Anti-Candida & GAPS

“What is the difference between the anti-candida diet and GAPS?” We receive this question a lot.

1. First, one needs to identify which anti-candida diet they wish to compare GAPS with. (There are a number of ‘anti-candida’ diets out there.  Some permit fruits; some do not. Some permit sweet starchy veggies like carrots and squashes; some do not. Some include grains and/or pseudograins; some do not. Some allow mushrooms; some do not. Some allow fermented foods; some do not.)

That said…

2. GAPS balances candida overgrowth and a number of other issues (parasites, adrenals, leaky gut). I would venture that some anti-candida protocols do, too. GAPS, though, sets out to balance all of these in a gentle, careful progression whereas anti-candida diets focus primarily on balancing out the candida (which, yes, would likely allow other healings to take place, too).

3.  The first 3-8 weeks on GAPS is very similar to the strictest anti-candida protocol. It is basically meat, veggies, salt, pepper. No fruit. Very little (if any) honey.

4. Ultimately, GAPS allows fruit, honey and some sweet veggies (squash, carrots, etc). If a person is very concerned about candida-overgrowth and wants to balance it out as fast as possible, she could remove those items from her GAPS repertoire, cautiously adding them back in later. Indeed, some people did not find major progress until doing so. However, many people using these foods do find great recovery, with the bonus of a moderated die-off. Some of these folks may choose to eliminate these things later, when they have adjusted to GAPS, completed a few initial rounds of die-off, etc.

In short, GAPS is one of the many anti-candida protocols out there. I feel GAPS has specific advantages over the others, thus prefer it for myself and my son.

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9 thoughts on “Anti-Candida & GAPS

  1. Hi,
    I just started GAPS intro and I and my son each have a yeast problem – he has a type of candida (non-albicans) and I have some other thing. I am wondering if we should be taking a probiotic and eating sauerkraut during this phase or not. We are not doing and fruit or honey but in the books I thought it said to take the pro and the kraut then on the gapshelp group I read about someone who was excluding then.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Also, I have tried to join the help group and post a message but have received a message saying it must be approved by the moderator, is this normal. It was yesterday and I really want to know other’s thoughts.

    Thanks much. Leslie

  2. Hi Leslie,

    Yes, it is normal to have a time lapse between one’s first post to the group and its approval/appearance. This is to prevent spam.

    Yes, to balance yeast you will definitely want to be taking a commercial probiotic or fermented food and ultimately both. Start with a tiny amount of one or the other and work up.

    All my best,

  3. Thanks for all the great info you have on your site!

    I have had Crohn’s for 14 years (if not my whole 26 yrs of life). I’m pretty convinced I have candida too, from my white tongue & sugar cravings.

    I’m wondering if I should hold off on worrying about the candida right now until the Crohn’s gets better?

    Plus, truth be told, I don’t want to give up my raw honey! :)

    • Hi Abi,

      So glad you’ve found us!

      GAPS will address candida too, so for now I would just follow the steps as presented in your GAPS Guide book, starting on page 28. When you get to intro, the initial stages will do a great job of reducing candida (so long as you are keeping sweet foods like honey, orange veggies and fruit to a minimum).

      After a few months, if you feel a more targeted approach is still necessary, you can follow the tips for candida listed in the GAPS Guide book under ‘candida’ and under ‘progressing further’. At that point, your body will be well prepared for a stronger attack on candida overgrowth.

      This gentle, methodical approach is easiest, yet so effective!

      All my best,

  4. Hi,
    I have 2 weeks of pregnancy to go and then I want to get started on the initiation stages of the gaps diet. I remember you saying somewhere, either on the book or the website that the initiation stages are not recommended during pregnancy because of the die off. I wonder about that, as the route of elimination does not feed the baby.

    My other question is if I can start on the initiation stages the week after delivery or if you think it might be a problem, Id like to let you know that I plan on breastfeeding for 6 months with nothing else and continuing to a year after adding foods.

    I have gestational diabetes and this is my third pregnancy, I have not been tested for candida but I am almost certain that is what it is. The white tongue and the horrible taste only subside if I follow a GAPS diet with hardly any fruit.

    Thank you for this website and the helpful Guide book. I am starting to prepare so I can put the whole family on the initial stages, as I am the cook at home and Im only going to make one set of meals for us all, it will be hard on my two kids but my husband is looking forward to it. And your book is very easy to follow.


    • Hi Liliana,

      Until relatively recently, the GAPS community had not received specific instructions regarding pregnancy and breastfeeding, and many of us did intro during either stage. I did intro while nursing my son heavily, and it seemed we both benefited very much. This said, Dr Natasha’s recommendation which has since come out is that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers delay intro under these are completed. You can certainly do ‘full GAPS’, though, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

      For more information on ‘all things pregnancy and nursing’, please see the pages devoted to these at

      Thanks so much for the kind feedback about my book! I’m so glad it’s helping.

      All my best,

  5. I realize this post is 3 years old so I don’t even know if you will see this comment. I had a yeast infection for a year that finally went away 2 months ago. I am on Day 13 of GAPS and all of my symptoms are back with a vengeance! They get worse every day. Is this some sort of die-off even though everything had been cleared up? Or could the fermented vegetable juice or ghee be causing the yeast to come back? I am on Stage 3 of intro and ready to throw in the towel. If this diet makes my yeast come back then I want nothing to do with it.

    • Hello!

      I thinknin her book she says do not advance in stages till the symptoms clear. So if your having s resurgence I would think you would need longer on stage 1 or 2.

      • Hi there,

        To clarify, in GAPS Guide I recommend moving forward every four days even while symptoms are present. This is because not all symptoms will clear on Stage 1 or 2. People stay on these stages too long, waiting for all symptoms to heal on them. We must continue forward, to get the healing effects of adding helpful new things.

        We would only pause if a new food or supplement itself brings a reaction. In that case, we would stop that food or supplement, let the reaction calm, skip that food or supplement going forward, and move on to the next item in the progression.

        All my best,

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