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Dietary strategies for IBD: Modified Specific Carbohydrate Diet

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Quality Rating

Criteria for starring system: 

  • Incorporates appropriate microbiome strategies
  • Incorporates appropriate gut healing strategies 
  • Inflammation reduction is a priority
  • Long-term symptom reduction
  • Easily implemented

  • Reduces disordered eating patterns

Caveat for starring system: This system is our opinion based on the available research at this time. We reserve the right to modify our recommendations as new literature is published and we learn more about the complexities of IBD. Review our recommendations with an appropriate amount of discretion and understand that oftentimes there is not a one size fits all approach for every situation.

Modified Specific Carbohydrate Diet (mSCD)

Overview: The specifics of the diet are vague and not well-defined as it is a newer strategy for IBD. The diet is derived from SCD, but attempts to add back in a few select healthy foods in hopes to nourish a more diverse microbiome. 

  • Many will use the SCD initially and then move to mSCD once remission is achieved and sustained, once full remission is sustained for 1-2 years, the diet is fully relaxed. 
  • The diet is still restrictive and creates dichotomy 
  • Red meat allowed, no chia or flax seeds, allows dairy yogurt 

Meets criteria for: 

  • Symptom reduction in the short-term
  • Incorporates some appropriate microbiome strategies 
  • Inflammation reduction is a priority

Does not meet criteria for: 

  • Long-term symptom reduction
  • Incorporates appropriate gut healing strategies
  • Easily implemented
  • Reduces disordered eating patterns