GAPS Diet Explained

GAPS Diet has become known all over the world, helping children and adults to recover from very serious health problems.

Some people do well with following the Full GAPS Diet, which is the easiest to implement and is very suitable for following as a permanent lifestyle. Many people have to go through the GAPS Introduction Diet, which is more difficult to follow, but it achieves deeper healing of the gut and the rest of the body.

People with severe digestive problems, severe mental illness and physical conditions found great help following the No-Plant GAPS Diet for a while.

At the most severe end patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease and other very serious health problems found GAPS Ketogenic Diet to be the most appropriate approach. Then there are people who need to eat more plant matter to feel well; these people enjoy the More-Plant GAPS Diet.

The Introduction Diet is designed to heal and seal the gut lining quickly. It achieves this aim by providing three factors:

The very name Introduction Diet implies that we begin with this diet. It is helpful for most GAPS patients to go through the Introduction Diet at some stage in their healing, because it gives them the best chance to optimise the healing process in the gut and the rest of the body.

However, not everybody has to start from the Introduction Diet. This diet is very demanding and can be difficult to follow. Depending on your life style and circumstances you may want to start from the Full GAPS Diet and do the Introduction Diet later.

Here are the usual situations when it is sensible to start from the Full GAPS Diet and plan to do the GAPS Introduction Diet later.

• Taveling and not set up to cook.

• When we are trying to heal a person where compliance may be an issue.

• People with chronic constipation.

• People without serious digestive symptoms can start from the Full GAPS Diet and, in some cases they recover from their illnesses without having to go through the GAPS Introduction Diet at all.

The Introduction Diet fully is absolutely essential for people with serious digestive symptoms: chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating, reflux, blood or mucous in the stool, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, acute or chronic gastritis, acute or chronic enterocolitis, oesophagitis and other serious digestive disorders.

This diet will reduce the symptoms quickly and initiate the healing process in the digestive system.

People with food allergies and intolerances should go through the GAPS Introduction Diet in order to heal and seal their gut lining. The reason for allergies and food intolerances is a so-called “leaky gut”, when the gut lining is damaged by unhealthy microbial flora. Foods do not get the chance to be digested properly before they get absorbed through this damaged gut wall and cause the immune system to react to them.

Many people try to identify which foods they react to. However, with damaged gut wall they are likely to absorb most of their foods partially digested, which may cause an immediate reaction or a delayed reaction (a day, a few days or even a couple of weeks later). As these reactions overlap with each other, you can never be sure what exactly you are reacting to on any given day.

Testing for food allergies is notoriously unreliable. It is best to concentrate on healing the gut wall with the GAPS Introduction Diet. Once the gut wall is healed, the foods will be digested properly before being absorbed, which will remove most food intolerances and allergies.


Many delicious recipes can be used on the Full GAPS Diet, including baking breads, cakes and desserts. About 85% of everything you eat daily should be made from meats (including organ meats), fish, meat and fish stock, eggs, fermented dairy and vegetables (some well-cooked, some fermented and some raw).

Everything you eat must be cooked at home from fresh ingredients. We do not consume any processed ‘foods’ on the GAPS Diet.

It is very important for a GAPS person to have plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats (animal fats), butter, ghee, coconut and cold pressed olive oil. The fat content of the meal will regulate the blood sugar level and control cravings for carbohydrates.

It is important to balance your meals according to your body’s needs. Please read the chapter One man’s meat is another man’s poison in the second GAPS book (Gut And Physiology Syndrome) to understand this issue fully. (A link to the book is below.)

Every one of us is a unique individual with a unique metabolism. Nobody in the world can dictate to you what proportions of animal foods (meats, fish, eggs and dairy) to vegetables you need to eat at every meal. Only your body knows that, and it will let you know through your senses how to choose your foods correctly.

The Full GAPS Diet needs to be followed for about two years. Some people with milder conditions can start introducing non-allowed foods in about a year; others must adhere to the diet strictly for many years, and some for the rest of their lives.

When your health problems are gone and you have been well for six months at least, you may be able to consider coming off the GAPS Diet.


Ketones (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone) are water-soluble substances produced in the body when it uses fats for making energy. Having ketones in the blood is normal, because fat is the preferred source of energy for most organs and tissues in the human body. Every time your body burns its own fat for energy, ketones are produced, and they can also be used for energy production.

The mainstream medical profession is trained to fear ketones because of a very dangerous situation, which can happen in diabetic people, called ketoacidosis. When the body starts using mostly fat for producing energy it goes into a state of physiological ketosis, which is perfectly normal and healthy and has nothing to do with diabetic ketoacidosis.

By changing our diet we can deliberately switch the body to using fats as a source of energy instead of using glucose. Ketones are produced as a result of this type of energy production, so the diet is called a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets have been gaining popularity over several decades now.

They are being used successfully for treating cancer, epilepsy, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, mental illness and other severe health problems.

One situation where this has been found useful is cancer. Please, read the second GAPS book (Gut And Physiology Syndrome) to get full understanding of this concept.

To learn more about reversing cancer please read: Reversing Disease with the GAPS Diet.


The GAPS Diet is a very wholesome and healthy diet and will allow you to lay a strong foundation for good health for life! It means that many GAPS people do not have to adhere to a special diet for the rest of their lives: once the digestive system starts functioning normally, they can gradually introduce most wholesome foods. Some people achieve this target in two years, and for some it takes longer. It depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the person.

Once introduced, the GAPS Diet is no more difficult than any normal cooking and feeding the family. And shopping is very simple: just buy everything fresh and unprocessed.

To learn more please read:

Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) – What is GAPS?

Gut and Physiology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Allergies, Autoimmune Illness, Arthritis, Gut Problems, Fatigue, Hormonal Problems, Neurological Disease and More

This Post has been condensed from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s article. For the full article please go to GAPS Diet

Natasha Campbell-McBride MD MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (nutrition)

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride graduated with Honours as a Medical Doctor in 1984 from Bashkir Medical University in Russia. In the following years she gained a Postgraduate MMedSci Degree in Neurology.

After practising for five years as a Neurologist and three years as a Neurosurgeon she started a family and moved to the UK. Fairly shortly after that her son was diagnosed autistic, which prompted an intensive study into causes and treatments of autism. It was during this time that Dr Campbell-McBride developed her theories on the relationship between neurological disorders and nutrition, and completed a second Postgraduate Degree in Human Nutrition at Sheffield University, UK. She practiced in the UK as a nutritionist and not as a medical doctor.

Dr Campbell-McBride used to run the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic. Having trained thousands of Certified GAPS Practitioners around the world, Dr Natasha has closed her clinic in order to focus on writing and teaching. As a nutritionist she has specialised in using nutritional approach as a treatment, and has become recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in treating children and adults with learning disabilities and other mental disorders, as well as children and adults with digestive and immune disorders.

Disclaimer: The content of this email or Post is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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Author: 2healthyhabits

My goal in life is to experience the exuberance of true good health by returning my body to the healthy state it was meant to have.

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