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Wanting the best anti inflammatory diet, but don’t know how to cut bad foods? Here’s 10 food swaps that you will enjoy cooking while lowering inflammation.

Trust me, as a lupus sufferer, I understand how the things you eat amp up your inflammation. I mean, it’s like the minute I eat eggs, I can feel a flare coming on. So, I wanted to know why that was.

What I learned is that there are certain foods that increases inflammation, and that there’s a diet that can reduce inflammation. It’s called the autoimmune protocol.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I’m an individual that suffers from lupus. All content found on, including text, images, audio, or other formats, were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

For more information on the autoimmune protocol, read my postThe AIP Diet Food List: Do’s and Don’ts.

Now, when I first heard about this diet, I was thinking there’s no way I can do this. I love to eat. And, everything I love to eat is on the no-no list. So, how in the world would I be successful.

Well, I learned to make food swaps. That’s’ts right. I learned that I didn’t have to sacrifice my enjoyment of food. On the contrary, I could still eat good tasting food while changing the ingredients.

Below are the changes that I made.

1. Veggie Noodles for Pasta


First of all, I love pasta. Italian food is one of my favs. Yes, the thought of giving up Italian food broke my heart and made me want comfort food.

And, yes my comfort food is, guess what, pasta! I had no clue what to do.

That is, until I was at a friend’s house, and she was serving a paleo lasagna. Just the name had my head spinning.

How is this even possible? It simple. You use thinly sliced vegetables, like zucchini, for the noodles.

In fact, this has become so popular that they now have a name- zoodles!

And, they’re easy to make. You just need a julienne peeler. Or, if you want to make spaghetti noodles, you need a spiralizer.

Of course, you can use other vegetables, as well. For example, for spaghetti noodles you can use spaghetti squash. Go figure.

2. Sweet Potatoes for Russet Potatoes

Along with pasta, potatoes was another culprit among my favorite recipes. I’m Southern, and we love mashed potatoes and gravy. And, yeah, that’s a no-go.

Think about it- Potatoes, flour, butter… Yeah, so not anti inflammatory diet approved.

But, could it be? Yes, it can.

If you use sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes. Even better, you can make a paleo gravy that has no grain flour or butter. Isn’t that awesome?

So, whenever you need potatoes for a recipe, just use sweet potatoes.

But what about the look? If it bothers you that bad, use white sweet potatoes. They exist.

And, best of all, I don’t have to give grilling because I can bake a sweet potato on the grill!

Looking for recipes that include these tips? With this one resource, you can get over 80 AIP recipes. Read my post The Only Autoimmune Protocol Diet Plan You Need to find out how to get this amazing resource.


3. Coconut Milk for Cow’s Milk

coconut milk

Unfortunately, milk can be an inflammation antagonizer, as well. And, milk goes with and in so many foods, right?

Now, using coconut’s milk does take a bit of adjustment because of the flavor. If you’re worried about the flavor affecting the recipe, swap with water. Or, you can use bone broth, which has anti inflammatory properties anyways.

And, you can switch up your coconut milk. For instance, if you’re making a recipe that calls for heavy cream, use full fat coconut milk.

Again, changing your diet doesn’t have to be about going without. It’s about adjusting to what you can use.


4. Gelatin for Eggs in Baking

Yep, here goes another ingredient that is heavily used. Eggs. Especially when baking.

But, like I said earlier, eggs are a major don’t for me. About a year ago, my tolerance to eggs shot way down.

So, I had to cut them out.

But, that doesn’t mean that I have to stop baking.

Instead, I substitute gelatin for eggs when baking.

Even more, the gelatin’s good for inflammation and gut health, as well. And, it’s easy to do.

1 tablespoon of gelatin powder dissolved in 3 tablespoons of hot water equals one egg. Just let the mixture set for a couple of minutes, then add to your recipe.


5. Avocado Oil for Vegetable Oil

avocado oil

In addition to most oils being seed based, they’re also high in Omega 6s, which crank up inflammation.

What’s great about avocado oil? It comes in liquid form, so you don’t have to melt it like coconut oil.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Coconut oil is still a viable substitute. Yet, if you don’t want the added flavor of coconut to your recipe, then avocado oil is the better way to go.

Moreover, avocado in a recipe aids in the absorption of the nutrients found in other foods like carotenoid antioxidants.

Most of all, it’s an even swap. No adjustments have to be made.


6. Tigernut Flour for Grain Flour

As you well know, gluten is the number one culprit when it comes to unhealthy foods. Yet, most of the alternatives out there are just as bad when it comes to inflammation.

So, tigernut flour is the best option for an anti inflammatory diet (Source).

And, what exactly is tigernut? Basically, tigernut is a root vegetable and won’t increase your inflammation. It’s a safe alternative for nuts and seeds.

And, it’s gluten-free.

In addition to tigernut flour, you can also use coconut flour or arrowroot flour.

Personally, I prefer working with tigernut flour. For one thing, it’s easy to find on Amazon.


7. Avocados Again, But Swapped for Butter

I know, I know. It’s butter. Everything’s better with butter right?

Not inflammation. It’s dairy, and dairy is on the wrong side of inflammation.

But, how can you cook without butter?

Simply, substitute a 3/4 cup of mashed up avocado for 1 cup of butter.

Or, if you’re making a sweet dish, used 1/2 cup of mashed up banana for 1 cup of butter.

Incidentally, this kills two birds with one stone- you eliminate the butter, and you can cut back on sweeteners

Which, brings me to the next swap.


8. Honey or Maple Syrup for Sugar


If you’re like me, you love your sweets. Yet, they’re so bad for you.

Part of the anti inflammatory diet is cutting out sugar.

Yet, doesn’t that leave food tasting bad?

It doesn’t have to if you replace sugar with honey or maple syrup.

Now, if you’re on a 30-day elimination phase, you’ll want to cut out all sugar. Otherwise, you can substitute the above in small amounts when reintroducing it.

Remember- small amounts!


9. Anti Inflammatory Friendly Seasonings for Seed Based Spices

anti inflammatory diet seasonings

Since seeds are on the prohibited list, it goes without saying that so are seed based spices. These include dill seed and mustard. In addition, soy sauce has to go, as well.

Instead, you can swap coconut aminos for soy sauce.

Or, you can go with fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.

Also, citrus zest will liven up a dish.


10. Lettuce Wraps for Sandwich Bread

If you’re like me, you’ve eaten plenty of sandwiches back in the day. Sandwiches are always easy, especially for a family on the go. But now, they need to be part of the past. Well, at least the bread has to go.

Of course, you can still have a sandwich. I was being a little over-dramatic.

Just swap the bread for lettuce leaves. Ironically, it’s not going to change the taste up. Most often, there’s too much bread anyways.

This way- you get to taste the rest of the sandwich.


These Anti Inflammatory Diet Food Swaps Let You Enjoy Eating

When everyone thinks of elimination diets, they immediately think of loss.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

With these 10 best anti inflammatory diet food swaps, you can enjoy eating, again.

Even better, you can enjoy eating without having to worry about your inflammation getting worse.

So, swap out instead of opting out!

For more autoimmune protocol tips including a 4 week meal plan, read my post The Only Autoimmune Protocol Diet Plan You Need to find out how to get this amazing AIP resource.

Wishing you better days ahead,


best anti inflammatory diet food swaps

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2 thoughts on “10 Best Anti Inflammatory Diet Food Swaps

  1. I love my vegetables but this is the first I’ve heard of Vege Noodle Pasta! Have I been living under a rock?

    I’ve heard of the others that can be replaced with, but this is a more in-depth detail about what can be used in the place of unhealthy foods. I do have a difficult time keeping up with my diet, so this is a great way to start with my diet again.

    Diet Food Swaps is a great topic to cover. I’ll bookmark this and save it for later.

    Thank you for this article and all the best.

    1. I don’t know about living under a rock, but zoodles has become pretty popular. I have an awesome AIP lasagna that uses zucchini slices and a faux-mato sauce. It’s a tomato sauce substitute made from beets! 

      Yes, dietary change is an adjustment, but for someone with an autoimmune disease it’s such a necessity. Honestly, I feel much better when I follow the Autoimmune Protocol. My inflammation has drastically reduced. My gut issues are down, too. And, combine that with exercise and proper rest, I’m in way better shape and feeling better everyday.

      And, this does wonders for my overall outlook. 

      Thanks for stopping by, and if there’s anything else I can do to help you with your diet, just let me know. 

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