Paleo, Keto, and GAPS: What diet would your body prefer? 

There are many diets out there, three recently popularized diets are Paleo, Keto and GAPS. All include restricting your food intake, but each one incorporates different theories and uses. The overall goal of the diets are to bring the body back into harmony using specific eating methods. There is an agreement between them that eating processed food is what is causing such wide-spread digestive problems. It is important to note that our unprocessed, Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil and Extra Virgin Ratfish Liver Oil fall into all categories.


 Paleo Diet


The Paleolithic dietPaleo diet, Caveman Diet, or Stone-age Diet can be traced to a 1975 book by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtli. It has been further developed over the years, and in 2002, was popularized by Loren Cordain in his book The Paleo Diet, a term he has also trademarked. This diet focuses on the foods people would have eaten during the paleolithic era. The original diet in Cordain’s book consisted of 55% of daily calories from seafood and lean meat, evenly divided; 15% of daily calories from each of fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds; no dairy, and almost no grains. Cordain described dairy and grains as “starvation food” for Paleolithic people. The Paleo diet has no added salt or sugar. There have been some alterations to this diet over the years, but main principle that has been consistent is that it advises eating fewer processed foods and less sugar and salt.


Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet, also referred to as Keto diet, has been used since the 1920s for the treatment of epilepsy. It is a high fat, low carbohydrate, controlled protein diet that was used as an epilepsy treatment only when two suitable medications had been tried and had not worked. Usually, the body uses glucose (a form of sugar) from carbohydrates (found in foods like sugar, bread or pasta) for its energy source. When these sources are not available, chemicals called ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy which is called ‘ketosis.’ The body uses these ketones instead of glucose for its energy source. This was known as a sustainable form of fasting for epilepsy. 


The standard Keto diet generally consists of 75% healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables, 20% Proteins, and 5% carbs. Examples of non-starchy vegetables would be leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and asparagus. Flaxseed, coconut, olive, and avocado oils are examples of healthy fats. Some animal fats are also considered healthy. Cod, salmon, halibut and mackerel, which are high in Omega-3s are healthy fats, as well as organ meats such as liver, bone marrow, tongue, and bacon. Sugar free nut and seed butters; nut milk such as almond, hemp and coconut milk; and nuts except for peanut butter are also included in healthy fats. Other healthy fats can include dark organic cocoa powder, almond flour, spirulina, mineral water, and unsweetened tea or coffee. Proteins include chicken, turkey, duck, free range pigs, and wild game. Additionally, bone broth, collagen and gelatin powdered supplements, and full fat dairy products, consisting of organic sour cream, cottage cheese, unsweetened cream cheese and heavy cream are all listed as proteins. Carbs consist of small amounts of berries or legumes. Foods the diet avoids are grains, refined sugar, sugar alcohols, and processed foods. 



The Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, known as GAPS Diet is a therapeutic diet used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and autoimmune disease. This diet was inspired by the Specific Carbohydrate Diet developed by Dr. Sidney Valentine Hass in the 1920s to help treat digestive disorders. In 2004, Dr. Natasha Campbell published the GAPS diet book which outlined the details of the diet. The GAPS diet eliminates dairy products and all sugars, is low in fruits and grains, and includes broth made from fish and meat bones to help restore gut barrier function, as well as probiotic foods to restore a healthy mix of gut flora. 

fermentedfoodThe GAPS diet is followed in stages and is usually supervised by a person certified in GAPS. There is an introductory period which consists of 6 stages. This helps check for food sensitivities and allergies. The diet starts with taking probiotics and drinking a base of meat or fish stock with meals. During the first stage, food consists of juice from homemade sauerkraut, fermented vegetables or a vegetable medley. They say it is important to stick with the program and not introduce foods until it is included in the stages. During the introductory period, foods such as eggs, meat, vegetables and the actual sauerkraut will be added to the foods the person can eat. In the last stages, breads with nuts and raw apples are added if the person can tolerate them. After the introductory period is done, a person can move on to the full GAPS diet. It is recommended to eat meats, which accumulate in the body as acids, with vegetables which provide an alkaline effect neutralizing the PH levels. It is also recommended that all food be organic, and that fruits be eaten in-between meals, not with the meal. The diet focuses on natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut (if tolerated), and cold pressed olive oil. Each meal should be eaten with meat or fish stock. Fermented foods are a focal point in the protocol. This includes fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir, and sour cream. Fermented beverages including kvass, kombucha, and water kefir are allowed. If one’s body cannot tolerate these, they shouldn’t be consumed. The diet avoids all processed foods in packages and tins. These include all refined carbohydrates and foods that contain preservatives, artificial colorants and chemicals. They are extremely detrimental to the digestive system and the healing process. Coffee and starches are also avoided in this diet. The last portion of the diet consists of instructions on transitioning out of this diet.


Some Similarities

weightlossAll three of these diets, Paleo, Keto, and GAPS, say to avoid processed foods, and promote eating meats and non-starchy vegetables. Both Paleo and Keto diets have easy to follow restrictions, but no exit strategy, which the GAPS diet provides. GAPS maybe the hardest to follow as it restricts almost everything in the beginning and introduces more food as the stages progress, and they suggest that you follow this diet with a certified professional. All three of these diets are noted to help drop weight quickly, but the effectiveness depends on the person.

Keto and GAPS were both created to treat various symptoms, and the weight loss was simply a side effect, which were then picked up by various celebrities. People claim that the Keto diet can help with epilepsy, autism and cancer, however, these claims are still debated. There has also been debate on whether GAPS also treats everything it claims. As with all diet and exercise plans it is suggested you seek out the advice of a professional before starting the Keto or GAPS diets. Consult these professionals about the best time to use our unprocessed, Extra Virgin Fish Oil in the diet.