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The Comparison: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), GAPS Diet (Gut & Psychology Syndrome), and The Maker’s Diet

SCD GAPS MD Comparison

Over the last month or so as the adults in the family went grain-free to combat some symptoms of Crohn’s Disease (Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD) in my husband, I’ve mentioned in passing a couple gut-healing diets.

Although we didn’t actually go on any of them officially, I gleaned information from each to try to make our grain-free, dairy-free diet as effective as possible for my husband’s gut (which is all healed up, thanks be to God).

Many have asked for more information:

  • What is included in the gut healing diets?
  • What is excluded? 
  • What are their purposes?

Today I’ll give you a basic overview of each and highlight their similarities and differences.

RELATED: Recipes for an Elimination Diet & What is the Perfect Diet for YOU? Listen to Your Body!

The three diets I’m attempting to summarize for you are:

  1. Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
  2. Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS)
  3. The Maker’s Diet (I mainly used the actual book)

The links go to a basic source of information for each diet.

All three of these diets are actually quite similar in many ways. In fact, one reader emailed to say that “Jordan Rubin got well following [the SCD] diet and got counseling from [Elaine Gottschall]. Then he went on to develop his own version.” That may or may not be true, and I don’t really care one way or the other. I’m not here to pit people against each other or cause problems. (Well, maybe sometimes.) I just want to get a bigger perspective and help share a synopsis of these often mentioned diets.

Grain Free Meal Plans- Click Here to Learn More!

I may, and probably will, make many mistakes – please, if you know that I have, help correct me. I’m really just learning about all this myself and haven’t tried any of them officially, just my own amalgamation of what I’ve been reading.

The great part about there being many different gut-healing diets is that there’s not one perfect prescription for everyone. I guarantee there are people out there who have tried one, found it didn’t work, and had laudable success with the next.

Some cannot handle the extreme low carbs in the GAPS diet and feel fatigued to the extreme, even if it begins to help their digestion. READ: Mary’s terrible experience with the wrong gut healing diet. Many people have contacted me with surprise that my husband is doing well on raw vegetables, when for so many with Crohn’s, raw veggies are their trigger foods for a flare-up.

In a world where people “have their colors done” to figure out what color shirt looks best with their complexion, is it any surprise that our insides also require a variety of options for best performance?

SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet)
GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome)
Maker’s Diet
Purpose/Origination
A diet intended mainly for specific digestive ailments such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhea. However it is a very healthy, balanced and safe diet that has health benefits for everyone. Developed by Elaine Gottschall.Has its foundation in the SCD diet, but evolved it further for healing digestive disorders and subsequent issues, particularly learning disorders. The main difference pertains to dairy products. Developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.Also developed via the SCD diet, but based on biblical foods and practices and supported by science. Designed to improve nearly any health issue. Developed by Jordan Rubin.

General Overview

“The foods that are allowed are based on the chemical structure of these foods. The allowed carbohydrates are monosaccharides and have a single molecule structure that allow them to be easily absorbed by the intestine wall. Complex carbohydrates which are disaccharides (double molecules) and polysaccharides (chain molecules) are not allowed. Complex carbohydrates that are not easily digested feed harmful bacteria in our intestines causing them to overgrow producing by products and inflaming the intestine wall. The diet works by starving out these bacteria and restoring the balance of bacteria in our gut.The allowed foods are mainly those that early man ate before agriculture began. The diet we evolved to eat over millions of years was predominantly one of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, low-sugar fruits.”Same as SCD but “GAPS children and adults should not consume dairy products until their digestive system is well enough to handle them. The diet’s only exception to this is milk fat (ghee or clarified butter) because it contains virtually no milk proteins or lactose and is generally well tolerated.”The essential supplements for GAPS patients:A. An effective therapeutic strength probiotic
B. Essential Fatty Acids
C. Vitamin A
D. Digestive enzymesBegins with a detox.Most restrictive of the three, in my opinion.
Similar to SCD but also excluding Biblical unclean meats and seafood. A more time-oriented structure for introducing new foods and a heavier focus on traditional foods like kefir, raw cheeses, etc.Includes recommended food-based supplements, especially a probiotic. Like GAPS, enzymes are important, but much more raw foods allowed and encouraged than GAPS.
The Books
Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through DietGAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment For Dyspraxia, Autism, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, SchizophreniaThe Maker’s Diet
Length of time
Indefinite (?)Typically at least 2 years40 days, then as a lifestyle
Initial Phases
Introduction diet, used for about 5 days if diarrhea evident, 1-2 days if not. Allows:
Dry curd cottage cheese, 24 hour homemade yogurt, Eggs (boiled, poached, or scrambled), Pressed apple cider or grape juice mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water, Homemade gelatin (use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!) made with juice, unflavored gelatin, and sweetener (honey or saccharine), homemade chicken soup with only carrots and chicken, broiled beef or fish,“When diarrhea and cramping subside, cooked fruit, very ripe banana (must have brown spots), and additional cooked vegetables may be tried. If they seem to cause additional gas or diarrhea when they are added to the diet, delay their use until later.”See below for the regular diet.
Introduction diet: Stage one: allows bone broth with well cooked vegetables, meat, and probiotic food at every meal & ginger tea between meals. Avoid pretty much everything else. Note: Here’s an ebook to help with 30 days on the GAPS intro diet!3 phases of 2 weeks each; phase 3 then continues as a regular healthy diet.
Stage two: add raw organic egg yolks, meat and veg casseroles with no spices, & increase probiotic food and ghee Stage three: add grain-free or Paleo pancakes, scrambled eggs

Stage four: add roasted meat, olive oil, fresh juice& bread baked w/nut flour

Phase One: avoids Biblically “unclean” meat and seafood, no dairy other than goat’s milk yogurt and cheese, starchy vegetables, all legumes except for lentils, many nuts and seeds except for sunflower and almonds (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!), all fruits except berries, grapefruit, limes and lemons; all alcohol and chlorinated water; all sweetener except 1 Tbs raw honey (use the code Katie15 for 15% off at that site!) per day.
Stage five: add cooked apple puree, some raw vegs, fruit juicesStage six: add raw fruits, raw honey, grain-free approved baked goods w/only dried fruit as sweetener

Finally the full GAPS Diet (see below). One moves through the phases when digestion is normal based on stool.

Phase Two: get to add cow’s milk kefir, raw cheese, cottage and ricotta cheese, plain yogurt, plain sour cream, raw goat’s milk; sweet potatoes and corn; white, black, kidney and navy beans; more raw nuts (soaked is best);a dozen new fruits (still no bananas or dried fruit); raw veg juice and coconut water; stevia.
 Phase Three: get to add lots of legumes and nut, nut butters, bananas and dried fruits, sprouted and sourdough breads and small quantities of all other whole grains (soaked is best), maple syrup. (see below)
What is emphasized?
Zero carbs other than a few approved kinds in fruits, raw honey, and 24-hour yogurt. Many foods are delayed if gut is not properly healed first.Tons of bone broth, small amount (then increasing) of a probiotic food (yogurt, lacto-fermented vegetables or juice) at every meal.Foods as they are found in nature, unprocessed foods, probiotics and omega 3s, traditionally prepared grains (soaked or sourdough)
What is not Allowed (EXCLUDED) in the Regular Diet (after introductory phases)?
Type of Food SCDGAPSMaker’s Diet
FatsMargarineMargarine and fake fats, cooking oils; ghee must be homemadeLard, shortening, margarine, soy, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, canola, corn oils
DairyAll milk products other than homemade yogurt fermented 24 hours, any cheese without at least a 30 day aging periodAll milk (goat’s and cow’s), canned coconut milk (can make own) mozz cheese, cream cheese, goat’s cheese, feta, cottage and ricotta, whey, commercial ice cream and yogurt (must make own) [introduces dairy products slower than SCD]Processed cheese, pasteurized, commercial dairy products, alternative milks (soy, almond, rice)
GrainsAll grains of any kind including cornAll grains of any kindWhite rice, cereal, unsprouted or sourdough bread, etc.
LegumesMust be properly soaked; some not allowed (butter beans, cannelini, black eyed, garbanzo, pinto), all soy, even soy sauceSome allowed; many notNone banned
MeatsCanned or processed meats (ham cured w/only salt okay)Ham; any smoked, preserved or processed meat; canned fishAny pork product, emu, ostrich, soy meat substitute; non-scaly fish and all shellfish
VegetablesCanned and starchy, including canned pumpkin and tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnipsCanned veggies, parsnips, white and sweet potato, seaweedAll allowed
FruitsCanned, although in own juices okay; plaintainsCannedCanned fruits in syrup
NutsNo roasted nutsRoasted and salted nutsHoney-roasted or roasted in oil
EggsAllowedAllowedAllowed
SweetenerEverything but raw honey (even stevia, Splenda, maple syrup)Everything but raw honeySugar, heated honey, corn syrup, sorbitol and xylitol, all artificial sweeteners
OtherProcessed foods, especially with MSG or starchy (sugar) additives, pectin, protein powderCocoa powder (allowed after intro diet), chocolate, baking powder, baking soda (at some levels), arrowroot and corn starch, strong coffeeProtein powder
  Special features 
Instituted the 24-hour yogurt.Food not recommended before 10 a.m.; often also used to heal psychological issues such as ADHD, schizophrenia, depression, and more.Includes exercise, clenzology (method to keep infectious germs out of body), prayer, and essential oils.
What's the Difference Between the SCD Diet, GAPS, & The Maker's Diet?

Ever Heard of BRAT?

If you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about. Common wisdom (and doctors) say that when someone has diarrhea, they should eat bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT). The grains, I believe, should be white. This is supposed to to firm up your BMs.

One really interesting thing about the GAPS and SCD diets is that they say that if you have diarrhea of any kind, you can use the first stage diet to heal yourself right up. Am I just delusional, or is BRAT just about the opposite of GAPS?

From our own experience, when an anti-diarrheal prescription didn’t work, cutting grains made a difference almost immediately. Here’s a post I wrote about the real food version of “BRAT”.

Dr. Lauren Jefferis Weighs In on Gut Healing Protocols

I had an opportunity to interview Dr Lauren Jefferis and we talked about all sorts of things – you can watch the full interview here or this little snippet below is where we talked about elimination diets and other gut healing protocols.

Other resources:

Since I’ve never actually followed any of these diets, this summary is from the outside and is probably more rudimentary than someone could share if they were more familiar with the intimate workings of the day-to-day diet. Kat Garson (@scdkat on Twitter) was kind enough to email me this summary, which I found quite helpful:

“SCD intro is quite simple, which some people prefer over the GAPS intro just to get into the diet. Lots of chicken soup, homemade 24 hour yogurt, boiled meats and veggies (stews and soups are great), flavored gelatin, liver pate, cooked applesauce, and bananas. Supplements and detox methods are not super important for SCD, but can be included. A basic probiotic (with only Lactobacillus, not Bifido) can be used, and epsom salt baths are great for die off symptoms. After doing a couple days of basic intro, the plan is to start adding foods in one at a time each 3-4 days, checking for any reactions. Any food that gives a reaction is left out until much later when you can try it again.

GAPS intro is much more structured and includes a lot of fermented vegetables, juiced vegetables, fish oils, special probiotic, and being dairy-free for a while. Coming from more of a SAD [Standard American Diet] diet, I would have found this incredibly hard, but most people who come from a NT/WAPF [Nourishing Traditions and Weston A. Price Foundation] background seem to do just fine with it. The probiotic used is more powerful and that can be good or bad depending on your  reaction. The fish oil, cod liver oil and nut/seed oil used are probably very helpful for inflammation. The focus GAPS protocol places on detoxing in general (body products, organic foods, juicing) is good too.

Either one is great to start with, or you can even pick the main points from each and form your own intro schedule. Some find the intense probiotic/fermented foods of GAPS to be too much, too soon. Others find the large amount of dairy on SCD intro to be too much, too soon. It might just take some playing around with! Also note that even though everyone online and on blogs seems to promote eating lots of nut baked goods, they really can be rough on the system. I recommend keeping nuts to a minimum for the first 6 months, unless constipation is a problem.”

If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back. Then go make a delicious bowl of broth and overcooked veggies and be thankful that you probably will never need to eat that soup three times a day for a few weeks!

Cara of Health Home Happiness has an amazing GAPS Starter Package that will get you started on the lifestyle with meal plans, freezer cooking and an amazing eBook all about getting started. I can’t send a chef to you, but this comes pretty close!

Have you tried any of the gut healing diets mentioned here? What has been your experience? Share with us in the comments, below!

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

55 thoughts on “The Comparison: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), GAPS Diet (Gut & Psychology Syndrome), and The Maker’s Diet”

  1. Nicole Lascurain

    Hi Katie,

    First off, I came across your site and wanted to say thanks for providing a greatCrohn’s Disease resource to the community.

    Whether you’re caring for a Crohn’s patient or you are one, I thought you might find this list of tips for caring for a Crohn’s patienthelpful. It has helped many of our reader’s and their loved ones through Crohn’s Disease: http://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease/caregiver-tips

    Naturally, I’d be delighted if you share this article on http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/10/27/the-comparison-the-specific-carbohydrate-diet-scd-gaps-diet-gut-psychology-syndrome-and-the-makers-diet/ , and/or followerson social so they too can get the support they need. Either way, keep up the great work Katie!

    All the best,
    Nicole

    Nicole Lascurain • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3130 | e: [email protected]

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
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    Healthline.com is a trusted health information resource for over 30 million people. All content undergoes a rigorous editorial process. Learn more about Healthline at: http://www.healthline.com/health/about-healthline

  2. Just wanted to kindly point out a couple mistakes in the GAPS diet info that you give in the “Sweetener” and “Other” sections. GAPS should read the same as SCD for sweeteners: “Everything but raw honey (even stevia, Splenda, maple syrup).” Also, GAPS allows baking soda and coffee (weak and freshly made). Cocoa powder is on the list of non-allowed foods but in the GAPS FAQ, Dr. Campbell-McBride does have this to say about cocoa: ” I find that many people can start having it occasionally on the Full GAPS Diet, once the digestive symptoms are gone. Find pure organic cocoa
    powder. Mixing the powder with some honey and sour cream makes a delicious dessert,
    and you can add it to your homemade ice cream or cakes. After trying it for the first
    time, observe your patient for any reactions. Cocoa is very rich in magnesium and some
    essential amino acids and, unless your digestive system is not ready for it, there is no
    need to avoid it.”

  3. Thank you for comparing these side by side! I wish I had this post 5 years ago when I started my daughter on SCD. We’ve modified her diet a lot since then, and a major reason we did so was because the SCD was so heavy on nut flour and honey! So, I really want to thank you for pointing that out.

    So many people think that the intro SCD/GAPS diets are a cure all and will heal the gut, but the problem is that after the beginning stages, it’s all too easy to become addicted to nut flours and honey. Eating too much of anything could cause problems – and food sensitivities – all over again. I’ve been meaning to write a post about this very issue on my own blog, and I hope to get to it soon.

    So, thanks so much for such an informative post! There are all too many people out there who make it seem like one specific diet can work for everyone and that food is the only piece of any complicated health puzzle. In empowering my daughter to heal from Crohn’s, I witnessed firsthand that it’s so untrue. We are all unique individuals, with different needs, preferences, and situations.

    I always say:

    While a special diet can provide a spark, it’s the gradual lifestyle changes that light your way in the dark.

    By taking bits and pieces of different nutritional theories and finding what works for you, you can slowly create your very own, personalized recipe for optimal health and wellness.

    Have a happy, gut healthy day!

  4. Hello everyone,

    I hope you’re all doing well with your chosen diets.

    I am about to embark on this scd diet soon! My main concern is being underweight and needing to bulk up is it possible to use oats / yams and sweet potatoes for maintaining some bulk?? My symptoms are all gastro (bloating, distention, maldigestion / malabsorption etc) and anxiety / depression ! basically a mangled wreck ! lol thanks for the great effort that has gone into this site and helping others 🙂 Love and light to all

  5. LaToni via Facebook

    Yes, there was. I didn’t try it though. I was on the site for a few minutes, clicked a link then it gave me the error page.
    Just tried it now and it’s fine. I can get everywhere on the site.

  6. Ack! The technical problems this month have been crazy… Beth Aiken do you mean trying to get to my site, or the links on that post going to the info about the diets? LaToni Morgan Was there a button saying “try for live site” or something like that? I can get to KS fine now, but thank you both for helping me troubleshoot in case it’s different for different people.

  7. LaToni via Facebook

    FYI: I’m getting a message that your website is offline no matter what link I try to use.

  8. Great concise comparisons! I’ve had to research and learn all three of these to help two different family members. Right now, we have my dad on intro SCD to hopefully help him with severe ulcerative colitis. We found a really good resource for SCD at scdlifestyle.com that helps you taylor the diet. They recommend being dairy free and so far are really helpful for anyone embarking on this kind of thing for the first time.

    He’s done Makers before, and it did help then, but he’s had a bad relapse and all the raw veggies and accelerated time table seem to be too much this time. Praying for healing!

  9. Beth via Facebook

    I’m having a hard time when the link redirects. A stupid banner pops up for the Rachael Ray diet and when I try to X out it goes to the diet page. Rrrrrr.

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  12. Thank you for this information. My 23 yo son has crohns. Diagnosed at 14 yo. He would like to get off meds and we are trying the maker’s diet. He could not handle any of the dairy at all. The reaction was violent. However, prior to the introduction of the diet, he was feeling great. I am familiar w/all of these diets and believe you have to tweak each one to fit your own disease/ lifestyle. There are some grains he tolerates better than others as well. The reation is not violent like dairy; just some discomfort. Wishing everyone trying to fight these diseases for themselves or their children the best of luck! Food is medicine 🙂

  13. As an overwhelmed single mom dealing with my own health issues, and that of my daughter, thank you for this information. Truly.

  14. Hi Katie. Well, shoot. I’m back to this post. My husband has cut out dairy for a few months and been feeling much better until I started to serve more wheat last week (I tried the soaked recipe of Tammy’s bread from your site 3x already! LOL). His stomach has been hurting daily already and he has a rash on his face. Having read the GAPS book and Makers diet, I’ll be reading the SCD now and plan to try it in a couple weeks. Here’s my question though. Having read this post again, did you share anywhere about how your husbands illness was cured or have you kept that private? Thanks!

    1. Shannon,
      I don’t think I wrote a specific post about it – but it’s pretty simple. When he went off gluten/grains, his diarrhea went away. If he cheats a little, it’s usually ookay. If he cheats a whole weekend, he has symptoms again. BUT we never actually did any of these diets strictly, and we’re reallly not sure what’s going on. There are other bloggers (scdkat for example) who blog about SCD and/or Crohn’s; might be better to check w/them? I can give you more references if you like…

      God bless all your healing!
      Katie

  15. Wish I had found this sooner! My 6yo son was just diagnosed with Crohn’s and I’ve been wondering which diet to follow. Thank you!

    1. Tracey,
      Not a fun journey to embark on, but I wish you many successes in taming/eradicating the symptoms for your little guy! God bless, Katie

  16. You’re so sweet Katie. The doctor was surprised it wasn’t gallstones and we were so glad. The bloodwork was a little abnormal, decreased potassium, increased red blood cells and very high bile acids (if I’m saying all of that correctly!). The doctor wasn’t sure of what to make of it so he will be returning in a month for more blood work.

    We’re both now just thinking it wouldn’t hurt to try one of these diets above as it seems there is certainly something wrong with digestion/immune system. Beef stock is cooking right now!

  17. Katie, thank you, thank you! We are anxiously awaiting the results of blood work and a gallbladder ultrasound for my husband. He has been in pain with other horrible symptoms for quite awhile now and the doctor believes it’s either gallstones or Crohns. I am awaiting the phone call today or Monday for the results of these tests but, since I don’t feel like I can just sit here and wait, have been doing some research and am so thankful for your post as it’s all very overwhelming right now! I know I shouldn’t even look into this too much till gallstones are ruled out but I’m just that kind of person 🙂

    What has made me more sad is that my husband has gotten much more ill since we’ve done healthy eating. Soaked grains, sprouts, grassfed beef and chicken, pastured eggs, broth though we haven’t tried raw milk yet, though I know we both ate pretty poorly for 28 years prior to this! Anyway, thanks for this summary as I’m waiting for the phone to ring and continue in prayer.

    1. Shannon,
      I’ll pray for you and your husband that the road is smooth to recovery! (or at least management, depending on diagnosis)

      I’m sure your new diet doesn’t have anything to do with the recent downturn…it was just time for the body to react to those 28 years… And if grains are a problem, even properly prepared grains don’t always help. Keep me updated!
      Katie

  18. Hi! Great post! The SCD works for Crohn’s…my son has been on a vegetarian form of the diet for 5 years without meds and is completely symptom free!

  19. Thanks for posting this – just started the SC Diet after a colitis flare up and am looking forward to healing. Great to know about other options.

  20. I don’t understand where this idea that SCD is so focused on dairy came from. It is something that people have to be very careful about adding into their diet, just like anyone else. Hell, I’m allergic to dairy and i’m on the SCD. I don’t really get where this misconception has come from. I suppose it’s the yogurt? There are non-diary yogurts and very strong probiotic supplements that you can take instead.

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  24. It’s so good to get this out there. Our son came out of autism three weeks into the SCD, and seems to do better with theSCD dairy in his diet. I think it’s so important for people to know that even though these are almost the same diets, your body may do very well with one approach and not on the other. I would hate to know someone tried it one way and quit, when the other way would have given them the miracle that we got. Thanks for posting this!!!

  25. Reid B. Kimball

    And to answer your question, yes BRAT is opposite of SCD and GAPS.

    BRAT is similar to the “low residue, low fiber” diets MANY hospitals and GI doctors tell their newly diagnosed patients to follow or feed their hospitalized patients.

    It’s a crime in my opinion.

  26. Reid B. Kimball

    Hey another Kimball, woohoo! Thanks for the hard work in writing up this comparison, especially since you don’t use any of them! I always tell people I use SCD, but it’s really a mix of protocols and recommendations from all three.

    Also wanted to let you know I’ll be referencing this post in my own round-up post on not four (you mentioned Paleo) but seven different diets I have identified that people use for healing their guts from Crohn’s & Colitis.

    Cheers!

  27. Wow! Thanks so much for a well written post. Its just what I needed as I’ve been looking into GAPS and just began reading The Maker’s Diet.

  28. Thanks for sharing all your research. I’ve been seriously considering the SCD and it’s good to see a summery and have it compared to the others.

  29. I liked the summaries on all three diets, because I only knew about the GAPS diet. I’ve tried going off gluten, but not grains, hmm…maybe I should try sometime.

    Thanks for the post!

  30. I took your approach, Katie, and did a combination of the three diets. I think they are all good in their own right. You can not go wrong!

  31. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Just have to say that GAPS isn’t low-carb. It CAN be, but not necessarily. I studied it heavily and we were basically on it for a few months at the beginning of the year. According to Baden, author of GAPS Guide (which I believe is endorsed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-MacBride, diet creator), it can be rather high-carb depending on the veggies you add to your soup. She says this is a misnomer about the diet.

    Regardless these diets are HARD! But very worthwhile. 🙂

    1. yeah, im not sure why people thinks gaps is low carb. it is almost empty of refined carbs, but does allow honey, which is very high carb. also nuts are allowed i think, and avocados and apples, the former being definitly not low carb.

  32. Goodness! This is what I get for commenting on little sleep with 2 kids with double ear infections 🙁

    I meant to say “I missed” it not “it missed.”

    1. Lisa,
      Thank you! So if I update the post with “no canned coconut milk” and “no cocoa” for GAPS, that is correct, right! 🙂 Katie

  33. I reread the exclusions and it missed the ‘canned’ part of the coconut milk. This is what it says about cocoa if you go to the FAQ section on the gaps diet website.

    “… Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride finds that many people can start having it occasionally on the Full GAPS Diet, once the digestive symptoms are gone. Find pure organic cocoa powder. Mixing the powder with some honey and sour cream makes a delicious dessert, and you can add it to your homemade ice cream or cakes. After trying it for the first time, observe your patient for any reactions. Cocoa is very rich in magnesium and some essential amino acids and, unless your digestive system is not ready for it, there is no need to avoid it.”

  34. I have been following you for a few months, and I wanted to express my gratitude for your intentional study and implementation of a better diet for your family (and the posts about it). I’m sure it is an incredible amount of work. It is really helping me not to feel too overwhelmed by the propaganda in the books, or the difficulty in following them. Thanks!

  35. I love this comparison–I’m familiar with all three. We are doing our own version of the Maker’s Diet right now, still in phase 1 but adding any fruits desired. I’m doing it more for weight loss than intestinal healing.

    BTW, I believe cocoa (think chocolate) is forbidden in all three during the initial phases. Cocoa is a stimulant and isn’t desirable while your body is healing.

    Coconut oil is a wonderful oil, great for the body inside and out.

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  37. Thank you, this is awesome!
    It’s funny, because my mom and sister follow a diet very similar to the maker’s diet (though not so many restrictions w/ dairy) based on the teachings of their church (they attend a Messianic Jewish church). I’ll pass along this information because they’ll probably be interested that it has a following among those interested in nutrition, as well.

  38. Lisa Chalfant

    I’ve seen conflicting information about the exclusion of coconut oil and cocoa on the GAPS diet. I think, but I’m not sure where I saw it, that Dr. Campbell-McBride said they were ok in regular diet ???? I’ll have to look for it again. I know in NT she says “no” to cocoa.

  39. Nothing of significance to add, just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading this post and being able to compare these three diets.

    1. Anthony Capitan

      Thanks so much for the post. Very helpful. But if your husband is up for it, he should probably consider eliminating most grains and dairy, if not for good, then for a very long time. Symptoms of IBD usually return after such diets are fazed out, and as the most resilient bad bacteria has survived, symptoms could very well return even worse. It usually takes a couple years for the SCD to fully heal Crohn’s inflammation, not a couple months.

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