The GAPS Diet for IBS, Autism, Autoimmunity, and General Health
The GAPS Diet, developed by Dr. Natasha McBride, is a diet to help heal leaky gut, resolve food allergies, and to restore brain health. Originally, it was designed for children with autism, but over the years it has been beneficial in helping those with many chronic diseases, especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It basically involves the introduction of healthy fats (especially animal fats and proteins), fermented foods, bone broth, as well as certain vegetables to heal and seal the gut as well as restore the microbiome. This diet is ideal for those who suffer from food allergies and/or other food sensitivities. After a period of time being on this diet, one can slowly introduce different problem foods in small amounts as the gut lining heals.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS DIET MUST BE INDIVIDUALLY TAILORED, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES, AUTOIMMUNITY, THYROID PROBLEMS, SIBO, IBS, CANDIDA AND/OR LEAKY GUT ISSUES. THEREFORE, PLEASE CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED HEALTH PRACTITIONER BEFORE INITIATING ANY DIET PROGRAM.
The focus of this diet is the return to ancestral eating with a focus on:
- High-quality organic, grass-fed meats (beef, lamb, ) Avoid smoked, canned, and processed meats.
- Wild-caught fish, and shellfish.
- Organic veggies and select fruits
- Meat stock (different than bone broth)
- Organic cage-free eggs
- Healthy fats (coconut, Avacado, olive oils),
- Fermented foods (to re-establish gut flora-caution if you are extremely histamine sensitive)
- Select nuts (Almonds,
- Raw fermented dairy (as tolerated)
Foods to avoid:
- All grains, sugar, potatoes, parsnips, yams, and sweet potatoes. If you are an athlete, you may benefit from things like lentils and various beans as tolerated.
- Seed oils* are to be avoided: soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, rice bran oil.
- Milk from any animal, soy, rice, canned coconut milk
- Avoid or restrict nuts, seeds, fruit, and honey temporarily if candida and SIBO are present.
- Larger predatory fish like shark, tuna, halibut, swordfish, and mackerel
- Avoid all processed foods in packages and tins. These include all refined carbohydrates and foods that contain preservatives, artificial colorings, and chemicals, etc.
**These oils are highly inflammatory and have been linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Your focus should be on healthy omega 3s from fatty fish or supplements. In addition, the following natural, unprocessed, omega-6’s are ok: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, butter and ghee, pasteurized lard, pasteurized tallow, duck fat, For more info see Chris Kresser’s article on this topic: https://chriskresser.com/how-industrial-seed-oils-are-making-us-sick/
GAPs diet tips:
- Combine vegetables (raw/fermented/cooked) with meats and fish at each meal to balance pH. Meats and fish accumulate as acids in the body while vegetables have a strong alkalizing effect. Too acidic or too alkalizing states are not ideal.
- Cooking should only be done with animal fats, coconut oil, or ghee.
- Plant oils (eg olive oil) should be cold-pressed and organic and consumed raw. Never cook with these unstable and fragile oils.
- Do not microwave your food (which can destroy enzymes and micronutrients). Heat up on the stove or in an oven.
GAPS Breakfast ideas: Popular GAPS Diet breakfast recipes include:
- Yogurt Cups
- Slow Cooker Baked Apples
- Sea Salt and Caramel Coconut Chia Pudding
- Grain-Free Berry Scones made with Almond FlourPeanut Butter
- Banana Mini Muffins
- Blueberry Banana Breakfast Bars
- Homemade Apricot-Coconut Protein Bars
- Greens and Bacon Sunshine Frittata
- Pork Breakfast Sausage
- Crepes with nutbutter or cream cheese
- Salmon or tuna salad wrapped in lettuce leaves
- Cut up summer sausage, cheese, and sliced sweet peppers
- Salmon patties with herbed yogurt or tahini sauce to dip
- Cold beet soup with grain-free muffins
- Hearty white bean chili packed in a thermos and topped with avocado
- Chicken pepper poppers with sliced veggies
- Cubed lamb roast and peach chutney
- Savory yogurt with chicken and avocado
- Coconut flour waffles made into sandwiches- this is a great way to use liver pate
GAPS Dinner ideas:
- Roasted chicken & veggies.
- Pot roast & veggies.
- fish cooked with yogurt, parmesan cheese, and garlic on top.
- Wild-caught salmon cooked with butter, paprika, salt & shredded coconut on top.
- Grass-Fed Steak and asparagus.
- Rack of Lamb with organic veggies.
- Salmon quiche with leftover salmon.
- Delicata squash with turkey.
- Garlic shrimp.
- Lamb burgers with mint
- Shrimp artichoke salad.
Note: for exact recipes and more meal ideas, go to https://healthhomeandhappiness.com/
There are lots to learn about this diet likely there are lots of great podcasts and other information to help explain it. Ideally, you should read the book below, but that is not absolutely necessary. One thing to note is that if you have diarrhea like symptoms may want to consider starting off with a modified GAPs diet. If you have constipation, you can try the full GAPs diet. There are certain products that you can buy to make this program really work.
GAPs diet book: Gut and Physiology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Allergies, Autoimmune Illness, Arthritis, Gut Problems, Fatigue, Hormonal Problems, Neurological Disease, and More Paperback – November 3, 2020, https://www.amazon.com/Gut-Physiology-Syndrome-Autoimmune-Neurological/dp/0954852079/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=gaps+diet&qid=1609335478&sr=8-1
Main website: www.gapsdiet.com
What is the GAPs Diet? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGPjZfixD0M&t=226s
How to Start the GAPS Diet | Bumblebee Apothecary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKuqi7_hkxw
About the GAPS diet: https://www.gapsdiet.com/about/
For those with constipation, consider the FULL GAPS DIET: https://www.gapsdiet.com/full-gaps-diet/ ***THIS LINK PROVIDES INFO ON WHAT FOODS TO BUY AND WHICH FOODS TO AVOID.
GAPs Diet Introduction Stage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pcitCWVuaM
Dr. Mercola interview with Dr. Natasha Mcbride, MD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLCAF30F79A5F92FB8&v=GjJhh47Emao&feature=emb_logo
The Mikhaila Peterson Podcast #30 - Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride: GAPS Diet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od4p17U7xOo
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