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Comparing the SCD Diet to the GFCF Diet
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was formulated in the ‘50s by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. It is also known as the SCD Diet, and it is the direct precursor to Dr. Elaine Gottschall’s GAPS Diet. While it is not entirely gluten-free and casein-free, it does have similar objectives to the GFCF Diet and other autism diets: To help free those with gluten and casein intolerance from the gastrointestinal and behavioral issues that sometimes come along with disorders in the autism spectrum.
How does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Work?
The initial diet is called the “Intro Diet,” and it is practically identical in most ways to the GAPS Introduction Diet. There are a few exceptions. SCD allows a few things that GAPS does not such as peanuts, navy beans, white beans, and cottage cheese. The allowed foods in this diet more closely resemble the same foods that the GFCF Diet permits.
However, the SCD Diet closely follows the same stages as the GAPS diet from the Introduction part, which consists of several stages, and then the full-on diet stage. Just as with GAPS, the SCD Diet takes a while to implement. Each stage takes weeks or months to get through, and there are quite a few exceptions to rules. For instance, one rule is to avoid dairy, but cheeses made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk that undergo at least 30 days of natural aging are permitted.
The foods and beverages that are disallowed are:
- Alcoholic beverages like brandy and sherry
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Curry, onion and garlic powders
- Freshly brewed coffee
- Grains such as rice, barley and wheat
- Instant coffee
- Juices made for commercial sale
- Milk and milk-based drinks and creamers
- Processed meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, salami and other sandwich meats
- Starchy foods such as potatoes, corn starch, parsnips and yams
- Sugar sweetened beverages
Unlike most diets of this type, this one actually allows the consumption of dry wines, vodka, and whiskeys like rye, scotch and bourbon.
So How Does it Compare to GFCF?
As a diet that is seen as an alternate autism diet, it is a mostly gluten-free and casein-free diet, with the exception of the very limited dairy allowance, and it certainly seems to help in similar ways to the GFCF Diet. However, the Specific Carbohydrate diet is just as complicated to follow and as difficult to implement as GAPS.
If there is any criticism of GFCF compared to SCD, it is that GFCF is slightly more lax with the inclusion of occasional sugary treats. Nonetheless, GFCF is, out of all the autism diets, the easiest to follow and the strictest in terms of gluten-free and casein-free foods.
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Measuring GAPS Against the GFCF Diet
To continue the comparison of the GFCF Diet to other diets that are similar in some aspects, we’ll look at the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet. Both diets have had their fair share of acclaim for helping with some of the gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms associated with the autism spectrum.
What is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet?
The diet was initially known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). SCD was used for those with digestive disorders, including Celiac disease. It fell out of use over the years, but was revived and slightly modified by Dr. Elaine Gottschall, a neurologist working with children with various disorders such as autism.
There are seven stages to the diet, composed of two parts: The Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet. The Introduction Diet is made up of six stages, but each day starts out with a probiotic, which is usually homemade yogurt, to aid digestion and a glass of still mineral or filtered water.
The diet starts out with homemade meat and fish stock, soups made with either stock, boiled meats and vegetables. Fiber-laden vegetables like cabbage and celery should be avoided, but as much of the meat stock, fish stock and soup as desired is allowed throughout the day. Ginger, chamomile and mint tea with honey is recommended between meals.
Other foods are added over the course of several weeks or months. By stage six, eggs, clarified butter (ghee), avocado and other fruits, grilled and roasted meats, almond flour, homemade juices and various other foods are included. Starch and refined sugars are not allowed.
The full diet is a continuation of the stage six portion of the Introduction Diet. It is recommended to avoid all starch and sugar for a full two, but eventually, some dairy products like hard cheeses are permitted. The diet is somewhat difficult to follow, but it is laid out in a step-by-step format, complete with recipes.
How Does it Compare to the GFCF Diet?
The first part of the Gut and Psychology Diet is gluten-free and casein-free, however, the full diet isn’t. The idea is that once the body is “detoxed” from years of gluten and casein overload, these foods can again be enjoyed in small quantities eventually. Eating gluten-free and casein-free for several years does clear the body of both substances, but not everyone can safely reintroduce them later on.
GAPS is less restrictive than the GFCF Diet at the full diet stage because dairy is allowed, but the complicated steps to get there make it hard for some to stick with it. GFCF doesn’t allow dairy, but the rules of the diet are far easier to follow: Don’t eat casein or gluten.
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Tender Beef Snacks…an alternative to Beef Jerky
It’s tough to find beef jerky-type products that aren’t loaded with MSG and other preservatives, while also being gluten-free. However, this week’s review is about PJ’s Beef Snacks. I tasted all three varieties of PJ’s Beef Tenders and their Cracked Pepper Beef Slices. My overall impression was that these are a great alternative to traditional beef jerky. First, they are (as the name implies) quite tender unlike traditional jerky which can be quite tough to chew. Second, they have distinct flavors that are neither overpowering with salty flavor or greasy (like some other brands of jerky). The snacks are not only gluten-free and free of preservatives, they even have 35% of your RDA of Vitamin C and calcium too.
The Original Flavor of the Beef Tenders might be referred to as “plain”, but I found it to have a nice beefy flavor without being too salty. The Teriyaki Flavor of the Beef Tenders was slightly different from the Original Flavor, it was like “Original Plus” because it was a subtle teriyaki flavor, not an overpowering one. And, the Cracked Pepper variety of both the Tenders and the Slices definitely had the most kick to it, but again you could taste other flavors besides the pepper so it definitely had some dimension. I believe my favorite flavor was the Teriyaki though.
The only downside to this great snack right now is that it’s not yet in stores. You can order it directly from the company here. Or if you’d like to check out this great snack option in person, you might want to visit a tasting event that PJ’s is hosting in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
Disclaimer: PJ’s Beef Snacks provided me with free samples of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
My latest recipe is up at Stockpiling Moms! This one is for a tasty grill recipe for lemon herb pork chops. Super easy, but packs in a lot of flavor! Nicholas wasn’t too thrilled with it, but that’s because he’s gone on a all-hotdog-all-the-time frenzy ever since I found him some grassfed, organic hotdogs that he can eat. But, my husband said these were fantastic and is standing in for Nicholas on the review this week – happily giving these a 12 thumbs up rating!