What Foods Can I Eat on the AIP Diet?

Are you new to the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP Diet)? It promotes the consumption of foods such as natural vinegar, fermented probiotic nutrient foods, minimally processed vegetable oil, fruits, vegetables, minimally processed animal products and non-seed derived spices. The AIP diet has many similarities to the Paleo diet such as the types of foods that are allowed and the ones that are recommended to stay away from. Although the two diets are similar, the Paleo Diet is much more lenient where the AIP Diet is more strict and focuses on autoimmune wellness.  Certain foods like maple syrup, honey, sea salt, saturated fats and coconut based foods are allowed but may require some self control when it comes to moderation. Also, some rules of conduct suggest limiting fruits and vegetables that cause blood sugar to rise rapidly after consumption.  Healthy fats, protein and energy are provided through consumption of quality meat and fish products. Well sourced foods that are Grass-finished, pasture-raised, wild-caught and grass-fed are best but not required.

 

When you dive into AIP, it can often feel like there are so many no’s.  It feels like you can’t eat this or that or this or that and it can be overwhelming!  With this, we’ve compiled a list of AIP compliant foods - that are delicious, nutritious and enjoyable. Our list is non all-inclusive - so we encourage you to research and find foods you love as you continue on your AIP journey. 

 

AIP- compliant animal proteins and products:

 

Anchovies

Tilapia

Salmon

Tuna

Mackerel

Clams

Shrimp

Bone Marrow

Beef Jerky 

Turkey

Duck

Pork

Bone Broth

Cod

Bison

Lamb

Sardines

Scallops

Goat

Lobster

Mussels

 

 

Most vegetables are approved except for nightshade vegetables which contain an alkaloid called solanine which can make you feel bad if you consume too much. Our bodies need nutrient dense vegetables in order to get enough vitamins, minerals and fiber. Once again our list is only a few and there are plenty more!

 

AIP- compliant vegetables:

 

Celery

Onions

Mushrooms

Scallions

Broccoli

Cucumber

Leeks

Sweet potato

Watercress

Chicory

Jicama

Cabbage

Radish

Parsnips

 

Fruits are notably high in natural sugar but it is also a great source for antioxidants and fiber.

 

 AIP fruits - 

 

Blackberries

Plums

Plantain chips

Apples

Mandarins

Passion fruit

Peaches

Rhubarb

Starfruit

Nectarines

Lime

Papaya

Apricots

Tangerines

Pomegranate

Raspberries

Persimmons

Lemon

Guava

 

A very small amount of minimally processed fats are approved. The AIP Diet bans seed oils and hugely processed fats.  

 

AIP-compliant fats:

 

Olive oil

Coconut oil

Coconut butter

Avocado oil

Palm oil

 

Due to their probiotic-rich and gut-healthy properties, fermented foods are great for the AIP Diet. Gut issues are commonly related to autoimmune disorders therefore, fermented foods can be an awesome addition to your diet.  

 

AIP-compliant Fermented foods/beverages and vinegars include:

 

Water kefir

Coconut milk kefir 

Coconut yogurt

Kombucha

Pickled veggies

Sauerkraut

Kimchi

Apple cider vinegar

Red wine vinegar

 

AIP- compliant herbs and spices:

 

Mint

Saffron

Cilantro

Parsley

Thyme

Cinnamon

Garlic

Peppermint

Rosemary

Bay Leaf

Chives

Basil

Ginger

Sage

Turmeric

Dill

 

AIP-compliant Pantry items:

 

Coconut aminos

Coconut flour

Coconut Sugar 

Plantain flour

Arrowroot starch

Tapioca starch

Date sugar

Dried fruit

Cassava flour

Green tea

Honey

Carob Powder

Herbal tea

Tigernut flour

 

Foods and such to Avoid with the AIP Diet

 

As with every diet there are foods you try to avoid. Processed foods, Nightshade vegetables, food additives, dairy, eggs, legumes, seeds, nuts and grains are all done away with when on the AIP diet. The AIP diet also suggests you should avoid consuming any caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. By eliminating these things, it is said to reduce inflammation and improve gut health and lining.  Foods to avoid include:

 

Grains like wheat, rice, oats, barley, rye and also foods made from grains like bread, pasta and cereal.

Legumes such as peas, soy, lentils, beans and foods made from legumes like tofu and meat substitutes.

Nightshade vegetables, spices and natural nightshades like bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, black pepper, chili pepper, paprika, star anise, coriander, cumin, celery seed, goji berries and date sugar.

Dairy such as animal milk and foods made of dairy like ghee, cheese, butter and cream.

Nuts and seeds and all foods derived from nuts and seeds like flour, butter and oils.

Highly processed vegetable oils like sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, corn, canola and rapeseed.

Refined sugars such as corn syrup, beet sugar, and cane sugar.

Food additives like preservatives, coloring, flavorings, thickeners and emulsifiers.

Processed foods

Refined carbohydrates

Refined vegetable oils, nut oils, and seed oils

Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol 

NSAID’s such as Ibuprofen and aspirin

 

The AIP Diet is popular with people with autoimmune issues. Many find alleviation of symptoms and other improvements in their mental and physical health by doing AIP.  

 

The most common auto-immune diseases that see improvements using AIP are:

 

Multiple Sclerosis

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Type 1 Diabetes

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hashimoto’s Disease 

Narcolepsy

Celiac Disease

Ulcerative Colitis

Alopecia Areata 

Psoriasis

Graves’ Disease

Crohn’s Disease

Lupus

Adrenal Fatigue

 

On the other side of people who want to try the AIP diet, are people who want a healthier lifestyle. The AIP Diet can also be great for losing weight, improving gut health, and overall feeling better. The Autoimmune Protocol Diet is not for everyone so consult a healthcare provider before diving in.

 

The bottom line is the AutoImmune Protocol Diet is used to eliminate inflammation in the body. It does so by taking away foods that trigger negative autoimmune responses and replacing them with nutrient rich foods that are said to reduce symptoms of chronic illness and autoimmune disorders.  Perhaps it can help you on your health journey too!