Throughout my time of teaching the GAPS Class, I’ve fielded a lot of different questions about the GAPS Diet and Protocol. I’ve compiled a few common questions into this post – 5 Myths about the GAPS Diet.

Myth #1 – I will lose all my favorite foods, and the food won’t taste good.

Truth – It used to be a bit of a hunt to find good grain-free food. NOT anymore. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite food blogs for finding great tasting, grain-free & GAPS friendly food.

Plus, a Google tip for finding more…use search words with “paleo”, “primal”, “grain-free”, or “GAPS” when searching for a particular food, and you’ll usually find something that works or that is easily adaptable.

For example “grain free pumpkin raisin muffins” or “paleo pigs in a blanket“.

Like to have a cookbook that you can hold in your hands?
Here are a few great ones (that are either GAPS specific, or adaptable)

Myth #2 – The GAPS Diet is low carb

Truth – The GAPS Diet can be as low carb, or high carb, as you want it to be.
The sources of carbs on GAPS: Vegetables…vegetables…navy beans, more vegetables, honey, fruit, lentils & small amounts of nuts. These energy-providing, whole-food carbohydrates come packaged with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein, fat…the whole package, and NOT low carb. For a full list of GAPS foods download this list.

Myth #3 – My body will become super sensitive to more foods, so GAPS will just make me worse.

Truth – If that happens initially, there is a reason. The question is, will you listen to your honest body (now that you can hear it), or will you ignore it? To quote Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride:

 “There is a so-called “masking phenomenon” in food allergies. When the person keeps eating offending foods, reactions to them overlap with each other and it is impossible to know what exactly the person is reacting to. When you start removing foods hidden allergies get unmasked, which is often a nasty surprise. In GAPS people their gut is damaged and porous, so they may react to most foods, if not all of them. As we cannot starve ourselves, we need to ignore those reactions and get on with healing the gut lining. If a particular food is causing an unacceptably severe reaction, then keep it out for a while. But if the reactions are not too drastic, just live with them, while working on your GAPS Introduction diet. In the meantime bio-resonance therapy, medical neutralization, homeopathy, NES and other vibrational forms of medicine can help you to reduce the severity of reactions.”

Myth #4 – I’ll have to eat “xyz” food that I have a problem with.

Truth – We are all bio-individuals, with different nutritional needs, deficiencies, and issues. GAPS is a “template” of nourishing and healing foods. It’s a model, or grouping, of safer foods, and removes foods that are difficult to digest. If you have histamine issues, are taking medications, have thyroid issues, etc., you can keep the basic healing tenets of the Protocol, and make adaptations for the rest. You may also be surprised to find you can tolerate foods you could not prior to starting. Listen to your body.

Myth #5 – I’ll never get out of the kitchen and this diet will take forever!

Truth – You will spend extra time in the kitchen during Intro. However, with a little forethought, it doesn’t have to be your whole life, I’ve got some tips, and when you are familiar with the GAPS menu, it will take no longer than any way of Real Food Eating.

1.5 – 2 years is the normal length of time for a GAPS condition. Our family likes so many GAPS foods that we still eat that way for the most part, a couple of years later. This period is also short, in comparison, to a lifetime of sub-par health. You owe it to your body.

Any more questions or mysteries? I’d love to hear them.

In the comments below, let me know what you are thinking about, or are concerned about when you think about the GAPS Protocol.


Melanie Christner, NTP, CGP

Common misconceptions and questions about GAPS, compiled into 5 Myths about the GAPS Diet.

23 thoughts on “5 Myths About The GAPS Diet”

  1. Hi Melanie! One thing that has always troubled me with GAPS is the high amount of protein from meat. We were on Gerson therapy for a while and GAPS seems almost an extreme opposite of it. I am not a vegetarian, but the large amount of meat on GAPS scares me. Thoughts, please?

    1. Melanie Christner

      Hi Denisa,

      I would say there is a much stronger emphasis on using the whole animal, rather than just the protein parts. Dr. NCM recommends the healing animal fats, the bones for broth of course, and even the soft tissues being pureed into a pate’ of sorts. In this, we are treating like with like. We are giving our bodies the very building blocks needed to repair.

      I would circle back to bio-individuality on this…there are some who need lots and lots of vegetables in their day, and there are a certain group of patients, that Dr. NCM has, that cannot handle any plant food AT ALL, and are thriving on a meat/fat/broth diet only.

      Does that answer your question?

      Thank you,

  2. Hi Melanie, I’m wondering if there is any research done by Dr. McBride for the use of the GAPS diet either before, during or after the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

    Many thanks for the wonderful work you are doing!

    1. Melanie Christner

      Hello Samantha,

      Thank you for your question. I don’t know of specific research done by Dr. NCM in regard to cancer (she is a busy lady!). However, there is a fair amount of discussion amongst GAPS Practitioners who are trying out a more ketogenic version of GAPS and having some success. I think you’ll hear more about this in the future.

      Thank you,

  3. I am a nursing mother to a 10 month old baby girl. I would like to do the full diet for both of our health. I ordered the book and just waiting for it to arrive but I honestly don’t have to much time to read and cook. What tips /advice do you have for me?

    1. Melanie Christner

      Hello Teresa,

      I understand the busyness of being a nursing mother (I’ve nursed four:) However, reading the GAPS book is going to be one of the best things you can do for your health and that of your baby’s…so please don’t skip it! Health for our families starts in the kitchen…regardless of who is doing the cooking.


  4. I am looking into starting the GAPS diet for my 13 month old son who is suffering from terrible exzema and food sensitivities. I am still breastfeeding and plan to continue for as long as possible but I read that I shouldn’t do the Intro diet while bfing because the toxins from my body will be passed on to him through the breastmilk. Wondering what you’d recommend for a plan of action for us. Will it be alright to start my son on the Intro diet while I just do the full diet? Thanks!

    1. Also, a lot of the full diet foods we have been trying to avoid (we’re currently on the six food elimination diet with dairy being the number one food to avoid as he’s had history of rectal bleeding from it in the past). I feel like I will have to avoid most of those items in the full diet while my son dies the introduction because I’m not sure if he can tolerate them at present. Any thoughts?

    2. Hi Gretchen,

      I would recommend starting your son on the New Baby diet outlined in the GAPS book (and you can skip or defer foods that are especially problematic for him).

      For you, I would focus on the Full GAPS diet, with an emphasis on daily broths, ferments, etc…avoid dairy for now and follow the Dairy Introduction schedule as outlined on this pin –

      Thank you,

  5. Thanks for the info, Melanie! I should also mention that both my son and I started on probiotics about two weeks ago and last weekend he had his worst eczema flare yet which resulted in open sores on his legs that became infected despite my best efforts. Had to start him on antibiotics for it. He’s never had a flare up like this one and I’m wondering if it had something to do with die off from the probiotics. And if that’s the case, would just forging ahead with intro make more sense if we’ve already started experiencing die off? Hoping that makes sense. I just want my poor guy healed and healthy! Thanks so much!

  6. I want to start the GAPS diet for my son with ADHD and SPD. I have four children and a husband… do I put all of us on the intro, or just my one son? I do plan to do the full diet for all of us at least.

    1. Melanie Christner

      Hi Shallen,

      Thank you for your question. I will respond with what I did personally for my four children and husband. We decided that it would benefit everyone to experience the GAPS Introduction diet, and that it would be too difficult to be cooking different foods for different family members. It is likely that there are other minor issues that can be helped in everyone, however that is completely up to your discretion. You know your family best.

      Unless you have a time constraint (for example, trying to do Intro before the school year begins) it can be a little more manageable to do Full GAPS for a couple of weeks…acclimating to the food and getting used to certain cooking methods and foods (stocks, ferments, etc.)

      Hope that helps you in your decision, and best of luck/strength/adventure as you embark on this new chapter of your family’s health.

  7. Hi Melanie,
    I am sorry if this question has already been answered but I haven’t found any answer yet so I thought I should ask… 🙂 What happens if someone is vegetarian? Can he/she still follow the GAPS diet modified to meet this particular need? Thank you! Maria

    1. Melanie Christner

      Hello Maria,

      Thank you for your question. It is more difficult to fully utilize the GAPS Protocol and heal, while still maintaining vegetarianism, but not entirely impossible. Please reference what Dr. Natasha says on this on pages 156 – 159 of her GAPS book.


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