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

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

7. GAPS eliminates all starches and fiber, including highly nutritious grain-like seeds.

GAPS and BED are both gluten-free diets. Gluten is found in those “double sugar” or complex carbohydrate grains—wheat, rye, barley, and some oatmeal. The GAPS diet eliminates all starches and complex carbohydrates because they are sources of “double sugars.” On the BED, they are not eaten for two reasons. First, they contain sugars that feed yeast. Second, gluten and yeast are both proteins and to your immune system they look identical. When you eat gluten and it shows up in your bloodstream, your immune system—already exhausted and confused from fighting its deadly enemy the yeast—attacks the gluten protein as well, creating an autoimmune response and more inflammation.

The reasoning behind why "simple sugars" (fructose, glucose, galactose) are allowed on GAPS is, as Campbell-McBride says, “ …simple sugars absorb immediately, are easy to digest and, therefore, should be the main form of carbohydrate in the diet of any person with a digestive disorder.”

As already stated above, this is faulty reasoning, as sugars—especially glucose and fructose (found in honey and fruit)—feed pathogens in the gut and quickly escalate a systemic yeast infection or any other infection in the body. (Viral or bladder infections too.)

Grains or complex carbohydrates (rice, wheat, oats) are not eaten on the Body Ecology Diet; however, you can eat grain-like seeds: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth. These grain-like seeds are gluten-free, high in protein, and contain important B vitamins and minerals—nutrients very much needed by anyone with a “gut and psychology syndrome.” Highly nutritious superfoods, these grain-like seeds do not feed yeast because they don’t contain the sugars found in the glutinous grains. They are also a very important source of fiber—a vital component of a healthy gut for several reasons:

  1. They help to retain hydration in the intestines.
  2. They stimulate peristaltic movement.
  3. As a food source for the beneficial microbiota in your colon, they help create a healthy inner ecosystem and a hardy immune system.

GAPS says that “After about two years on the diet and when all digestive problems are gone, your patient may be able to have some gluten-free grains: buckwheat, millet, quinoa.” Campbell-McBride suggests fermenting them first, however, for one to two days to predigest them.

Really? One to two years on the GAPS diet before you can eat these simple, easy to digest grain-like seeds?

In fact, such a protracted time frame can be daunting and overwhelming to people with gut disorders that want to see results faster. In the 2009 version of the GAPS book, Campbell-McBride writes: “Nature does not work fast…I tell the parents of GAPS children and carers of GAPS adults to brace your self for at least two years of hard work. In some GAPS patients it takes longer.”

While BED admits that healing the gut is a process that does not occur overnight, we have found that you can easily enjoy these BED grains (quinoa, millet, and buckwheat) when they are soaked before cooking or sprouted and when you have established a healthy inner ecosystem by eating fermented foods.  Properly combining these grain-like seeds with vegetables and using digestive enzymes also ensures easy digestion.  At a BED meal, you would be eating cultured vegetables or drinking a probiotic liquid. The microbiota in these foods consume low glycemic plant sugars so they don’t feed the yeast. The sugars, however, do feed the beneficial bacteria, allowing them to multiply—thus keeping you healthier and helping you live a longer, better-quality life.

Eating grain-like seeds with something fermented, like cultured vegetables or a small wine glass of a Body Ecology probiotic liquid (Cocobiotic, young coconut kefir, or InnergyBiotic) can also help make them easy to digest. With an inflamed gut, you would drink the cultured vegetable juice, not eat the actual fermented vegetables. But don’t avoid grain-like seeds unless you have a more severe gut dysbiosis. (See below for the BED Gut Protocol.) Softly cooked fiber is good for your intestines and for the microbes living inside you. If you absolutely cannot eat them—even when prepared this way—then don’t. You can try again when your gut lining...

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