Our Take on the Acronym Diets: GAPS and DASH Diet

Hello everyone,

We wanted to share information regarding these two types of diets and eating practices. Always remember to approach a new eating practice with mindfulness and ease, not all or none and perfect. Always slowly introduce new foods to your diet, and observe how your body is responding.


Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS) was based on the SCD (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet), which was introduced in the 1920’s by two pediatricians.  GAPS is a condition, which establishes a connection between the functions of the digestive system and the brain. This term was created by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (human nutrition) in 2004 after working with hundreds of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions.

A baby is born with a sterile gut. In the first 20 or so days of life the baby’s gut surface gets populated by a mixture of microbes, called the gut flora.  The gut flora mainly comes from the mother, and this diet is based on how healthy the gut flora was established in these first days. This diet recommends:  eggs, meats and fish (bought fresh or frozen, not smoked or canned, and cooked at home), broth soups, shellfish, fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, garlic and olive oil. Vegetables are recommended both raw and cooked to get the necessary enzymes. Raw fruit should be eaten on their own, not with meals. Also, plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut and cold pressed olive oil. The fat content of the meal will regulate the blood sugar level and control cravings for carbohydrates.

This diet recommends no sugar or starch for two years, so you can reestablish the gut flora. In my practice, I have definitely seen a connection to the brain and digestive tract with emotional eating and physical symptoms, such as leaky gut. This diet has wonderful resources of high quality foods. Some of the guidelines are food combining practices that support healthy digestion. It seems a bit limited, however if you can begin with less variables and then add in other foods, this will help you feel more supported vs. limited.


Based on long-overlooked DASH research and developed into a weight loss plan by the foremost DASH dietitian and leading nutrition expert, Marla Heller, MS, RD. It emphasizes a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean meats/fish/poultry, nuts/beans/seeds, heart healthy fats, and limited amounts of whole grains. Their rules include: Have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, make veggies the center of your meal, add lean protein rich foods, low-fat and not fat dairy as snacks, fresh fruits to help your sweet tooth.

The DASH diet sounds very familiar. It isn’t any thing new, focusing on whole foods and quality. I like how they mentioned veggies as the center of your meal, and deprivation doesn’t lead to weight loss, this is finally getting into the mainstream nutrition education.

It is essential to keep yourself educated with the nutrition information out there. However, do not get overwhelmed, look for the consistent factors in each of these diets, research and information. Processed foods, puffed grains, cereals, and packaged foods are not highlighted. Don’t stress over the cookie, focus on what your body may have needed instead, veggies, minerals, amino acids, then add those into your next meal.

Our Conscious Nutrition RESET program starts Monday, October 6th. This program is a perfect way to RESET your mind and body before the holiday festivities.