In your quest to lose weight and to become fit, you may have tried a wide variety of diets. Some may have worked for you and some may have not. But if your goal is not just to lose weight, but to treat chronic inflammatory conditions in your body, reverse gut symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and digestive upset, and detox your system, then the GAPS diet is for you.
What Is The GAPS Diet?
GAPS is short for gut and psychology syndrome. It was designed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and is based off of the specific carb diet. The program consists of 6 stages, out of which the first stage is the strictest. Patients are expected to advance through the stages based on their individual progress. The course takes about 3 to 6 weeks to complete entirely. Once a person completes the 6 stages of the GAPS program, dieters can start following the full GAPS diet for long-term wellness and to reverse several chronic health issues they may have.
The most important foods of the GAPS diet include vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, and fermented foods. And the main purpose of the diet is to detox your body in a gentle way and to prevent strong detox reactions that can lead to further digestive issues. The GAPS diet entails not only making changes to your diet but also your lifestyle. While you are on this diet, you should make it a point to limit your exposure to toxins and chemicals that generally come from paints, new carpets, new furniture, chemical skin care products, and canned foods.
What Are The Conditions That Are Addressed By The GAPS Diet?
The GAPS diet is beneficial for treating conditions that are generally associated with gut imbalance like anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and autism. It addresses many gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, chronic diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth. As the nutrients you consume are absorbed through the gut, improving your gut health is important if you want to heal chronic conditions or diseases. Rebalancing your gut health also helps treat auto immune conditions.
What Are The Similarities And Differences Between The GAPS Diet And A Paleo Diet?
The GAPS diet and a Paleo diet focus on healing the gut lining, balancing the immune system, and supporting the healthy growth of intestinal bacteria. They avoid the consumption of grains, commercial dairy products, and processed refined foods. In addition to this, GAPS utilizes certain supplements like essential fatty acids, high-dose probiotics, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, vitamin A, and other mineral and vitamin supplements. These supplements rebalance the health of the gut and prevent nutrient deficiencies in people when on the diet. Many Paleo dieters also take the help of certain supplements for digestive support and to take care of their nutrient needs.
The main difference between a Paleo diet and the GAPS diet is that GAPS allows the consumption of beans, peanuts, lentils, and dairy products like yogurt and cheese, whereas Paleo does not. Beans, legumes, and lentils because they contain phytates and lectins which are difficult to digest. A Paleo diet focuses on foods that are digested more easily. The GAPS diet avoids certain foods that are allowed in a Paleo diet like baking soda, baking powder, dried fruits, coffee, chocolate, aloe, okra, yams, sweet potatoes, molasses, and tapioca. A Paleo diet is customized to meet the individual dietary needs of a person, whereas GAPS is not.
You should ideally choose either the GAPS diet or a Paleo diet depending on your dietary needs and your health, but in many cases combining and following the protocols of both the diets work effectively. You should know your body well and should take the help of a nutritionist to know what is best for you.