The AIP diet stands for Autoimmune Protocol, and it’s designed for those with autoimmune disease to reduce inflammation to allow their bodies the opportunity to heal. It removes inflammatory foods, gut irritants, and immune stimulants for a minimum of 30 days. After the elimination period, foods are reintroduced one by one to see if the body has healed and can tolerate them again.
What is an AIP Diet?
Many continue to follow an AIP template even after their autoimmune symptoms have reduced. This can be a preventative measure to stop symptoms from flaring again, or it may just be that you feel better eating more of an AIP template.
An Autoimmune Protocol Diet Plan
Regardless of how long you follow it, AIP is a short-term healing solution and not a long-term way of life.
What you can eat on AIP diet?
All animal proteins (excluding eggs) All vegetables (excluding nightshades) Fruits in moderation
Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, animal fats, etc.)
Bone broth, organ meats,
Grain-free baking flours (cassava, tiger-nut, tapioca, coconut, etc.)
What food you should avoid in AIP diet?
All grains (wheat, oats, rice, corn, etc.)
All dairy (all diary of all types)
All legumes (all beans such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas, and vegetables like green beans and peanuts)
Vegetables and spices (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, all peppers, red spices)
All nuts and seeds
Seed based spices (mustard, cumin, sesame, etc.)
Thickeners, gums, and food additives
Poor quality seed oils (sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, etc.)
Does the AIP diet really work?
Everyone is different. Many with autoimmune disease find success with an AIP diet, while others do not. There’s no way to guarantee that this approach will work for you, but here are some stories of encouragement from those who healed with the AIP diet.
How long you should follow AIP diet?
No, you do not have to follow it forever! The point of the autoimmune protocol is to allow your body time to heal and then reintroduce foods one by one.
Many follow the AIP diet for 30 days to a few months before they reintroduce foods.
Step-by-step process for reintroducing AIP Diet foods
When you’re trying to gauge your reaction to foods, adding them all back in at once is the opposite of what you want to do. You want to go slowly and mindfully to avoid overloading your body, and to allow yourself the time to see a reaction.
Here is the step by 6 steps for reintroducing foods…
- Follow the protocol for a minimum of 30 days until you get to a point where you’ve noticed a significant amount of healing.
- Start with the level 1 reintroduction schedule.
- Eat the food in isolation (don’t do multiple new foods at once) and wait 3 days to gauge a reaction.
- Track your reactions with a food journal. You’re looking for things like headaches, mood swings, skin changes, fatigue, bloating, etc.
- Add foods that work to your rotation, and table the foods that don’t work.
- Repeat the process.
How do we know we healed and can reintroduce foods?
This answer varies for everyone. Here are the two ways that we would gauge whether you’re healing…
- Repeat the lab test and see the changes in test values.
- A noticeable reduction in your symptoms.
The details of that are different for everyone and need to be addressed individually. Talk to your own doctor or practitioner about what healing may look like for you personally.
Living with autoimmunity
What else one should consider besides AIP diet?
Healing is about so much more than just diet alone. Here are some other factors to consider…
- Stress reduction
- Home and body care products
- Community Support
- Underlying infections
- Consulting with a doctor
From where to start an AIP diet plan?
First is more research and some soul searching. Making sure that this is the right step for you right here, and right now. Just because this isn’t a good fit today doesn’t mean that there aren’t elements that you can take and start applying until you’re ready for the next step down the line. Work in consultation with your doctor and dietitian.
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