Measuring GAPS Against the GFCF Diet
To continue the comparison of the GFCF Diet to other diets that are similar in some aspects, we’ll look at the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet. Both diets have had their fair share of acclaim for helping with some of the gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms associated with the autism spectrum.
What is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet?
The diet was initially known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). SCD was used for those with digestive disorders, including Celiac disease. It fell out of use over the years, but was revived and slightly modified by Dr. Elaine Gottschall, a neurologist working with children with various disorders such as autism.
There are seven stages to the diet, composed of two parts: The Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet. The Introduction Diet is made up of six stages, but each day starts out with a probiotic, which is usually homemade yogurt, to aid digestion and a glass of still mineral or filtered water.
The diet starts out with homemade meat and fish stock, soups made with either stock, boiled meats and vegetables. Fiber-laden vegetables like cabbage and celery should be avoided, but as much of the meat stock, fish stock and soup as desired is allowed throughout the day. Ginger, chamomile and mint tea with honey is recommended between meals.
Other foods are added over the course of several weeks or months. By stage six, eggs, clarified butter (ghee), avocado and other fruits, grilled and roasted meats, almond flour, homemade juices and various other foods are included. Starch and refined sugars are not allowed.
The full diet is a continuation of the stage six portion of the Introduction Diet. It is recommended to avoid all starch and sugar for a full two, but eventually, some dairy products like hard cheeses are permitted. The diet is somewhat difficult to follow, but it is laid out in a step-by-step format, complete with recipes.
How Does it Compare to the GFCF Diet?
The first part of the Gut and Psychology Diet is gluten-free and casein-free, however, the full diet isn’t. The idea is that once the body is “detoxed” from years of gluten and casein overload, these foods can again be enjoyed in small quantities eventually. Eating gluten-free and casein-free for several years does clear the body of both substances, but not everyone can safely reintroduce them later on.
GAPS is less restrictive than the GFCF Diet at the full diet stage because dairy is allowed, but the complicated steps to get there make it hard for some to stick with it. GFCF doesn’t allow dairy, but the rules of the diet are far easier to follow: Don’t eat casein or gluten.
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