Get a comprehensive overview of the GAPS diet, a holistic treatment for many conditions including autism and depression, from its history to the foods you should eat or avoid on the diet.
What is the GAPS Diet?
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, a term invented by Dr. Campbell-McBride. The GAPS diet is based on Campbell-McBride’s belief that all diseases start in the gut. It is a healing diet to that is intended to last for a couple of years.
The GAPS Diet Was Started as a Health Cure
Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride created the GAPS diet to address today’s epidemic of health problems (autism, ADD/ADHD, anxiety), which she believes is caused by processed food. The idea is that toxins from bad bacteria in the gut affects our brains. People use GAPS to address everything from autism to depression. In the video above, one mother discusses how she used the diet as a complementary treatment for her child’s autism.
GAPS DIET: What Foods to Eat
The actual GAPS diet is seven stages, but here is an overview of the foods you are allowed to eat on the diet. There is also an introductory phase which Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends some people start with first.
GAPS Diet Foods:
• Free-range and fresh meats, fish, and eggs (=85% of your diet).
• Homemade meat stock, soups, and stews.
• Vegetables (mostly well-cooked or fermented).
• Probiotics like fermented dairy.
• Good fats from organic butter, avocado, and extra-virgin olive oil.
GAPS Diet: What Foods to Avoid
On the GAPS diet, you avoid all sugars, grains, and fibers, and processed foods- these are difficult for the body to digest.
These are some of the everyday foods you should not eat on the GAPS diet:
baking powder and raising agents of all kinds
meat, processed, preserved, smoked
nuts, salted, roasted, coasted
vegetables, canned or preserved
For a more comprehensive list, go directly to the Gaps Diet.
GAPS Diet Review and Criticism
Because the diet is recent, there haven’t been enough scientific studies and research for most medical professionals to make a conclusive decision. Dr. Harriet Hall of Science-Based Medicine calls it:
a mishmash of half-truths, pseudoscience, imagination, and untested claims.