The starch-based diet, or SCD, is a simple, inexpensive diet plan that relies on replacing refined carbohydrates with starch-free ingredients like rice, corn and wheat.
But in the short term, the plan may not be that effective.
“If you have to replace a food, it is not going to be that efficient,” said Dr. Andrew Gebbia, professor of nutrition at the University of California, San Francisco, who has studied SCD.
Dr. Gebbi said the starch-rich diet is a “very inefficient” diet that may actually lead to more weight gain and obesity.
And in a paper published last month in the journal Science, Dr. Peter R. Willett, an economist at the Harvard School of Public Health, estimated that the SCD would cost about $100,000 a year to provide, or more than $10,000 per year per person, in the US.
But the research was based on a simple scenario: the average SCD-compliant American eats roughly the same amount of carbohydrates as an average person of similar weight, Dr