paleo diet are closely related. When I originally began to look for ways to heal my Crohn’s naturally, I read a lot about both ways of eating. In this blog post I outline the main differences and similarities between SCD and Paleo which hopefully you will find useful.
Dairy is not allowed on the Paleo diet although even within the Paleo community people differ on this slightly. Some allow small amount of certain dairy products but generally speaking strict Paleo is a no-dairy zone. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) allows lactose-free dairy only so the following are allowable: homemade 24-hour SCD yoghurt, butter and certain cheeses.
Parsnips, turnips and sweet potatoes are allowed on the Paleo diet but not on SCD due to the high starch content.
Cocoa powder is frequently used in Paleo dessert recipes but all forms of chocolate and cocoa are illegal on SCD.
Arrowroot powder, tapioca starch and cassava flour are all Paleo-friendly but are not allowed on the SCD. The only flours allowed on the SCD are nut flours and coconut flour.
Maple syrup is allowable on the Paleo diet but not SCD. The only sweetener that can be used on the SCD is honey.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar with the “mother” in it is allowed on Paleo but not on SCD due to the yeast component.
No legumes are permitted when following the Paleo diet. Peas, beans (when correctly prepared) and peanuts are allowable on the SCD although they are considered advanced foods and should be limited.
- No Gluten or Grains
- No refined sugar
- No processed foods
- No soy
- Free-range poultry and grass-fed beef
- Organic when possible
The bottom line here is that the SCD and Paleo diets are both healthy ways of eating and switching to either one from the standard high-sugar diet is sure to bring numerous health benefits. While SCD is primarily used (but not only) for digestive diseases and conditions, many people with various autoimmune conditions use the Paleo diet to heal. Of course both diets are also adopted by some who have no medical complaints and just wish to eat a more healthy and nutritious diet. While there are many differences between both SCD and Paleo, their similarities: gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free allow those who adhere to the diets to become a more healthy version of themselves.