What is the GAPS diet?

The GAPS diet has it origin in the Specific Carbohydrate (SCD) Diet, so foods consisting of monosaccharides will be included, since they are directly absorbed, and foods containng disaccharides and starch will be excluded, since the non-digested parts can remain in the gut, causing problems. This means eliminating:

  • All cereals
  • All vegetables with starch
  • Sugar
  • Legumes (pulses) with starch
  • Lactose

Complex carbohydrates

Disaccharides are more difficult to absorb than monosaccharides, and require more work from the enterocytes (cells in the intestinal lining). Microvilli (tiny cellular membrane protrusions) on the surface of enterocytes produce disaccharidase enzymes to break down disaccharides, but people who have digestive disorders lose the ability to produce these enzymes and as a result, sucrose, lactose and starch cannot be broken down into simple sugars and remain in the intestine giving food to pathogenic bacteria, viruses, candida and other fungi, forming a source of toxic substances that further damage the intestinal wall and poison the entire body. For this reason disaccharides should be eliminated from the diet.

This diet allows the consumption of lactose-free dairy products. Fermented products such as yogurt, sour cream and natural cheeses generally do not contain lactose because in the fermentation process the bacteria that are produced feed on the lactose that these foods contain.

The digestion of starch requires a lot of work on the part of the digestive system, even in healthy people, much of the starch is not digested due to its complex structure. The undigested starch becomes the perfect food for the pathogenic microbiota in the gut, allowing it to thrive and produce toxins.

Nature has provided us with enough carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables, and grains. When we eat them without altering them, they are slowly absorbed, producing a gradual increase in blood glucose, something that our bodies are able to handle.

Hyperactivity, learning and concentration difficulties, aggressiveness, and other behavioral abnormalities in children at school have been shown to be the result of the “roller coaster” effect of glucose. This is due to a rapid increase in glucose with an overproduction of insulin and an hour later the individual will have a very low level of glucose in the blood.

Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride explains that: “Clinical practice shows that when we do not ingest double sugars [di-saccharides] and starch, for a long enough period, the inestine has a better chance of recovering. Once recovered, the person can return to consuming grains and starchy vegetables without suffering adverse effects. “

Most fruit, particularly unripe fruit, contain some sucrose. This is why it is so important to consume fruit that is well ripe.


The best sources of protein are eggs, which are easy to digest and also very nutritious, meat and fish. The way meat and fish are cooked influences their digestion: boiled, stewed or cooked meats are easier to digest than fried, roasted or grilled.


People with digestive disorders tolerate fats well. These people produce excessive amounts of mucous and this interferes with the digestion of food, including fat.

Vegetable oil that is heated to a very high temperature is transformed into trans fatty acids. For this reason, saturated fat is used in the diet for cooking and olive oil will be consumed cold.

Processed foods

Processed foods directly weaken macrophages, which are natural defense cells. To stay healthy, the food we eat should be organic and just as we found it at its source (unprocessed).

When the GAPS program has been completed, traditionally fermented soy products can be used: nato, miso, and soy sauce. These should come from organic crops and not have been genetically modified.

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