What Can You Eat on Gaps?

In my What Is GAPS? post, I explained briefly what the diet aims to accomplish and who it is intended for, but what exactly does one eat on the GAPS diet?

First of all, there is an introductory period and then there is the full GAPS diet. Let’s start with a description of the full diet. Monosaccharides, such as fructose, glucose, and glactose, are easy to digest so they are permitted. In practical terms, this mean that honey, fruit, vegetables, and homemade fermented milk products are fine. What you are trying to avoid is disaccharides: sucrose (table sugar), lactose (the sugar found in dairy), maltose (the sugar found in starch). Digesting these is hard work for the body, and GAPS is all about giving your gut a vacation. By the way, fermented dairy is permitted because the sugar that’s naturally in milk gets consumed in the fermentation process.

Eliminating disaccharides means cutting out all grains, sugar, some root veggies (potato, sweet potato) and more. This allows the enterocytes – enzyme producing cells found in the small intestine and colon - to recover. Removing disaccharides from your diet means abnormal gut flora doesn’t get fed. When the gut has a long enough break from disaccharides, it’s able to heal. After full recovery, these foods can be introduced without harmful effects.

What can you eat on the full GAPS diet?
  • Meat, and fish – preferably boiled stewed, or poached
  • Eggs 
  • Honey  
  • Ripe fruit 
  • Most vegetables 
  • Homemade soured milk products, like yogurt or kefir 
  • Healthy fats including animal fat, butter, ghee, coconut oil, and olive oil. 
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lentils and a select few beans and pulses are allowed 
  • Pressed juices 
  • Weak tea or coffee (not instant) without milk  
  • Sea salt 
  • Occasional alcoholic beverage, such as wine or vodka

What isn’t allowed?
  • All processed foods 
  • Grains of any kind 
  • Rice 
  • Sugar and most other sweeteners -agave, maple syrup, molasses (only honey is allowed) 
  • Some root vegetables 
  • Most beans 
  • Commercial yogurt 
  • Unripe fruit 
  • Soft drinks 
  • Milk
  • Beer
  • How long does the diet last?

For people with seriously compromised guts, Dr. Campbell-McBride suggests two years, or however long it takes to heal the gut. Since I don’t believe my gut is very compromised, I’m planning on sticking to the diet around six months.

In my next post, I’ll describe the Introduction Diet: Stage One and my thoughts on what it’s like. This is the most restrictive part of the diet. Ugg.


mygapsmusings said...

I love reading other GAPSters' blogs!! I've been on full GAPS since February and did intro back in July. I'm about to do it again but I'm going to go dairy-free completely for 6 weeks, then reintroduce it.
FYI: you can have stir fried, roasted or grilled meats on GAPS. The boiling is limited to the first couple of stages of intro.. then you move on to baking and roasting/grilling.

click clack gorilla said...

The link to the "What is GAPS" post doesn't seem to be working anymore. Would love to read it though...

Ruth Almon said...

Fixed the link

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