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SCD Diet Food List: 33 Legal Foods & 25 Illegal Foods

Knowing what you can and can't eat on the SCD diet can feel complicated! So in this short guide, we list out all the legal and illegal foods (according to the diet principles). Finally a SCD diet food list you can pin on your fridge!

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Table of Contents

    Food Group

    Legal Foods

    Illegal Foods


    Unprocessed meats, poultry, eggs, and fish

    Preserved, packaged deli meats, canned meats


    Most fresh vegetables

    Canned vegetables, starchy vegetables (e.g., corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, jicama)

    Algae (Chlorella; Spirulina), Aloe Vera, Jerusalem Artichokes, kohlrabi, Okra, Parsnips, Seaweed, turnips, water chestnuts


    Most fresh fruits or fruits canned in their own juice


    Canned fruits in syrups (syrups may contain “illegal” ingredients/sweeteners)

    Nuts and Seeds

    Most nuts (almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, etc.)

    Some seeds may be permitted after 3 months of no symptoms

    Chestnuts, flaxseed, hemp seeds, hemp protein, seed butters, seed flour, sesame seeds

    Grains and Starches


    All grains (wheat, wheat germ, barley, oats, rye, rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, etc.) 

    arrowroot, maltodextrin, tapioca, yucca root 


    Kidney beans* lentils* navy beans* split peas* lima beans*

    *May be tried when symptom-free. Dried beans are supposed to be prepared using methods described in Gottschall’s book. 

    Bean flour, butter beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, fava beans, mung beans, pea flour, soy, miso


    Aged cheeses > 30 days, dry curd cottage cheese, homemade 24-hour fermented yogurt

    Buttermilk, cottage cheese, cream, cream cheese, dried milk solids, chevre, mozzarella cheese, ice cream, milk, Lactaid milk, ricotta cheese, sour cream


    Honey, Saccharine

    Corn syrup, dextrose, date sugar, maple syrup, Splenda (sucralose), stevia, turbinado, molasses, xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, sugar, agave 


    Gin, Cranberry juice (no sugar added), tomato juice, vodka, whisky, very dry wine, weak tea or coffee, scotch, bourbon, water, club soda

    Apple Juice, soda, beer, brandy, instant coffee, decaffeinated products, grapefruit juice (legal if fresh), juice from concentrate, liqueurs, pineapple juice, port wine, sake, sherry, V8 juice

    Fats and Oils

    Most fats and oils

    (e.g., corn oil, flaxseed oil, butter, ghee, grapeseed oil, olive oil, walnut oil, etc.)


    Horseradish, most kinds of vinegar, mustard, wasabi

    Balsamic vinegar, ketchup


    Most spices 

    Cocoa powder

    Table compiled using information from: S,S

    The entire legal/illegal foods list can be accessed here

    Evidence Based

    An evidence hierarchy is followed to ensure conclusions are formed off of the most up-to-date and well-designed studies available. We aim to reference studies conducted within the past five years when possible.

    • Systematic review or meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
    • Randomized controlled trials
    • Controlled trials without randomization
    • Case-control (retrospective) and cohort (prospective) studies
    • A systematic review of descriptive, qualitative, or mixed-method studies
    • A single descriptive, qualitative, or mixed-method study
    • Studies without controls, case reports, and case series
    • Animal research
    • In vitro research

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