Are you looking for a natural way to alleviate your autoimmune disease symptoms? The AIP diet can help you with that. And, here’s the do’s and don’ts with the AIP diet food list.
To begin with, let me tell you a little of my story. I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 13. Then, at about 18, I went into a long remission (20 years!). Finally, about four years ago, my lupus relapsed, and I have been learning to modify my lifestyle to combat my lupus ever since.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I’m an individual that suffers from lupus. All content found on lupusisgoingdown.com, 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.
On this website, I pass on what has worked for me. I’m not an expert. I’m a lupus warrior. I refuse to allow lupus to control my life. I do it for my daughters and myself.
It’s all about a better quality of life.
What is the AIP Diet?
So, what exactly is the AIP diet? The Autoimmune Protocol, AIP for short, diet offers autoimmune disease management through changes in your diet. In recent years, attention has shifted to leaky gut and its effects on the immune system.
Basically, a leaky gut results when your intestinal walls allows toxins and bad bacteria to pass into your bloodstream.
Once these offenders enter your bloodstream, your immune system kicks enter gear to remove them. Unfortunately, for those of us with an immune disease, our immune system attacks our own body.
And, inflammation results.
So, what causes leaky gut?
Inflammatory foods and stress cause leaky gut! That’s right, certain foods that you eat are causing your inflammation to worsen (Source).
By removing these foods that agitate your immune system, you give your body a chance to heal your leaky gut and your inflammation.
Therefore, the AIP diet eliminates certain foods known to create a leaky gut. In addition to eliminating certain foods, you introduce or increase other foods. Finally, you reintroduce avoided foods over time to find out which foods cause your reactions.
Let’s face it, some foods have both good and bad qualities for autoimmune patients. You need the good qualities like the nutrients you receive.
But, you don’t want the inflammation. Trust me. The last thing I ever want is to trigger a lupus flare.
And, when I’m in the midst of a flare, I want it to go away. To accomplish this, I’ve found that the AIP diet food list is what I turn to.
For more benefits of the Autoimmune Protocol, watch the short video below.
How Do You Follow the AIP Diet?
As I said, you follow the AIP diet by eliminating certain foods, increasing your intake of others, and reintroducing specific foods that you originally eliminated.
But, there’s a little more to it than that. The autoimmune protocol embodies a set of phases.
First up, there’s the elimination phase. During this phase, you’re going to avoid foods on the AIP diet food list to not eat. And, this list is big. Really, think of the AIP diet as an extreme Paleo diet.
But, I’ll get into the specific food list shortly. For now, I want to keep talking about the steps you take to follow the diet.
So, the elimination phase lasts for 30 days.
Why 30 days? That’s enough time for your body to reset itself.
During this time, you’re going to add foods that aid in digestion and promote a healthy gut.
After the elimination phase, you begin the reintroduction phase. During this phase, you start eating foods that you avoided during the elimination phase.
But, you introduce them gradually one at a time. To illustrate, say you removed dairy (which is food on avoid list, by the way). To bring dairy back, you start by adding a milder dairy, like butter, first for 3 days.
The purpose for bring back inflammatory foods in isolation is to observe how your body reacts. If you notice that you’re starting to flare up, you cut out what you just introduced. Incidentally, it’s a good idea to track your reintroduction in your health journal.
And, if you don’t notice any reactions, you add another food from avoid list.
Thus, you control your level of inflammation through your diet along with other healthy habits like regular sleep and exercise.
Want an autoimmune protocol guide that gives you all of this information plus a 4 week meal plan? Read my review of The Autoimmune Protocol by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne.
What are the Foods on the AIP Diet Food List to Avoid?
I know, you want to get to the good stuff. You want to know what inflammatory foods to avoid.
So, here they are:
- Nightshades – potatoes (not sweet potatoes), tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers
- Grains- rice, wheat, oats, and corn (That’s right- no bread or pasta)
- Dairy- all types
- Legumes- lentils, beans, and peas
- Nuts and seeds- including spices made from seeds like coriander, cumin, and mustard
- Oils- except for coconut or olive oil
As you can see, there’s so many inflammatory foods to remove during the elimination phase.
And, it’s going to take willpower. For me, it was a struggle to first remove bread and pasta from my diet. But, over time I learned how to make substitutions from the list of foods I could eat. With that knowledge, the elimination became easier.
Foods on the AIP Diet Food List You Can Eat
With so many foods to avoid, you’re probably wondering what you can eat.
Simply, you can eat plenty of meats (especially connective tissue and organ meat) and vegetables. Fruit is okay in small amounts (you have to keep the fructose down).
That’s why I called the AIP an extreme paleo diet because it goes further than paleo.
As for foods that are great for anti-inflammatory properties: eat plenty of fish including shellfish, avocados, and fermented foods (they add probiotics to your diet). Along with these, you may want to add bone broth to your meal plan because it contains gelatin. Escpecially, since gelatin promotes a healthy gut.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, you can make substitutions. Consider sweeteners. You can use honey or maple syrup in small amounts. Or, you can use coconut or arrowroot flour to replace traditional flour. Finally, you can eat sweet potatoes.
Likewise, you can use non-seed based spices to replace the ones you avoid. I like to use thyme, rosemary, sage, turmeric. Moreover, I replace dill seed with dill weed.
Eating Your Way to a Healthier You
So, the AIP diet food list consists of foods that you don’t eat and foods that you can eat.
And, you don’t have to follow the diet forever. Now, some people do because they’ve grown accustomed to not eating foods from the restricted list. They just don’t miss it anymore.
But, you don’t have to do that. You can do the 30-day restart and start the reintroduction phase.
And, still enjoy the benefits of a healthier gut and reduced inflammation!
Overall, it’s eating your way (or not eating depending on how you look at) to a healthier you. When you combine this with better sleep patterns and exercise, you’ll notice the difference.
For more on how exercise benefits those suffering from chronic illness, read my post– 8 Things to Consider with Lupus and Exercise
Ultimately, isn’t a better, healthier life the desire of everyone suffering from an autoimmune disease.
I know it is for me. And, I want to establish healthy life choice that ease my suffering. So, I use the AIP diet when I need to.
How about you? Give it a try and see for yourself if it works for you. It does for me.
If you want to try the autoimmune protocol, then The Autoimmune Protocol by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne is the resource for you. To find out more about this book, read my review here.
Wishing you better days ahead