A Beginner’s Guide to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet

A Beginner’s Guide to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system goes after healthy tissue because they can’t tell the difference between normal cells and foreign invaders. For people with these conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, dietary modifications may ease symptoms including inflammation. Here is a quick look at the Autoimmune Protocol Diet.

Research shows that damage to the intestinal lining, also known as the “gut barrier,” may be triggered by certain foods. When intestinal permeability increases, it could trigger certain autoimmune conditions. While there is no concrete evidence that links “leaky gut” with autoimmune diseases, experts do believe intestinal health has strong ties to the widespread inflammation seen in such conditions.

In a normal intestinal tract, there’s low permeability, meaning waste won’t leak and enter the bloodstream. On the other hand, when the gut is more permeable, foreign particles may exit the tract and entire the bloodstream, potentially causing inflammation. Certain foods have been shown to increase the intestines’ level of permeability. Research also indicates that people with certain autoimmune conditions can decrease inflammation and illness symptoms through an autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet.

Here’s what you should know about the AIP diet before talking to your rheumatologist or other specialists. 

What Is the Autoimmune Protocol Diet?

The AIP diet is similar to the paleo diet, in which individuals follow the eating habits of our ancestors, who were hunter-gatherers. It has two stages: elimination and reintroduction. 

During elimination, foods believed to contribute to gut inflammation are eliminated, including legumes, nuts, grains, seeds, dairy, and nightshade vegetables. All foods with added sugars, as well as alcohol, coffee, oils, and tobacco are eliminated as well. Individuals are also advised to avoid certain medications, including NSAIDs. While most people following the diet follow elimination for 30 to 90 days, some report improvements within three weeks.

After, if you see improvements in your symptoms, you can then gradually reintroduce items into your diet. The idea is to only have foods that don’t aggravate symptoms while continuing to avoid those that do. For this reason, foods must be reincorporated one at a time over a five- to seven-day period before another is reintroduced. And, since food tolerances can change over time, many people revisit the elimination diet again in the future.

What Foods Can You Eat with the AIP Diet?

The autoimmune diet is restrictive, but remember that the goal is to identify any and all foods that could be triggering symptoms. For the best results, you should avoid all grains, legumes, dairy and milk products, nightshade vegetables, nuts and seeds, and their products, and processed foods. With that in mind, here’s what you can still have during the elimination phase:

  • Vegetables (except for nightshade vegetables, including tomatoes, bell peppers, blueberries, eggplant, and potatoes)
  • Fermented foods, such as pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi
  • Minimally processed meats, such as fish and wild game
  • Fresh fruit
  • Tubers, including taro, yams, and sweet potatoes
  • Minimally processed oils
  • Kinds of Vinegar
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Herbs and spices, except those derived from seeds
  • Certain teas
  • Bone broth

Each person experiences different results from the AIP diet, but it is often possible to notice an improvement when triggering foods are eliminated. For instance, people with IBD have reported fewer and less severe symptoms. Just be mindful to avoid staying in the elimination phase for too long, as it could cause deficiencies in key nutrients. If you’re concerned about falling short in any vitamins or minerals by avoiding identified trigger foods, consider looking into supplements, with your doctor’s approval.

If you are seeking a more scientific overview of your gut health, Stemedix offers a Precision Health Program that provides comprehensive gut testing that will specifically give you your personal health blueprint along with recommendations unique to you from a board-certified provider. Contact them today for more information.

How to Stay on Track with Your Resolution to Eat Better

How to Stay on Track with Your Resolution to Eat Better

While many of us set New Year’s resolutions to eat well, now is about the time when our aspirations start to lose steam. Making resolutions is the easy part, but actually sticking to them can be challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to maintain your goal of eating better, both now and through the rest of the year. Here are a few simple tips on how to stay on track with your resolution to eat better that you can keep coming back to if you’re falling off track.

Choose Water Whenever Possible
The calories we consume in beverage form do count, and they’re often a sneaky source of added sugars. Whenever possible, reach for water over juice, soda, and energy drinks.

Fit in Five Fruits & Veggies a Day
Setting a goal to have five fruits and vegetables each day will automatically help you incorporate foods that are filling yet low-calorie and nutrient-dense. Get creative and aim to add a fruit or veggie to every meal: blend a handful of spinach into your morning smoothie or omelet, have some carrots or celery with lunch, serve a side salad with dinner, and enjoy some strawberries or apple slices for dessert.

Add in Some Protein
Foods like salads and pasta become much more filling if you add some protein to them, which can help keep cravings at bay later. Throw some grilled chicken, chickpeas, or chopped nuts into a salad for some protein. Consider adding shrimp or turkey meatballs to your pasta dishes, too.

Have Healthy Snacks on Hand
Getting too hungry while you’re on the go could lead to a trip through the fast-food drive-thru. Keep snacks like mixed nuts, apples, and granola bars on hand so you always have access to healthy options.

Map Out Your Meals
Before you do your grocery shopping, make a list of the meals you’ll have throughout the week. That way, you can limit your grocery list to the things you’ll really need, and you won’t find yourself stuck on what to make on a busy weeknight – which could otherwise lead to takeout.

Prep Meals to Reheat
If your weeknights are especially busy, you might consider making batches of meals on the weekends. Soups, chili, and even chopped veggies can be taken from the freezer and heated up with ease.

Never Skip a Meal
Finally, always be sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with healthy snacks throughout the day if you feel hungry. When your stomach really starts rumbling, you’re more apt to reach for the quickest thing you can find – which may not always be the healthiest option. Plus, you could wind up overeating to satisfy a roaring appetite. This is a crucial step to take when trying to stay on track with your resolution to eat better.

WordPress Image Lightbox
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!