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CCFA's SCD article revisited - Misleading Legumes

February 18, 2008

In late 2005, the CCFA wrote a tricky article about the specific carbohydrate diet. The article subtly dissuades people from trying the SCD while not-quite-telling-the-truth.

Since the CCFA's SCD article is still quoted today, this is one of several posts to examine the article. I was going to start at the beginning of the article but let's start with legumes.

Also, allow me to introduce one of several assistants, "Joe Colitis", or JC. He's a longtime sufferer, in so-so condition, always interested in new ways to make the disease easier to live with. He gives his impressions of the article.

Excerpt on legumes.     Misleading: YES
original article:

Let's start with this excerpt on Legumes:
Arthur D. Heller, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist who is certified by the American Board of Nutrition, points out several inconsistencies in the diet. "Foods are excluded," he says, "because of their purported inability to be digested well. But of the foods allowed, legumes are known to contain certain carbohydrates that are not well digested by humans."
Joe, what did this paragraph say to you?
JC: It says the SCD has a lot of legumes--a lot of beans. I don't do to well with beans. Everyone knows they don't digest well. What kind of diet is this?
Actually, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, the book about the specific carbohydrate diet, says the following about legumes:
"Dried legumes may be added cautiously after being on the diet for three months."

In other words, legumes are attempted slowly after three months--and if they don't digest well, then they're not used. In addition, all legumes used on the diet are soaked overnight to reduce the starch.

What do you think now?
JC: Well, if the person is feeling for several months, then I guess they could try the legumes. The book does say "cautiously."
Right, the diet is very cautious and incremental.
JC: It's not a bean diet?
No. You can be on the diet with no beans.
JC: OK. Let's hear some more.

(narrator had to get back to work . . .. )