Natural Digestive Healing

Similarities between the SCD and GAPS Diet

Both the SCD and GAPS Diet avoid certain carbohydrates.

There are many different diets promoted by various dieticians to address certain illnesses or conditions. In her book, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of the "Gut & Psychology Syndrome" (GAPS) Diet, wrote that when it comes to digestive disorders, there is "no need to re-invent the wheel" when it comes to designing a diet for this specific condition.

Campbell-McBride highlights the importance of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in helping individuals with a wide range of digestive problems, specifically Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. This is why she incorporates some of the SCD protocol into the GAPS Diet. 

An overview of the SCD
​The renowed American paediatrician Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas invented the SCD in the early 1900s. Haas published his book, Management of Celiac Disease, with fellow researcher Merrill P. Haas in 1951, containing the first full outline of the SCD. During his career, he treated over 600 patients with long-lasting results. This book, the diet and his work were – and still are – widely accepted in the medical community today.

"Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas treated over 600 patients with long-lasting results."

Despite Haas', once celiac's disease was eventually defined as a gluten intolerance, experts began encouraging people to undergo the gluten-free diet. Since the gluten-free diet is popular for those suffering from celiac's or who just want to live gluten-free, the SCD's popularity lapsed. It was only when Elaine Gottschall's daughter, who suffered from severe ulcerative colitis, went on the SCD in 1958 that the diet started to regain its standing.

After two years, her daughter was completely free of symptoms and this led to Gottschall devote years of research into the biological and biochemical basis of the diet. She published the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through the Diet" in 1994, which has helped thousands of children and adults find relief with SCD recipes and dietary practices.

How is GAPS Diet different? 
On the SCD, participants only consume carbohydrates that are allowed based on molecular structure. For example, monosaccharides have a single molecule structure that allows them to be easily absorbed by the intestine wall, while disaccharides and polysaccharides are not allowed. While the diet does allow certain dairy products, Campbell-McBride goes into more depth about fermented and cultured foods in GAPS Diet.

GAPS Diet has mean similarities to SCD in regards to carbohydrate intake. However, Campbell-McBride encourages the consumption of probiotic-rich foods, as well. In her writing, she highlights how probiotics help bring balance to the gut and counteract harmful gut bacteria. The GAPS diet is also said to be more rigorous than the SCD, as it focuses on healing leaky gut syndrome. 

For additional information about the GAPS Diet and how to get started, you can consult with a Certified GAPS Practitioner and visit our website today!