Being afflicted with a chronic inflammatory condition can be excruciatingly painful. Your day can become more stressful if you’re unsure of what to eat and what to avoid. However, there is some good news: adhering to the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (also known as the AIP diet plan) can reduce gastrointestinal inflammation and may make you feel better.
The AIP diet consists of three elements. Eliminate gut-irritating food triggers. Maintain these modifications for a period of 30 to 90 days. Reintroduce foods into your diet to finish the protocol.
Meal planning will be a breeze with this easy AIP menu! For a productive week, just make a few dishes with basic ingredients!
Related: Eating Plan for a Person Who Follows a Vegetarian – Tips for Health Care
What is the AIP Diet?
A healthy immune system is designed to produce antibodies that attack foreign or harmful cells in your body. However, in people with autoimmune disorders, the immune system tends to produce antibodies that, rather than fight infections, attack healthy cells and tissues.
Numerous symptoms, such as joint pain, exhaustion, discomfort in the abdomen, diarrhea, mental confusion, and damage to the tissues and nerves, may result from this. A few examples of autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, IBD, type 1 diabetes, and psoriasis.
Autoimmune diseases are thought to be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic propensity, infection, stress, inflammation, and medication use. Also, some research suggests that, in susceptible individuals, damage to the gut barrier can lead to increased intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut,” which may trigger the development of certain autoimmune diseases.
Certain foods are believed to possibly increase the gut’s permeability, thereby increasing your likelihood of leaky gut. The AIP diet emphasizes cutting out these foods and substituting them with nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods that are believed to aid in gut healing and, in turn, lessen inflammation and the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
It also removes certain ingredients like gluten, which may cause abnormal immune responses in susceptible individuals. While experts agree that a leaky gut may be a plausible explanation for the inflammation that autoimmune disorder sufferers experience, they caution that there is insufficient evidence to support a cause-and-effect relationship between the two at this time.
Therefore, more investigation is required before drawing firm conclusions.
Three Phases of the AIP Diet Plan
- Elimination Phase: four to six weeks of eliminating common trigger foods that may increase your body’s inflammatory response. This diet phase is only temporary.
- Maintenance Phase: maintain the elimination diet for 30-90 days. Be sure to include foods that are high in nutrients in your diet. If your symptoms have not resolved after 90 days, you may need to explore other options with your healthcare team.
- Reintroduction Phase: if you feel better, you should try introducing foods back into your diet. Utilize as much logic as you can when approaching this stage. Write a list of foods you want to bring back into your diet and reintroduce them one at a time. Seven days should pass between each meal.
It can be challenging to stick to the AIP diet plan because it requires a lengthy commitment. A Registered Dietitian can help you build a plan to meet your goals.
AIP Diet Plan for Beginners
AIP Diet List
|Fine to Eat||Avoid at First|
|Nose-to-tail grass-fed or wild-caught animal proteins, including meat, fish, fowl, organ meats, and bone broth||All grains, eggs, and legumes, such as green beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans|
|Healthy fats and oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, and coconut milk||All nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds, including their derivatives like seed oils and vegetable oils; for example, canola oil, walnut oil, and almond flour|
|A wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies, including sweet potatoes, greens, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, berries, apples, and melon||Nightshade vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, and spices derived from nightshades, like paprika and cayenne pepper|
|Non-dairy fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi||All dairy products, including ghee, kefir, milk, cheese, and cream|
|Herbs and spices not derived from seeds, such as cinnamon, turmeric, thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary||Spices derived from seeds, including fennel, cumin, dill, anise, mustard, coriander, and nutmeg|
|Stevia and maple syrup||Most added or artificial sweeteners and food additives, plus alcohol and coffee|
After two to three weeks, if your symptoms haven’t improved, it’s likely that they aren’t caused by the foods you cut out for the AIP diet. Continue the elimination phase if you experience improvement until your symptoms plateau.
Use what you’ve learned to design a personalized diet plan that reduces your symptoms while you concentrate on enhancing your gut health and other treatments after you’ve reintroduced all the foods you want to test.
Tips for AIP Diet
Making any diet change can feel overwhelming and challenging at first, so to make the AIP diet for beginners easier, try these few tips:
- Find a few basic recipes that sound good and use them to develop a simple meal plan. Find new recipes to add to your menu options once you feel comfortable with your dietary changes and are aware of the foods that make you feel ill.
- Put all of the food that is not on the AIP plan out of your pantry and stock it with the ingredients you need for your daily meal plan. Make a few big batches of your simple starter recipes and load up your freezer.
- Be as strict as possible about the diet during the first two to three weeks. This will make you feel better more quickly and produce better results when you reintroduce food.
Just keep in mind that everyone has a different digestive system and state of health. This list should only be used as a general reference. You will develop a version of the AIP diet plan that is customized for you once you have finished it. You should try to eat as little food as you can over time. Remember, restricting too much food can leave you deficient in nutrients and vitamins.
Does AIP Work?
The AIP diet plan’s ability to reduce inflammation has been evaluated in a few scientific studies. The findings are promising, but more research is needed to validate the results.
Are There Any Risks of the AIP Diet Plan?
Due to its prohibition of whole grains, legumes, a number of vegetables, nuts, and seeds—all of which are rich sources of fiber—the AIP diet plan may lead to low fiber intake.