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


Protein Requirements

From Elaine:
Great care was made by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas to include the foods in SCD™which, when used intelligently, would comprise a well balanced, healthful, therapeutic diet. I worked very hard, even on the infant formula (Available in Breaking the Vicious Cycle) to do the same. Many of you were a bit disturbed with me when I became emphatic (ballistic) when members of the list kept pushing a low carobohydrate diet and I even threatened to take it to the courts because SCD™is not a low carb diet. This issue needs some further explanation and I will copy verbatim from one of my "bibles," :

"Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease" by Goodhart and Shils, page 57.

Effect of excessive amounts of protein in diet:
The amino acid requirements are high in infancy, childhood, adolescence and during pregnancy because large amounts of protein are newly formed in the rapidly growing tissues. Synthesis of milk proteins during lactation and growth of muscle tissue in the course of athletic training also increase the adult requirements. Similarly, replacement of lost tissue during convalescence after consumptive diseases or during rehabilitation FOLLOWING MALNUTRITION (caps are mine) requires an ample supply of dietary amino acids. The utilization of dietary amino acids for protein synthesis is limited by the actual requirements of the body for growth and maintenance. Protein, unlike fat, cannot be stored in appreciable quantities; therefore, dietary amino acids consumed in excess of the requirements are further metabolized, i.e. after decarboxylation they enter the common mill by which carbohydrates and fats are utilized. It is therefore not economical to feed relatively expensive high-protein foods in abnormally high quantities. The question whether consumption of excessive amounts of proteins has any harmful effect cannot be answered without qualification. It is well established that Arctic explorers and other persons kept on well-controlled diets, subsisting for many years mainly on meat, do not develop any pathological symptoms. We can, therefore, conclude that normal adults seem able to tolerate a protein intake far above actual requirements. Infants and children, particularly those not adapted to high-protein foods, do not do well on diets containing large amounts of protein. It is, therefore, recommended by several authors that the protein intake be increased only gradually. this suggestion has to be considered, particularly in connection with rehabilitation diets given after malnutrition.

Note from Elaine:
One must conclude from the above that if children had been suffering from malnutrition (and from what I have seen of some of the previous diets before SCD, they were suffering from malnutrition) then, if the child is not eating sufficient fruits, veggies and baked goods made with honey and ground up pecans and almonds, feeding large amounts of protein to the exclusion of fruits and veggies is not a good idea although, as the following will explain, will do no lasting harm.

To continue with Goodhart and Shils:
In addition to decreased protein efficiency, excessive ingestion of protein may lead to fluid imbalances. These circumstances arise from the fact that, whereas 350 gm of water are required for the metabolism of 100 calories of protein, approximately 50 gm of water are required for the metabolism of 100 gm of calories of either carbohydrates or fats. Thus, the consumption of protein over and above 15% of the total caloric intake, can lead to increased water requirements and increased levels of end products of protein metabolism in the bloodstream. These associated phenomena have been designated the protein overload effect. It is obvious that the therapeutic use of high protein diets should be carefully controlled.

Note from Elaine:
Remember: SCD is not a low carb, high protein diet and those trying to make it one are perverting it.

To continue:
The idea that excessive protein intake may lead to development of, or aggravate already existing hypertension or that it may cause toxic complications of pregnancy HAS BEEN ABANDONED (caps mine). The assumption that protein foods, due to its specific dynamic effect, may adversely influence the course of febrile diseases also proved to be false. The idea that large amounts of protein may damage the kidneys or liver has never been supported by observations in man (emphasis mine). Even the exclusion of protein from the diet of people with developed liver or kidney damage is an obsolete practice. More recent studies have shown that diets containing ample amounts of protein very often improve the healing tendency in liver or kidney diseases. Discussion goes on about special cases like PKU, cystinuria. etc.


left quote
The book should be required reading for anyone with Crohn's disease and we wish gastroenterologists would read it as well. The diet is a real alternative to the drug based therapy from the medical community.
right quote
- Bruce Senn
Amazon customer

Mission Statement