Is Baking Soda GAPS Legal?

by brenda on October 8, 2011

There have been a few questions about baking soda on my muffin recipes, so I thought I’d answer this one as best I can!

So, the big question:

Is baking soda ok on the GAPS diet?

In short, the answer is yes…and maybe not. πŸ˜‰ On the Foods to Avoid list online, baking powder is listed, but it says that baking soda can be used. (Baking powder usually equals baking soda + cornstarch, and corn is not GAPS legal).

On the Foods to Avoid list in the most recent version of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, it lists baking powder and raising agents, “apart from pure bicarbonate of soda.” (page 164) Pure bicarbonate of soda is baking soda.

In the GAPS Diet FAQs, it says that since baking soda is a strong alkali, it will reduce a person’s stomach acid if they consume it. (It is also mentioned as a way to deal with reflux in the FAQs). Many GAPS patients have low stomach acid already, so consuming a strong alkali and reducing their stomach acid even more would not be a good thing.

In Gut and Psychology Syndrome, there is an entire chapter about digestive enzymes & in it, Dr. Campbell McBride describes this in more detail. Please read her book for more information about this subject!

In short, it is my opinion that baking soda is ok unless you’re having issues. Low stomach acid can create an environment for candida. So if you’ve got yeast issues, baking soda is not your friend. πŸ™‚ You probably don’t want to be eating Coconut Flour Chocolate Cupcakes if you’ve got yeast issues, anyways, though!

Also, I would recommend that you save baking soda until full GAPS. (You won’t be eating honey and coconut flour on the intro, so I’m not sure why you would need baking soda!). Wait until you see some healing–then you’ll know what it feels like when you feel good! Then, introduce it–make a recipe that calls for 1/4 or 1/2 tsp, and see how you do. Make sure you’ve already introduced the other ingredients in the recipe, so that you can be sure whether a negative reaction is from the baking soda or another ingredient.

Every body is so individual! My family seems to do ok on baking soda, so I use it in my recipes. If your body can’t handle it, listen to your body and eat what’s best for you! πŸ™‚

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

caroline October 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm

i dont eat baking soda but i cannot find a shampoo without a bunch of stuff in it that i dont want..even if its organic! so i used baking soda last night and i love how it left my hair.. can i use it for my hair is i am on GAPS intro?


brenda October 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Caroline, I would say that it is probably fine in your hair on GAPS intro, since it won’t be impacting your stomach acid. πŸ™‚ Great idea! I’m glad you found something that works for you. Have you tried any Dr. Bronner’s products? They’re the cleanest I have found. But if baking soda works, awesome! πŸ™‚


Tarena October 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I use baking soda with a little water to make a paste and scrub it in my hair.
I usually follow with a pitcher full of warm water and about 1 cup of apple cider vinegar in the water to help rinse.
I love it and I have been doing this with my hair for awhile.


Aunt4God October 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

I have also found this website w/an alternative to be able to bake w/o soda or powder! I’m excited to try it out!


tanya @ truthinweakness April 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

thanks for the clarification, brenda — very helpful.


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