Eating away autism? The GAPS diet
GAPS BACKGROUND: The Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS) was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who also founded The Cambridge Nutrition Clinic. Dr. Campbell-McBride believes nutrition plays a critical role in helping children and adults overcome their disabilities. GAPS is supposed to help heal digestive disorders and subsequent issues such as certain learning and behavioral disorders (i.e. autism, depression, ect.). The nutritional program for GAPS is made up of 3 basic parts:
- Diet – The diet is largely based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) with some differences, the main one being SCD permits lactose-free dairy products and the GAPS diet typically says not to consume any dairy products except milk fat.
- Supplementation – GAPS patients need some essential supplements such as vitamin A, an effective therapeutic strength probiotic, essential fatty acids like omega-3s, digestive enzymes like stomach acid supplements, and vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Detoxification and Lifestyle Changes – One of the most important aspects of the GAPS diet is to remove the main source of toxicity by cleaning and healing the gut. Suggestions for detoxification include lots of juices, Black Elderberry, and keeping the house chemical free. (Source: www.gapsdiet.com)
DIET FOODS: In many ways the GAPS diet can be very restricting because GAPS patients should try to avoid processed foods, most dairy, processed sugars and grains. On the GAPS diet fermented foods, natural fats (especially animal fats on meat), and fresh vegetables and fruits make up the most important parts of the person’s meals. Some of the best foods for GAPS patients include eggs, fresh meat, garlic, olive oil, nuts and seeds, fish and shellfish. It is also suggested that fresh fruit be eaten alone as a snack because it has a different digestion pattern and could make the work harder for the stomach. (Source: www.gapsdiet.com)
GAPS DEBATE: While some parents claim the GAPS diet has helped heal their children of various ailments from autism to ADHD, others are still skeptical as to whether or not GAPS truly helps people overcome these disabilities. As of yet, there are no scientific studies which verify the effectiveness of the GAPS diet as a treatment for various disorders, and gastroenterologist Arthur D. Heller, M.D., says that excluding fuel sources such as grains and starch may cause colon cells to function less effectively. Until more verifiable information is available parents should continue to try different things and use what seems to work well for their children. (Source: www.livestrong.com)
* For More Information, Contact:
Mary Lynn Lipscomb,RN, AHN-C
Certified Holistic Nurse and GAPS Practitioner
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