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Slow-carb foods allowed / not allowed

Can someone please post a comprehensive list of exactly what foods are allowed and not allowed on the slow-carb diet? I keep hearing contradicting things and just want a list that I can print out once and for all.

  • Anna Wall commented Apr 12th 2017:

    Why is soymilk not allowed?\n


The Best Answer

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Not allowed:


Milk products including cheese (except cottage cheese)

Refined soy products (Soy milk, Tofu, tempeh, soy protein shake)


Potatoes (sweet potatoes, yams, yucca, any starchy vegetable)

Bread, rice, grains, oatmeal, tortillas, quinoa


Creamy dressings and dressings with sugar

Sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, fructose

Deep-fried breaded food (corrected, good catch!)

Corn, popcorn (updated, per Tim's comment)




All meat (Beef, pork and poultry NOT treated w/hormones or antibiotics)

Turkey bacon, organic bacon, organic sausages

All fish, seafood (canned is fine)

All beans (chickpeas in moderation)

All vegetables (except potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams)

Hot sauce

Salsa w/o sugar

Any oil (Olive oil, macadamia nut oil, grapeseed oil preferred)


Spices & herbs


Non-creamy low-sugar dressings

Brown rice protein, hemp protein, pea protein

Unflavored whey protein isolate

Unsweetened cocoa

Vanilla extract

Allowed in moderation:




Avocado (1 cup/day max)

Peanut butter/ almond, and other nut butter (1 TB/day)

Nuts (5-10 per meal)

Hummus, chickpeas/garbanzo beans

Coffee (w/up to 2 TB cream)

Aspartame / Equal (Diet soda 16oz/day, Sugar-free JELL-O)

Unsweetened almond milk

  • Adam Zilberbaum commented Apr 14th 2011:
    Good list!
  • Forest Parks commented Apr 26th 2011:
    Great list, helps with a few things. What is an acceptable amount of peas per day do you think?
  • Mcarpentier Mike Carpentier commented Mar 2nd 2011:
    This is the awesomest thing i have seen on this blog! THANK YOU! (damn peas were killing me and i didn't even know it!, i was definitely over the "moderate" qty of peas everyday!) cheers and good luck all!
  • Laura Mac commented May 3rd 2011:
    If honey is not allowed to sweeten… what should we use? I make a homemade iced coffee (coffee and ice blended together to make thick substance) but I find it to be too bitter without any honey. Any suggestions?
  • 4 Hour People commented Jun 13th 2011:


    Use stevia

  • Brian Tack commented Jun 23rd 2011:

    This is terrific. But the thing that throws me is "butter" I thought that was not allowed as it's dairy.

  • Matti Neustadt Storie commented Aug 21st 2011:

    "butter" should be ghee - clarified butter that has the lactose/milk solids removed. Great stuff.

  • Mary Ellen Hannah commented Aug 24th 2011:

    No tofu? I thought soybeans was good?

  • Jungmannova Jitka commented Sep 6th 2011:

    OMG thanks so much,that is a great list!!...Actually I think I´ll have to reconsider my intake of peas and tomatoes.It´s too bad though since it is the season for tomatoes now:-( Anyone knows what is an acceptable amount of tomatoes/peas per day??

  • Jungmannova Jitka commented Sep 6th 2011:

    As for the ketchup: I make my own - simply sautee some nicely ripe tomatoes with onions and a pinch of salt,puree the mixture and here we go - the best ketchup ever - WITHOUT sugar!

  • Natalie Bernadette commented Sep 14th 2011:

    what about salt and ginger root?

  • Brian McDonnell commented Sep 14th 2011:

    Salt apparently makes you retain water but if you are just adding a little to fresh food it is fine. Ginger is a spice so that should be fine too!

  • Gretchen Linden commented Sep 14th 2011:

    If I couldn't have salt, I'd have to hang myself. LOL :) We get so much less now since there's so little processed food, so adding some while cooking or at table has not been a problem at all for me. Haven't read about or tested ginger, but, yes, it's a spice, so I'd bet my car it's perfectly fine. :)

  • Craig Sebzda commented Sep 23rd 2011:

    All I am saying is, give peas a chance. Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.

  • angie joy commented Oct 4th 2011:

    wow...iaggu. nicely done. i actually laughed out loud. :)

  • Debra Thomas commented Jan 31st 2012:

    I also was confused by the "no peas" part of this otherwise awesome post. Peas are lentils, right? So, I thought they were fine. I did, however, think that corn was supposed to be limited. I guess I will have to pull out my book and give it yet another read-through. Thanks for the list though!

  • Gretchen Linden commented Jan 31st 2012:

    KarmicDebT -- peas are not the same as lentils. Peas are high in sugar, so they should be an in-moderation/occasional food. Corn is definitely a no-no until cheat day -- it's a grain, not a veggie, and it's very high in sugar.

  • Screenwriters Doitonpaper commented Feb 11th 2012:

    Why is kombucha on the "avoid" list? I think that is an error.

  • Keith Gagnon commented Mar 1st 2012:

    Sooooooooooo Awesome. Thanks for this.

  • Mads Phi commented Mar 8th 2012:

    Why is soymilk not allowed?

  • Meg Crispin commented Apr 1st 2012:

    Thank you for the quick, go-to list!

  • Dylan Debiase commented May 1st 2012:

    I heard Stevia was NOT ok, and to be honest ive had better results after dropping it. Someone please clarify if possible!

  • Rob Chalmers commented May 12th 2012:

    how about Pesto? or Salami (guessing the later is in meats)

  • Audrey Mantey commented May 12th 2012:

    Pesto usually has cheese in it, so you'd have to double check ingredients and decide how far you want to stray from strict rules. For a once in a blue moon treat I'd go for it, but as a routine dinner option I'd pass. Salami is okay but it has a lot of salt, so don't be surprised if your weight pops up from water retention after eating a lot of it.

  • Jennifer Brenner commented Jun 21st 2012:

    Thanks for the list! Any explanation for why chickpeas in moderation? They've been filling my gap for a snack to hold me over between meals, and I thought they were ok because they are a legume. Do they have a higher sugar content?

  • Miguel Camacho commented Jul 4th 2012:

    wow i was messing up so badly. i am halfway through week 2 and i was having sweet potato every day, corn every other day... ugh. this list is a real life saver!

  • Brent Barker commented Oct 29th 2011:

    Did I miss something somewhere? Peas are on the eat as much as you want list in the book.

  • J Graham commented Feb 22nd 2012:

    Super list. Thank you. I would also caution newbies that with some of the commericially produced spice blends/seasoning products that are out there, check to make sure there isn't hidden sugar in the mix. Make your own blends out of true spices if you want.

  • Brian McDonnell commented Jun 4th 2011:

    Vanilla extract and / or cinnamon!

  • Lukas Pam commented Jun 22nd 2011:

    Stevia has saved my life :)

  • Ernie Ayres commented Sep 22nd 2011:

    This list isn't exactly right. Page 196 of the Four Hour Body (e-version anyway) lumps kombucha with kimchi, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. He doesn't say not to drink it except binge day. I drink it almost daily and it has helped my stomach quite a bit with no slowing of weight loss or maintenance.

    Great list otherwise!

  • Jan Priode commented Aug 8th 2012:

    Tryoing to find snacks to fill those gaps in between eating when mainly grazing because my hands are so used to bringing food to my mouth without even being conscious of the fact. I found some fried gene beans today the Whole Foods and some fried veggie chips. Would these be on the allowed list or not allowed list? Thanks for any feedback. (newbie)

  • Nicole Pape commented Sep 14th 2012:

    You can make your own pesto: with ruccola, basil, garlic cloves, salt, pepper and olive oil. You could also add a little bit of parmesan as it´s okay in limited amounts. This pesto tastes much better than anything you can buy!

  • Rosie Moran commented Dec 4th 2012:

    What about baked beans?

  • Mika Maddela commented Dec 13th 2012:

    @jdpriode-- check out what the fried veggie chips are made of. I would avoid anything with hydrogenated oils because instead of burning that fat for energy, hydrogenated oils make you store that fat somewhere else in your body.

  • Aysegul Jones commented Mar 28th 2013:

    I am so sad. I started SCD six days ago and today I couldn't handle the sweet craving and ate 1 table spoon of plain sugar. Now, is all these work gone or is it gone only for today? I may even cry now. I was so good until today.i will go to gym tonight to cover this mistake. Is there anything I can do?

  • Mary Ellen Hannah commented Apr 6th 2013:

    Consider today gone. SCD tomorrow. One of my best crutchs is Cheat Day. Write down your craving. And make sure you eat it on your cheat day. This will help you get to day 7 cheat day every week..

    Remember any food that causes your blood sugar to go up is a food you need to avoid. peas, corn, carrots produce sugar.

  • Greta G commented May 2nd 2013:

    It might sound strange, but what about rhubarb? One cup of raw rhubarb has 6g of carbs and 1g of sugars. Can it be then allowed on SCD or better to leave for a cheat day?

  • Laura Brown commented May 11th 2013:

    Does anyone know if you can eat Desiccated Coconut? I REALLY wan't to make my low carb choc brownies!

  • Nicola Davison commented Jun 16th 2013:

    Great list

  • Tillyander Moore commented Aug 22nd 2013:

    Lol stevia is not okay for this diet Anything that even remotely tastes sweet will cut your weight loss in half. That was Time update.

    And mayonaise is not okay endless it's whole egg.

  • Scott Ellison commented Jan 8th 2014:

    Why anything that tastes sweet if there is no/very little sugars?

    Can I eat yoghurt? Natural?

  • Scott Ellison commented Jan 8th 2014:

    Just found my answer to the yoghurt.

  • To Jo commented Feb 5th 2014:

    How about Bulgur?

  • Eric I commented Sep 4th 2014:
    To add a point about tomatoes, be advised that certain varieties of tomatoes contain a lot more sugar. Most notably, Sun Dried Tomatoes. While 100 grams of your standard garden-variety tomato contains about 4 grams of sugar, the same weight of sun-dried carries about 40 grams of sugar. So avoid those. You can use to check most things.

All Answers


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This is in addition to everything he said in the book...

From Tim's blog

Slow-Carb Clarifications

I’m currently getting at least 500-1,000 questions a day via the blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. about the slow-carb diet. Let me clarify a few things:

Do not eat the following, except for cheat days:


Sweet potatoes


Dairy (this includes cheese and yogurt of all kinds)

I mention cottage cheese at one point as a last resort. It is low in lactose, which is what you need to avoid. Ghee and cream (for coffee) should contain little or no lactose, hence you can use them. The same goes for effectively lactose-free, unflavored whey protein, etc..

The following will address 99%+ of confusion:

- If you have to ask, don’t eat it.

- If you haven’t had blood tests done, I don’t want to hear that the diet doesn’t work.

- If you aren’t measuring inches or haven’t measured bodyfat % with an accurate tool (BodPod, etc. and NOT bodyfat scales), I don’t want to hear that the diet doesn’t work.

- If you’re a woman and taking measurements within 10 days prior to menstruation (which I advise against in the book), I don’t want to hear about the lack of progress.

- On the critical 4-6 week window:

For people over 40 and women (especially after two kids), it’s quite common that the most dramatic fat-loss and weight change comes after 4-6 weeks on the diet. I have no explanation for this. Needless to say, if you haven’t done the diet for AT LEAST four weeks, please don’t post a comment about plateauing and panicking. I can’t give you meaningful advice without a ton of other supporting data (blood tests, etc.), and it’s physically impossible for me to respond to each person.

To reiterate: The entire goal of 4HB is to make you a self-sufficient self-experimenter within safe boundaries. Track yourself, follow the rules, and track the changes if you break or bend the rules. Simple as that. That’s what I did to arrive at my conclusions, and that’s what you will do — with a huge head start with the 4HB — to arrive at yours.

Do it for 4 weeks and then troubleshoot if you’re plateauing.

If you post a plea for help anywhere, include at least two FULL days of your meals and snacks so people can actually help you.

Most of those saying they’re “following the diet to the letter” are doing nothing of the sort. Reread “Slow-Carb II” in 4HB.

Last, I’ll repeat the basic approach to the unknown: If you have to ask, don’t eat it.

  • Brian McDonnell commented Sep 1st 2011:

    Love the bluntness.

  • Jungmannova Jitka commented Sep 6th 2011:

    I especially like the part about ourselves becomming self-experimentors..isn´t it cool?! And the truth is: if you don´t measure yourself you can´t judge the diet !

  • Donnie Brake commented Feb 22nd 2012:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Measurements can be just as important as a scale. Progress is progress and the scale is not the only concern. I have lost 25 pounds in 4 months but have lost 18 inches and approximately 7% body fat. When the scale does not show results, I find encouragement from lost inches or bf reduction.

  • Dianna Ivanov commented Nov 13th 2012:

    Helpful but snippy! I imagine answering the same questions over & over can be annoying as well as people not following it correctly & then making "It doesn't work" posts. Believe me I'm not known for my patience, you know the phrase "I don't suffer fools" , that's me however if you've taken the role of being an expert I think a less annoyed tone "might" be helpful. That's just me!

  • Krista La Forte commented Jan 10th 2013:

    Hi There, I am a few weeks into the diet and loving it. One question though, I train rather hard and I used to used Amino Acid to keep my energy going al, through a session. Will Amino Acid powder affect weight loss?


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in the slow carb cookbook tim subs almond flour and coconut flour in very small amounts in recipes. the reason no milk and dairy is b/c of lactose. that is why its ok to have cottage cheese - no lactose. also, cream is coffee is ok - no lactose. i just read tim's blog about both of these.

so for the almond and coconut milk - i wouldnt drink glasses of it. usually it has added sugar. even if not, has carbs. but i cannot see why you can't sub it for a tbsp of milk in a recipe.

check out tim's blog. the most recent post includes 4hb questions and answers, pointers for people not seeing results and links to resources. also fixes for typos in the book (like don't take green tea pill before bed if implementing PAAG).

Good luck!

  • Douglas Sheehan Douglas Sheehan commented May 22nd 2012:

    Is there a slow carb cookbook worth purchasing?

  • Steven Gray commented Sep 11th 2012:

    Coconut is a stone fruit. Fruit = fructose. Coconut is actually one of the first foods which people with fructose malabsorption are advised to avoid altogether. Coconut oil is the only coconut product that is fully SCD compliant until cheat day.


I'm pretty sure the deep fried breaded food, and brown rice are on the not allowed list. I do see that you mention brown rice protein, so I'm sure that's something that is allowed.


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I like the list - it's a good place to start!

But remember Tim's principles: if in doubt, don't, and experiment on yourself (measure & monitor)

The first is the quick & easy answer, the second allows some freedom. I think Tim's whole approach is self-experimentation, not a rigid you must do this kind of thing. That said, he has already done a lot of experimentation and lays out what he has found to work for him and others.


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Regarding butter: Tim said (either during his CreativeLIVE course or one of the many podcasts he appeared on during his Four Hour Chef junket) this past November/December that butter is not Slow-Carb friendly and to instead use ghee in place of butter as ghee has the least amount of dairy content in it as you can get.

This confused me probably as much as it might confuse you as I thought he at least had butter in this sort-of gray area, but seeing as how he's always refining and re-tuning I think it's just something he must have come to a final realization that it was a no-go. Nevertheless, I made the switch and started using ghee and I feel as though it was the right move.

Ghee can be easily made by simply bringing unsalted butter to a boil until the dairy and oil separate, then removing the frothy top [or dairy] and keeping the oil underneath, and finally straining it into a container. If you can use grass-fed unsalted butter, like Kerrygold, you should be able to end up with an ideal homemade ghee.

  • Dmitrij Motley commented Oct 6th 2013:

    Can ghee be made from SALTED butter? I live in Denmark and there isn't any unsalted butter in stores. 0.7% salt is the lowest one I was able to find.


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tomatoes are definitely on the ALLOWED list, as per 4HB book.

it is only avocado that is on "allowed in moderation".

you should avoid tomatoes only if you are into the "last mile" diet, not SCD.

  • Lauren Potempa commented Mar 22nd 2015:
    I had the same thought about tomatoes and peas. Peas are on the list of "pick one thing from each of these categories" and it doesn't say anything about moderation.


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You can eat chicken breast or thigh, egg, pork, fish, beef, black beans, pinto beans, soybeans, red beans, lentils, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, peas, cauliflower


4HourBod's answer is correct except for Deep-fried breaded food, which is not allowed.


I believe that the list provided is in need of a few corrections. Deep-fried, breaded food is definitely not in the allowed list as the breading can be white and most likely contains gluten. Also, tempeh is listed in the slow-carb section related to supplements under calcium. I do not believe that it would be listed as an option for natural calcium while on the slow-carb diet if it were not allowed on the slow-carb diet.

The one item listed that I am not completely certain about is ketchup. While it is not explicitly named in the book either way, from what I have encountered anyway, I believe the main problem is sugar. Both hot sauce and salsa without sugar are allowed and ketchup is similar to both with the exception of sugar. One could make their own ketchup with stevia and it should be acceptable.


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I would assume no butternut squash, but I just made the turkey chili from the recipes and it has butternut squash in it. So, I am confused as well!


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4 Hour Bod answered that tofu isn't allowed, Tim lists tofu as a calcium supplement, can

I eat tofu a couple of times a week, also as a protein (half a block has 20 grams protein)

someone please clarify?

  • Davey Wallace commented Jun 13th 2011:

    Tim's objection to soy products is based on the high level of photoestrogens the contain. It does not appear to be because they will put on weight. I have greatly cut down my tofu intake, but it is a convenient source of protein for vegetarians, so I do occassionally still use it.

  • Sarah Porr Sarah Porr commented Sep 1st 2011:

    I eat tofu and have had no adverse effects as far as weight /fat loss goes.


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I thought Whey in any form was a no-go?

I just bought unflavored egg white protein(not too pleasant) so I could use it if I needed a snack and or more protein.


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I have like 4 tablespoons of Peanut Butter a day ( each tablespoon has 1 gram of sugar , and 1 gram of carbs )... I havent noticed anything change.. Ive been on the diet for 3 weeks

  • Amaya Mocha commented Oct 25th 2011:

    the book says no more than 2.


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OK awesome list. You should add Pumpkins and Butternut squash (I am assuming all winter squashes) to the Not Allowed list. I found out about pumpkins today... bit of a downer for me - but ah well.... results is results :)

  • Amaya Mocha commented Oct 25th 2011:

    butternut squash isn't allowed?!!! where's that in the book? i live on that stuff

  • Nathan W commented Mar 12th 2012:

    Butternut, winter, and almost all squashes are starchy foods. They fall somewhere between corn and potatoes for starch content. Pumpkins, as stated above, are starchy as well. Pumpkin seeks, however, are not totally uncalled for because of some average nutritional value.


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High quality whey protein is also ok, I believe.

I know squash like zucchini is ok, but what about more carby ones like butternut squash?

  • Jungmannova Jitka commented Sep 6th 2011:

    As far as I´m cocerned, butternut squash is not allowed it for Cheat days:-)


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I am having a very hard time trying to find grass fed meat that is in my price range. Can I still loose enough weight without the grass fed?

  • Douglas Sheehan Douglas Sheehan commented Aug 9th 2012:

    Costco has a good price on grass fed ground beef. You can definitely lose weight with the standard stuff though. If you're on a budget don't sweat it. Good Luck.

  • Caren Jackson commented Aug 9th 2012:

    Thank You so much for clearing that up, I will have to check to see if there is a costco around here

  • Hyperzoomx 4hb commented Sep 3rd 2012:

    some of the benefits of grass-fed beef is in the fats it contains (high omega-3s,etc) compare to non-grass fed. Grass fed is great and delicious but if you can't find it try buying lean cuts of regular beef to avoid the fats (which contain any added chemicals and hormones fed to the cows to plump them up). Lean cuts also help you since then you could add some of the good fats you cook with (like ghee or coconut oil). Hope this helps.


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@eighdrose: As far as lima beans go, they may have similar carbs weight for weight as potatoes, but the carbs in beans are very different to potato starch, they're absorbed much more slowly, and have a very different affect on your insulin. Remember this is slow carb not low carb, you should still be getting a lot of your energy from the carbs in the beans/legumes you eat.


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How about Ezekiel bread?

  • Emily Libby commented Oct 25th 2012:

    Im almost positive he'd say no: No grains at all, even sprouted!


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So is Margarine equal to butter ?? Sorry if this is already listed.. . I see Butter, but confused about the margrine thing..

  • Brian McDonnell commented Sep 1st 2011:

    Yes exactly I would avoid margarine for your general health, not just lack of progress on SCD

  • Jordan Olsen commented May 20th 2011:
    Butter and margarine are not the same. I had the unfortunate opportunity to see how margarine was made, I've not eaten it since!
  • Dawn George commented Dec 6th 2012:

    margarine is 2 chemicals from being plastic!!! Read this while back....not exactly sure of it's truth but I also keep reading that real butter is good so....i'm sticking to butter

  • Jason Carlin commented Jan 11th 2013:

    @dawn.g13 — There's also quite a bit of literature out there saying that real butter is bad, and not due to the fat content. I've switched to ghee for most scenarios.

    From (

    "If you’ve read our Dairy Manifesto or any of Dr. Cordain’s dairy research, you already know that dairy proteins like casein and whey do some ugly things in your body, and contain growth factors and immune factors which negatively impact your health. These milk proteins contribute to conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases, and produce other inflammation-related symptoms (not the least of which is digestive distress)."


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Hi everyone

I was searching through looking for something else unrelated, but came across this post and started reading. I am very curious as to why the original answerer says peas are on the 'in moderation' list? Further, another member states that the 'peas were killing him'.

Can someone help me, as I have no idea why peas might be considered as either a food for moderation or as anything that could in any way inhibit rapid progress. The book very clearly states 'peas' on the list of vegetables, with the accompanying words 'eat as much as you like of the above food items'.

When you look at the chemical breakdown of peas, there is absolutely nothing in them that would spring to mind as potentially inhibiting of slow carb dieting progress, yet I am a little concerned now that perhaps I have missed something.

Would someone please explain why peas might not be optimal for SCD?

Thanks very much

  • Mika Maddela commented Jan 14th 2013:

    Because peas are HIGH in sugar.

    1 cup of peas is equal to 8.2 grams of sugar.


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Absolutely great list, this is really going to help me. I had been using ketchup with eggs, but I'm thinking I should cut it down to just salsa.


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What is the deal with Sweet Potatoes? By all accounts, it's not on the allowed list but I'm reading Tim's new book, the 4 Hour Chef, and he says all recipes included are SCD friendly yet he's used sweet potatoes multiple times now. Can someone please offer some clarity?

  • Mattias Pettersson commented Apr 4th 2013:

    For me, and checking with some GI-charts. Cooked sweet potatoes has a low GI which would make it 'semi-suitable' for SCD. I, now, put on the same list as tomatoes and nuts part.. ie. ok, but in small quantities - I eat it at a maximum once a week - it's a bit high on GI if you fry or ovenroast it.. so it's better to boil and make it into mash. But(!) I'm no expert but I've seen no reason to exclude it since TF has it in the 4HC


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What about almond milk and coconut milk?

  • Elma Love commented Mar 7th 2013:

    Or lactose-free milk?

  • Mattias Pettersson commented Apr 4th 2013:

    lactose-free: Lactose is broken down into two simple sugars, galactose and glucose - meaning you actually turn the lactose 'sugar'. So.. no.. lactose free isn't sugarfree :) almond & coconut milk - on my own list - makes the 'consume with warnings' - see what happens afterwards and then decide if it works for you or not..


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Good news, everyone! I'm reading 4 hour cheff now and TF says we can add lime or lemon juice to our meals. Surprise, I can enjoy tea with a piece of lemon!


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I'm about ready to give up on this diet. No matter what I do, the best weight loss I've had in a day is a mere .2 of a lb. I should be losing three times that. At the current rate I'd be happy to be losing twice that.


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Hi --

Can anyone tell me if V-8 juice is acceptable? I love it and miss having it!




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There was a long discussion anout peas earlier in this tread. I don't understand why they are just 'in moderation' food. For sure, they are high in carbs but this holds true for any kind of legumes. Peas have a GI of 40 what's equal to beans. Further they have a protein to carb ratio of 3:5, while most lentils are only 1:2.

In the german book tim mentions peas as a 'best of' veggie. But this may be a mistake due to translations. Peas are legumes. Can anybody please recheck with the american book? It's in the fatloss chapter, rule 1, I think.

I have about 250g peas each day and it doesn't slow my weight loss.


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Are turnips and rutabaga allowed?


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Is Black Rice allowed? I know white and brown aren’t, but what about black? It’s a slow-digesting carb itself, no sugar, full of antioxidants, but I can’t find anything about it anywhere. And I’m seeing contradicting views on sweet potatoes as well. These are the really the only foods a little confused with. Please help


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Is Black Rice allowed? I know white and brown aren’t, but what about black? It’s a slow-digesting carb itself, no sugar, full of antioxidants, but I can’t find anything about it anywhere. And I’m seeing contradicting views on sweet potatoes as well. These are the really the only foods a little confused with. Please help


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I have always wondered what is the logic behind cottage cheese being the only dairy allowed. Can anyone explain it? Thanks!

  • Evan Matthews commented Sep 16th 2014:
    it's the low lactose content. Your body treats it differently than milk


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Hi - this disallowed list says milk, yet the allowed list says coffee with Coffee (w/up to 2 TB cream) .. is that not contradictory?? in fact is not the American description of "cream" just high fat milk? .. just curious

  • Kimhowerton passpass commented Oct 12th 2014:
    He says no more than 2 T a day on the cream, and only if you have to. the higher the fat milk/cream, the lower the carb effect. So, a little cream much better than milk.


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I'm hoping someone can help. Really like coconut water (no added sugar) and as naturally sourced and without preservatives as possible. Contains 1% fructose but would like advice as whether this is still compatable with slow carb diet. Thanks!!


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I know sugar is not allowed and I’m only just beginning this diet tomorrow. I prepared a big batch of chilli con carne (using a recipe i’ve made in the past) and forgot that I should not add sugar. I added 1 tsp of brown sugar. Should I freak out? I can’t throw all of it out but if it will not help my progress then I won’t have it.


4HourBod's list is great, except deep-fried breaded foods are not allowed. (p.92 of 4HB) Also, Stevia, I think, in moderation, but as Tim says, sweeteners should be avoided due to insulin spiking. (p. 99)

  • Debra Thomas commented Dec 29th 2011:

    I think Tim said that NutraSweet was one of the few artificial sweeteners that doesn't impact insulin production.

  • Lauren Potempa commented Mar 22nd 2015:
    ^It doesn't show up as impacting insulin, but aspartame is to be avoided. Stevia was the only one the book says you can use, if needed.


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I would add olives as a dedicated item. Frankly, I'm asked about olives in terms of SCD a lot. Olives look fatty, so if it's not listed explicitly, some people get confused and treat them only for cheating, or use them as "in moderation product".

  • Lauren Potempa commented Mar 22nd 2015:
    Yes, please! Can I continue with my love of olives or do I have to regulate them to cheat days?


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the book SPECIFICALLY mentioned NOT to have breaded deep fried foods. the breading is BREAD and therefore carbs. you can have deep fried food, just with 0 breading.

also im surprised lima beans are allowed, those are fairly starchy. according to these nutrition facts, a serving of lima beans and potatoes have about the same carbs:

and therefore i unfortunately think lima beans should also be banned!

  • Ben Loker commented Nov 14th 2011:


    Beans are high in carbs. But there's a large part of them called the Indigestible Fraction (IF) that makes them so slow-carb friendly as we do not digest it and therefore it does not affect blood sugar. I'm not sure what the IF of Lima Beans is, but I'd wager that it's significantly higher than potatoes.

    Unfortunately, I can't find this info as all of the scholarly articles are pay-only.


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Wow, no wonder why people have so many questions, Tim forgets what he says sometimes:

April 19, 2007: "Cheese (ideally low-fat), nuts, and occassional fried food (ideally without a ton of breading) are fine on this diet. Notice that all are protein-rich and low GI."

Jan 21, 2011: "Do not eat the following, except for cheat days: Dairy (this includes cheese and yogurt of all kinds)"

  • Shery deWinter commented Feb 15th 2011:
    I don't think it's a matter of forgetting. There were 3 years in between - data and information expands and updates, more people are trying it out and reporting back... The important bit to remember is that it's not set in stone. Experiment, track.
  • Brian McDonnell commented Sep 1st 2011:

    I think Tim had to refine the diet a lot - not in terms of fat loss - but in terms of people actually being able to stick to it. The less variety the better!

  • Daniel Davis commented Oct 31st 2011:

    To be fair if I had to stick to just a few boring meals, it is possible I would have lost a couple more lbs, mostly because I would have been sick of eating. But it is MUCH more likely that I would have just given up.

    If food is just fuel to you, good for you, and whatever works for you is great. But I happen to like food. I don't think I'm that odd in that way.

  • Sam Green commented Dec 29th 2011:

    He found out about the insulinemic response of dairy:

    'Despite low glycaemic indexes of 15-30, all of the milk products produced high insulinemic indexes of 90-98, which were not significantly different from the insulinemic index of reference bread (generally white bread)...Milk products appear insulinotrophic as judged from 3-fold to 6-fold higher insulinemic indexes than expected from the corresponding glycaemic indexes' ( pg 82 of the book). Removing even a little dairy can dramatically accelerate fat loss.

  • Tiffany Ludwicki commented Jan 21st 2013:

    How important is PAGG? And how important is the pre and post meal muscle contractions, and is it only for binge days?

  • Laura R. commented Mar 7th 2013:

    Since the book was published he also now eats only whole eggs, saying that the yolk contains many nutritionally sound items that when paired with the nutrients in the whites they are "as near to perfect of a food as you can get". He has tested this and says he now believes that avoiding eggs, which then evolved into egg-whites only, was just a popular notion that doesn't hold weight. There is nothing in the yolks that will slow your weight loss.

  • Laura R. commented Mar 7th 2013:

    He also mentions that women lose more weight when they eat whole eggs.

  • Steven Muller commented Aug 8th 2014:
    how about Greek yogurt? thought it was supposed to be so good for you?
  • Lauren Potempa commented Mar 22nd 2015:
    Yogurt is a dairy so I think that would be a no even though the Greek variety is high in protein and lower sugar than non-Greek. Yogurt also is good for gut-bacteria.

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