Hello, my friends! Today we’re delving into the Autoimmune Protocol Diet, commonly known as AIP, and its potential benefits for those living with autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases affect millions of people worldwide, causing symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue, and inflammation. Some common autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, IBD, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and psoriasis.
With such a vast range of symptoms, the AIP diet plan is a hot topic in the health and wellness world as a potential solution for alleviating pain and suffering and improving your overall quality of life. So, is the AIP diet good for autoimmune disease? Let’s dive in and explore!
What Is The AIP Diet Plan?
The Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP) is a dietary approach that focuses on eliminating potentially inflammatory foods to help improve symptoms of autoimmune diseases and other chronic health conditions.
Unfortunately, the typical American diet is loaded with refined carbs, processed foods, and not nearly enough fiber and antioxidants leading to inflammation and leaky gut. There’s evidence that microbiome imbalance in the gut may lead to autoimmune issues.
This diet is similar to the paleo diet but with a few added restrictions including the elimination of nuts, seeds, nightshades, and dairy to name a few.
The goal of the AIP diet is to reduce inflammation in the body, which is a common byproduct of autoimmune conditions so that the immune system can start to heal itself and symptoms can improve.
While the AIP diet may not prevent autoimmune disease, it may help fight inflammation in people with autoimmune disease.
For example, in one study on whether AIP may improve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), 73% of participants achieved remission by week 6 of the study and maintained the remission for the next 5 weeks.
In another study of women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, tests showed an improvement in symptoms plus a decrease in inflammation by 29%.
By removing certain foods, the AIP diet plan aims to reduce stress on the body and support overall health. This way of eating may seem a little bit daunting at first, but once you get the basics you can usually personalize it so it works for you.
How To Get Started
Well, the AIP diet plan has 3 phases – an elimination phase, a reintroduction phase, and a maintenance phase.
During the initial elimination phase, you’re trying to eliminate foods that may trigger inflammation like eggs, gluten, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, nightshades, alcohol, dairy, and processed foods. This is not a complete list, but you get the idea. Want more guidance — Here’s a printable list. You’ll want to follow the elimination diet closely for at least 2-3 weeks. Being strict initially will help you feel better faster plus give you better results during the reintroduction phase.
If you don’t see any improvement in your symptoms after 2-3 weeks, then it may be your symptoms aren’t related to the foods you cut out. However, if you do notice an improvement, continue the elimination phase until your symptoms plateau.
It can be a challenging phase to navigate, but the good news is that there are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods that are still allowed on the AIP diet, like high-quality meats, seafood, fruits, and vegetables.
Just remember that this phase is temporary and that you’ll gradually reintroduce eliminated foods, later on, to see how your body tolerates them.
Stick with it, be patient, and you’ll start feeling the benefits of the AIP diet in no time!
Reintroduction and Maintenance Phases
Once your symptoms plateau, it’s time to start reintroducing foods one at a time and watch closely for any symptoms for a couple of days before reintroducing the next food.
It’s important to take this phase slowly, as introducing too many foods too quickly could lead to confusion about what’s causing problematic symptoms.
If you notice any flare-ups, keep away from that food for a bit longer. If you don’t notice any symptoms, then it’s probably safe to add that food back into your diet.
During this phase, you’ll want to keep a journal of what you eat and how you feel afterward. This will help you determine which foods are safe for you to eat and which ones you may need to avoid long-term.
Remember, the AIP diet is all about finding what works best for your body, so take your time and observe how each food affects you.
Once you’ve finished reintroducing all the foods you eliminated back into your diet, it’s time to move on to the maintenance phase. This phase is where you can use what you’ve learned to create a personalized diet plan for YOU that helps keep YOUR symptoms under control.
One of the most important things to remember during the maintenance phase is to continue listening to your body. Pay attention to how certain foods make you feel and make adjustments accordingly.
It’s also important to continue incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your diet and avoiding processed foods and artificial ingredients. Remember, this is a lifestyle change and not just a fad diet.
Working with a healthcare professional such as a registered dietitian can be super helpful for you in working through the 3 phases of this diet and developing a customized meal plan that fits your lifestyle.
The AIP diet offers a three-phase approach that can help decrease inflammation and alleviate symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
By removing potentially inflammatory foods and gradually reintroducing them, you can gain a better understanding of how your body reacts to different foods and make informed dietary choices.
While this diet may not be a cure-all solution, it can certainly be a helpful tool in managing autoimmune conditions.
Are you tired of feeling like your body is your enemy? Sick of the endless doctor visits and medications that never bring true relief? Well, it’s time to take back control!
Let’s crush your autoimmune disease together – and not just with a generic treatment plan. I’m talking about a personalized plan tailored specifically to your needs, your lifestyle, and your preferences.
Because if you’re going to take on this enemy, you deserve a plan that’s as unique and fierce as you are. So if you’re ready to step up and become the badass warrior you were always meant to be, let’s join forces!
Sign up for an Autoimmune Breakthrough Session with me and let’s develop a plan to kick that autoimmune disease to the curb. Together, we’ve got this!
***Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice***
If you liked this. article, then you’re gonna love my post on the Top 5 Diets For Autoimmune Disease. Here’s a quick sample.
- The Paleo Diet. This diet is based on the idea that modern food is bad for our bodies and that we should eat as our prehistoric ancestors did. The paleo diet consists of whole, unprocessed foods like meat, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats from olive and coconut oil. This diet does not include any dairy products or grains because they weren’t available during prehistoric times. It’s been found to reduce inflammation in people with autoimmune diseases due to its emphasis on eating whole foods that are free from added sugars and preservatives.
- The Keto Diet. The ketogenic diet is another popular choice for people looking to manage or even reverse their autoimmune disorder symptoms. On a ketogenic diet, the body’s metabolism of fat instead of carbohydrate as its preferred source of energy produces ketone bodies. The goal is to stay in “ketosis” by adjusting your macronutrient intake (carbs, proteins, fats) to ensure the production of those ketones. Before starting any diet, especially one that encourages elimination or severe reduction of nutrients, you should talk to your doctor or dietitian about your current health, and any medications, and make sure that your ketogenic diet delivers your body what it needs.