How to Introduce Dairy on the GAPS Protocol

How to Introduce Dairy on the GAPS Protocol

The ‘Dairy Introduction Structure’ for the Full GAPS Diet

Dr Natasha has found in her clinical experience that only 10% of GAPS patients are sensitive to dairy from the beginning and that these people should introduce dairy as per the ‘Dairy Introduction Structure’ outlined in the GAPS book. The introduction structure is for the following people:

1.Those who have shown an allergy to dairy on the ‘Sensitivity Test’

2.Those who have chosen to follow the Full GAPS Diet and not the ‘Introduction Diet’

All others should introduce fermented dairy as per the Dairy Introduction Structure.

Anaphylactic reactions or true allergy to dairy should avoid dairy all together.

The following is a summary of the ‘Dairy Introduction Structure’ - FULL GAPS DIET

1.Introduce homemade ghee; no other dairy is allowed for an average of 6 weeks.

2.After about 6 weeks, if the ‘Sensitivity Test’ is negative, you can try to introduce organic butter because it is virtually pure milk fat, containing minimal amounts of whey.Make sure it is organic and unsalted (preferably raw).Watch for any reactions.Also continue with the use of ghee.

3.After about 6 – 12 weeks, if the ‘Sensitivity Test’ is negative, you may introduce yoghurt and sour cream. If there is a negative reaction, wait a month and try again. Continue with Ghee and butter.

4.When yoghurt is well tolerated and after you test negative on the sensitivity test, you can try to introduce Kefir and Kefir cream which also contains some good yeasts.

5.Cheese is one of the more difficult dairy products to introduce and some people can’t tolerate it at all.At this step, you can try a mouthful of organic cheddar cheese with a meal.Watch for any negative reactions.This can take a few days as it may be delayed.If there is no negative reaction, you can try increasing the amount and trying another natural cheese listed in the GAPS book. This should only be introduced when homemade yoghurt is well tolerated.

6.Most people should be ready for this step after about two years on the program. Try some commercially available live natural yoghurt.At the end of the second year, fresh cream can be added to the list.

In about 2.5 years and when all dairy products are introduced, your patient may be able to drink raw unpasteurised organic milk. Introduce it gradually starting from 1-2 teaspoons a day. A GAPS person must never have pasteurised milk!Raw milk contains live enzymes which make it easier for the body to digest.It also contains live vitamins, amino acids, proteins, essential fats and many other important nutrients.

How can I tell if I am not ready to introduce milk protein foods?

When introducing milk protein foods, be sure to monitor closely.If you observe any kind of regression, reduced eye contact, self harming, aggression, stimulation, sleep disturbance, hyperactivity, worsening of allergies, eczema or additional behaviour outbursts, then this would indicate that the person may not be ready to introduce this food yet and that more healing time is required.However it is often difficult to distinguish between a die off and severe sensitivities.The introduction of fermented dairy can often trigger bouts of eczema but if the gut has shown all other positive signs of healing and you have given it plenty of time, then persisting with small progressive amounts are encouraged and you will likely find that the eczema eventually corrects itself.This reaction could last a few days or months at a time because it often takes this long for the lactobacillus acidophilus to colonise as an established guardian in the gut.Do the sensitivity test first if you suspect a true allergy.Other more severe cases of eczema, asthma, long standing cases of schizophrenia and cases complicated with epilepsy may need to avoid dairy proteins forever.

Introducing Dairy on ‘The Introduction Diet’

I find that many people starting GAPS and the introduction diet are very concerned about introducing dairy from the beginning however Dr Natasha emphasizes that majority of GAPS adults and children tolerate homemade yoghurt, kefir and sour cream perfectly well as a part of their ‘Introduction Diet’.

The following is the sequence of steps for introducing dairy if you are implementing the ‘Introduction Diet’.Please refer to the ‘Introduction Diet’ steps to know when to commence introducing each dairy protein food.If you have not followed the ‘Introduction Diet’ and started with the Full GAPS diet, please introduce dairy as per the ‘Dairy Introduction Structure’ outlined above and as described in the GAPS Book.

  • First start by introducing some whey from dripping your homemade yoghurt (dripping will remove some of the more difficult to digest proteins): start with 1 teaspoon of whey added to the soup or meat stock per day.
  • After 3-5 days on 1 teaspoon of whey per day, increase to 2 teaspoons a day and so on, until your patient is having ½ a cup of whey per day with meals.
  • At this stage, try to add 1 teaspoon per day of homemade sour cream and gradually increase the daily amount.
  • After sour cream is well tolerated, you can introduce homemade yoghurt.
  • After yoghurt is well tolerated, you can stop adding the whey and introduce homemade kefir. The kefir probiotic strains and good yeasts are far more aggressive than yoghurt and usually create a more pronounced “die off reaction”. That is why yoghurt is recommended first before starting on kefir.
  • At this stage, all items of fermented dairy can be enjoyed.If you are prone to constipation, it is best to stick to sour cream and you can also make your kefir with cream to produce kefir sour cream.If you are prone to diarrhoea, whey, yoghurt and kefir are good.
  • Homemade ghee can be introduced regardless of constipation or diarrhoea and is generally well tolerated by gaps patients.Ghee can be introduced in stage two regardless of whether all the above dairy products have been completely introduced starting with one teaspoon a day.

Whilst the above steps indicate a general time frame for increasing each amount, it is best to gauge the person’s response in order to control the die off reaction and introduce slowly and methodically.

Important acknowledgement

Butter and ghee provide many valuable nutritional benefits that GAPS adults and children should not avoid forever unless there is a true allergy.Butter and ghee provide Arachidonic Acid (AA) which makes up 12% of the brain’s fat and GAPS adults and children are deficient in it.Furthermore butter and ghee provide additional important fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E, beta-carotene and other nutrients that are easy to digest.

Fermented dairy, especially kefir are vital components to GAPS (if you do not have a true allergy) so do not be afraid to re-introduce it and try again before deciding to give up on it all together.Kefir alone has over 30 different beneficial strains of good bacteria, including a variety of yeasts.If like some, you have concerns with introducing dairy too soon, try buying some young green coconuts and make some homemade coconut kefir (this can be introduced in stage 3 when die off symptoms have settled but start with tiny amounts