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GAPS Diet: Critical Differences Between GAPS and BED, Two Gut-Healing Protocols

Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS):
Understanding the Gaps

5. GAPS Introduction Diet removes all raw vegetables when diarrhea is present but does allow fresh fruits, well-cooked vegetables, and dried and cooked fruits.

It is true that people with gut dysbiosis have trouble digesting raw vegetables. But on the BED, you can enjoy the benefits of raw vegetables even if you have a sensitive gut condition. Indeed, they are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. You would simply make them more digestible by puréeing them to create a raw veggie soup or a green smoothie. You can also blend them into a vegetable paté.

6. GAPS eliminates all carbohydrates, unless they are “simple sugars” called monosaccharides. Glucose, fructose (found in fruits and honey), and galactose are the three simple sugars that are allowed because “they easily penetrate the gut lining and do not need digestion.”

It is odd to find glucose, fructose, and galactose in a diet that was created to heal GI distress. Simple sugar or not, the fructose found in fruit and honey feeds yeast and other pathogens. Again, BED is a sugar-free diet. Even simple sugars like glucose, fructose, and galactose feed pathogens and should not be in the diet of anyone with GI distress.

Body Ecology’s position on fructose is supported by recent research done in Australia at Monash University, where a team of scientists led by Dr. Peter Gibson discovered that those suffering from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas) did best on a diet that avoided certain sugars. They created the term FODMAP to help us remember the sugars to avoid. Eating foods that contain these sugars causes rapid fermentation and bloating from hydrogen gas in the gut, thus triggering pain and diarrhea. Examples of rapidly fermenting sugars are fructose (fruits, dried fruits and honey); lactose (unfermented milk and ice cream); inulin (onions, garlic, and chicory inulin); galacto-oligosaccharides (legumes); and polyols (xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, and prunes).

While GAPS allows fresh, cooked, and dried fruits in baked goods, Body Ecology only allows very sour, fresh, raw fruits, such as lemons, limes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and kiwi, as well as sour juice concentrates from pomegranate, cranberry, acai, noni, sea buckthorn, and mangosteen. These sour fruits are always eaten alone on an empty stomach, and when they are eaten one also drinks a probiotic liquid containing beneficial bacteria to consume the small amounts of sugars in the fruits. Interestingly, these fruits are all recommended on the FODMAPS program.

Raisins, dates, and dried prunes are recommended on GAPS. Cooked or dried fruit is never eaten on the BED, as cooking and dehydration of the fruit concentrates the sugars.

It is very important to note that the GAPS diet allows foods that, when eaten together, create glycoprotein—a slimy, glue-like substance that accumulates on the walls of the intestines. Glycoproteins are formed whenever you eat a sugar with a protein: yogurt with fruit, ice cream (milk protein with sugars), turkey and pumpkin pie, etc. A lifetime accumulation of glycoprotein can prevent nutrient assimilation through the mucosal lining so that cells do not receive the nourishment they need from the gut—even if you are eating a healthy diet.

On the GAPS diet, nuts and seed flours (these are proteins) are made into muffins, pancakes, and cookies and sweetened with honey and dried fruits—creating a very high glycoprotein-rich food that harms the gut—certainly not a good choice if you have a digestive disorder.

Another source of sugar on the GAPS program can be found in quickly fermented beet kvass. Depending on how it is made, beet kvass could have a significant amount of wild /airborne yeast, and anyone with candidiasis will be intolerant of wild yeast (versus yeast that grows naturally on plants, such as the more beneficial S. Boulardii). In fact, their yeast infection will quickly become more acute. Since yeasts produce alcohol, kvass can be an alcoholic beverage. A suggestion to make kvass from raspberries is also given, but fermenting fruit does create alcohol. (Kombucha, also contains wild yeast and is not recommended on the BED.)

Tomatoes are a fruit and are not eaten on the GAPS diet unless they are cooked or fermented. On the BED, your blood type is considered a valuable clue to understanding one facet of your uniqueness. Therefore, while tomatoes are not eaten at all in stage one of the BED, they can be added in stage two and are best for blood types O and AB. They would be eaten raw in salads and smoothies.

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