What can you eat on the GAPS Intro Diet?

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by brenda on December 7, 2012


photo credit: comprock

I am writing this post for myself as much as for all of you. I’ve had a handwritten list that I’ve been carrying around for a long time now, and I keep thinking, what if I lose it? Well, no worries anymore, it’s right here!  :)

So why did I compile my own list of what to eat throughout each stage of the GAPS diet? Because the lists I was finding weren’t complete. There were foods missing, and I was confused about what to add when. I spent a lot of time researching the book, as well as gapsdiet.com, and I came up with,what I believe is a well-researched, comprehensive list. I hope you’ll think so too. :)

So, here’s a list of what you can eat on the GAPS Intro Diet!


Stage 1

  • artichokes, cooked
  • beef, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • beef tallow, homemade
  • beets & beet root, cooked
  • bok choy, cooked
  • broccoli, cooked, no stalks
  • brussels sprouts, cooked
  • carrots, cooked
  • cauliflower, cooked, no stalks
  • chamomile tea
  • chicken, boiled or simmered in broth or water  
  • coconut oil (may cause more die-off symptoms, introduce gradually)  
  • collard greens, cooked
  • duck, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • eggplant, cooked until soft
  • fermented vegetable juice, homemade, lacto-fermented (introduce gradually)  
  • fish, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • garlic, cooked or minced finely and added to hot food at the very end of cooking
  • ghee (introduce gradually)  
  • ginger root
  • goose, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • green beans, cooked (but not “string” beans)
  • honey, raw, local is best
  • kale, cooked
  • lamb, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • lard, homemade
  • lemons in warm water (for drinking)
  • mint tea
  • onions, cooked
  • peas, shelled, cooked
  • pepper, black, green & white (peppercorns, ground pepper)  
  • peppers, de-seeded and cooked (I think only bell peppers, not hot peppers like jalapeños)
  • pheasant, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • pickles juice, from homemade lacto-fermented pickles  
  • pigeon, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • pork, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • pumpkin, cooked (fresh, not canned)
  • quail, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • sauerkraut juice, homemade, homemade, lacto-fermented (introduce gradually)  
  • sea salt  
  • shellfish, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • summer squash, cooked
  • spinach, cooked
  • tomatoes, cooked (This is debatable. If you’ve had issues with tomatoes before, hold off on tomatoes.)
  • turkey, boiled or simmered in broth or water
  • turnips, cooked
  • watercress, cooked
  • winter squash, cooked
  • yogurt-homemade, 24 hour yogurt (introduce gradually)
  • zucchini, cooked

Stage 2

  • all of the above foods, plus:
  • egg yolk, raw
  • egg yolk, soft boiled (if raw egg yolk is tolerated well)
  • fresh herbs

Stage 3

Stage 4

  • all of the above foods, plus:
  • dried herbs  
  • carrot juice (freshly juiced)
  • grilled meats (beef, chicken, duck, fish, goose, pheasant, pigeon, pork, turkey)
  • olive oil
  • roasted meats (beef, chicken, duck, fish, goose, pheasant, pigeon, pork, turkey)
  • shellfish, cooked

Stage 5

  • all of the above foods, plus:
  • apple puree, cooked
  • apple juice (freshly juiced)
  • cucumber, peeled
  • lettuce-soft parts
  • mango juice
  • mangoes
  • onions, raw
  • papaya juice
  • pecan flour  
  • pineapple juice
  • spices-pure, single  
  • string beans
  • tomatoes, raw
  • walnut flour  

Stage 6


Note that it is very important to read Dr. Natasha’s book Gut and Psychology Syndrome to really understand The GAPS Diet, and how to introduce each new food.

I hope this list is helpful to you! :)

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  • Cindy

    Now that you’ve made this awesome list, can you also post some notes about timing for each stage? I’ve got the book, but I’m a little unclear what happens if you don’t have the obvious physical symptoms that she mentions. (Like she’ll say to introduce only after the child no longer has dia_____! :)

  • Jenniferblack777

    Thanks for the list! We are starting in a couple weeks!

  • http://www.bitsofbluesky.com/?p=272 GAPS | Stage 1 |

    [...] You can find a comprehensive list of foods allowed at this stage here. [...]

  • http://balancingeverything.com/2013/01/23/magic-show/ Magic show!

    [...] I’m reading the GAPs diet book with the scary title and trying to wrap my head around the introductory diet. I think I probably need to do this (along with a couple of my children), but goodness gracious it [...]

  • Sarah

    Where were you when I was on the GAPs diet?! :) This resource is awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carol.lovett2 Carol Lovett

    Thank you for this list!!!! I’ve been wondering a lot about the GAPS diet.

  • Joanne Smith

    Hello – thank you for the list. We just started the GAPS intro diet today. I decided to share with everyone what we have been doing … we hope to encourage others like we have been encouraged. Feel free to visit my blog, offer suggestions, or whatever. Thank you!! http://ourgapsdietjourney.blogspot.com/

  • J Ray

    Thank you so much for this list! I have even referring to it daily for over a month now :-) . The GAPS Diet has been life changing for me. The fermented vegetables have helped me more than any supplement or diet I have ever tried. My candida finally (after almost a year on anti – candida diet, antifungals and probiotics) seems to have cleared up. The coat on my tongue completely disappeared and I had a ton of die off with the introduction of fermented vegetables. I am feeling better every day! Thank you so much again for your very helpful list!

  • Jaclyn

    Your stage one list is much more permissive than what is listed on gapsdiet.com, as well as the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care. Can you explain the discrepancies? I want to do it right, but I also don’t want to be denying myself (and my kids!) things we actually COULD be eating! Our diet has been pretty bare bones for more than a week now! Thanks! :)

  • Cam

    The intro has far fewer veggies listed as appropriate for stage 1. I think it’s only broccoli, cauliflower, summer and winter squash. Not peppers, artichokes and what not. Where did you come up with the other veggies?

  • Cam


  • Carissa

    Thank you for this list! Do you know if it is ok to make fresh juice using carrots, celery, apple, lemon and ginger to drink during stage one/the intro? Thank you for your help!

  • Anonymous

    It gets confusing, and I see some different things from different blogs, but I ran into this recently and it’s also helpful. I LOVE this list though as it really opens things up during the early stages.


  • HK

    This quote is straight from the book, in the homemade soup description, in Stage 1 of the intro diet. Note the “etc.” in the list of veggies. That may alleviate some of the concerns being expressed in the comments here. “Bring some of the meat stock to boil, add chopped or sliced vegetables: onions, carrots, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, courgettes, marrow, squash, pumpkin, etc. and simmer for 25-35 minutes. You can choose any combination of available vegetables avoiding very fibrous ones, such as all varieties of cabbage and celery.”

  • HK

    This list is great. It’s a shame the original book isn’t similarly organized.
    One error I noticed is that the soft boiled eggs in stage 2 actually should include the egg white.
    From the book,
    “Add raw organic egg yolks.It is best to have egg yolks raw added to every bowl of soup and every cup of meat stock. Start from 1 egg yolk a day and gradually increase until your patient has an egg yolk with every bowl of soup. When egg yolks are well tolerated add soft-boiled eggs to the soups (the whites cooked and the yolks still runny).”

  • Rae

    This is amazing – thank you so much for putting this together!!


  • Agnes

    When do we know when to move to the next stage?

  • Allan Flynn

    Ive been stuck in Stage 1 with severe constipation for 8 weeks. Admitedly Ive made some mistakes such as adding some a smallish amount of mushrooms, celery, fennell and/or herbs such as corriander or parsely to my soups along the way which may have been a contributing factor to the delay of my progress and my condition?

    Anyhow thanks to your list I can be more selective with my vegetables.

    Incidently how did you work out that mushrooms were only part of the full GAPS diet? .

  • Nikki

    What she means about the white refers only to how it should be cooked, not that you should consume the white. Discard it and eat only the yolk.

  • Joni Zander

    Looks like almond butter and peanut butter can be moved up to stage 3. In the Stage 3 pancake recipe, “organic nut butter (almond, walnut, peanut, etc.)”

  • Joni Zander

    Oh – and super helpful list, by the way! Thank you for sharing.

  • Erin

    I love love love you for this! I felt so limited going into stage 1 bc of how non – specific she is in the book. I love the research and her passion but I desperately wish it was much more user friendly. Thank you for all your time on this!!!

  • Dorota trupp

    This list is very misleading, please take it off. I’m a certified GAPS practitioner and this is not helping but making it harder for people to go through introduction diet.

  • http://www.wellfedhomestead.com Brenda

    Dorota trupp, please let me know what is misleading about this list. I do not want to mislead people, of course. Please give me examples of what you mean. I got all of this information from Dr. Natasha’s book and website, so I am not sure which part of it is incorrect?

  • Kate Renee Cochran

    This is so helpful! Thanks so much!

  • Kate Renee Cochran

    Late reply– I just started GAPS, but I believe they are ok as long as they have been simmered at least 30 minutes with your meat stock. Nothing raw at this point.

  • J Paige Polson Edwards

    Thank you! There is a lot of stuff in stage 1 that I didn’t know we could have!

  • J Paige Polson Edwards

    I noticed she hasn’t replied, I assume it’s because it’s not a faulty list after all. ;)

  • J Paige Polson Edwards

    The book (updated version) lists the juices as part of stage 4.

  • J Paige Polson Edwards

    Timing is going to be different from person to person. One person might move through a stage in only days while another person would be several weeks. I am in stage 4 starting today. Each one has been about 3 days with no symptoms of diareah so I move forward. The issue I have been facing has been my blood sugar levels have dropped so low I get shakey, light headed and very awnery. So I have had to use honey or fruit to help. (she has a video on YouTube saying if you need something that is full gaps legal during intro, to listen to your body, so I am trusting that.) I quickly learned that I am not able to handle oranges yet, blueberries are borderline, but raspberries, cooked apple, and ripe banana seem to be okay and are keeping me more stable.

  • Liz

    Thank you for providing this quote. It’s very helpful

  • Anon

    What’s the difference between green beans and string beans?

  • Dorota Trupp

    There are far too much vegetables listed in the stage one introduction diet. The foods that should be eaten in abundance such as bone broth, chicken/fish stock isn’t listed/highlighted at all. One who has no idea about the diet will think that it’s OK to have all the cooked vegetables you have listed anytime of the day, with meat in whatever quantities, wheres first stage of the diet focuses on removing the fibre and consuming large quantities of bone/meat and fish broths in order to allow the lining of the intestine to heal. Dr Natasha clearly states that you only eat small quantities of vegetables that are very well coded and have little fibre: onions, carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, zucchini etc, while you have there fibrous veggies listed such artichokes, collard greens, peppers, green beans, kale etc- too much fibre for digestive system to handle on stage one. People will not get results if they won’t skip the fibre right on the beginning. Focus on highlighting the foods they need to eat the most of, especially in stage one of introduction diet.

  • Dorota Trupp

    Just did.

  • Pamela

    Oh my goodness! I just came across this page and I am sooooo happy and grateful! I read the GAPS book and lent it out a few years ago and cannot remember to who! These lists are awesome and I can’t thank you enough for putting it all together:) THANK YOU!!!

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with you, and I’m very grateful the list author didn’t take your advice.

    The author makes no aspersions that this is a “how to do GAPS: the complete guide”. She does not imply anywhere that this is all there is to GAPS, it doesn’t even discuss timing. She pointed out that she hasn’t found a similar resource that lists which foods are safe and which aren’t. That’s all this is. She made this list for her own benefit, and decided to share it in part so she won’t lose it and also for the convenience of others.

    If anyone tries to do GAPS based on an unofficial resource alone, they’re likely to fail. The official resources make all of those things very clear. It is not the job of everyone who ever mentions GAPS to put in an intensive explanation of what GAPS is and how to properly do it. It’s the responsibility of those who want to do GAPS to put in the time to research it.

    It does sound like you disagree on what the research has said is and isn’t allowed in the intro diet. That’s fair. I admit, I was surprised to see kale, spinach, etc on it- as those are all foods that many people have a difficult time digesting. I certainly won’t be eating them while on the introduction diet and will be re-introducing them quite carefully, as they make me very ill. It’s my understanding that you’re supposed to drink the juice produced by fermenting these vegetables from the start, though, could that be what’s led to the author’s confusion?

  • Rob

    Scotch? – Whisky contains gluten (made from barley) and thus should be avoided.

  • Emi

    Regular cottage cheese is NOT allowed on any part of the GAPS diet. Dry curd cottage cheese aka farmer’s cheese is allowed. You absolutely must clarify this on your list, as just writing “cottage cheese” is incredibly misleading. Cottage cheese has lactose, which is not allowed on the GAPS diet.

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