What is AIP (Autoimmune Protocol)?

Do you know anything about autoimmune diseases? They are quite common among the general population and cause the immune system to attack organs or healthy tissue by mistake. That’s why many people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, IBD, lupus, and other disorders. 

What is AIP (Autoimmune Protocol)? Has anyone told you this diet has the ability to reduce inflammation, pain, and other symptoms caused by various health conditions? Individuals who have followed AIP dietary regime reported significant improvements in the way they feel and react regarding joint and gut pain, as well as fatigue. 

Let’s learn about its potential benefits down below!

What is the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) Diet?

A healthy immune system produces antibodies that attack harmful and foreign cells it considers a threat. However, people who have an autoimmune disease tend to produce antibodies that attack healthy tissues and cells instead of fighting an infection. 

No one really knows what causes autoimmune diseases, but one thing is sure, they can make a mess in your body, driving a wide range of symptoms, like nerve damage, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and others. 

Scientists believe that particular food helps your gut! Therefore, by following an aip diet plan, you get to eliminate these ingredients and combat inflammation while improving stomach health. 

image of fresh food

How does the AIP Diet Work?

Elimination Phase

The first step involves the elimination phase, where you need to remove all food and medications that are causing gut inflammation and disbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. 

For instance, dairy, eggs, nightshade veggies, seeds, nuts, and legumes are entirely avoided. Make sure not to consume processed and refined sugars, food additives, oils, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and certain anti-inflammatory drugs. 

You are highly encouraged to eat nutrient-dense and fresh food, bone broth, fermented foods, and minimally processed meat during this stage. Physical activity, regular sleep and less stress can also improve your overall well-being.

Head over to: 10 AIP Fat Bomb Recipes - Sweet and Savory

Reintroduction Phase

Once you feel that your physical condition has improved, you can start the reintroduction phase. This means reintroducing food that has been forbidden before, one at a time, according to your tolerance. 

The main thing is to identify which ingredients cause your body to react and stop using them altogether. This way, you can build your menu and only eat foods your body can tolerate. Give your body some time to get used to ingredients before switching to new ones. 

This process should last somewhere between five and seven days. Your tolerance may change over time, so you might need to repeat the reintroduction process.

Step-by-step Reintroduction Protocol

Step 1: Choose one food, test it a couple of times per day, and then altogether avoid it for six days. 

Step 2: Consume small amounts, preferably one tablespoon, and wait 15 minutes to see what will happen. 

Step 3: If you notice any side effects, stop the testing immediately. If there are no symptoms involved, keep eating the food and monitor your condition for two to three hours. 

Step 4: If you experience symptoms over this period, end the testing and forget about the food. On the other hand, if you notice no symptoms, keep eating the food and then avoid it for six days without reintroducing new ingredients. 

Step 5: Again, if there are no symptoms, you may continue eating food and start reintroducing a new item to your diet. 

image of woman in white kitchen

AIP Diet Food List

Foods to Eat

Just because you have to follow autoimmune diet recipes, it doesn’t mean you need to avoid all food. On top of that, you can test some of the best AIP meal delivery services and try some delicious gut-friendly dishes.

  • A variety of veggies, except algae and nightshade vegetables
  • AIP fruit list includes fresh fruits in moderation
  • Tubers like Chinese artichoke, yams, taro, and sweet potatoes
  • Minimally processed meat and seafood 
  • Fermented foods such as coconut kefir, pickles, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut
  • Extra virgin olive, avocado, and coconut oil
  • Different herbs and spices that aren’t derived from seeds
  • Maple syrup and honey
  • Green and black tea
  • Bone broth

Foods to Avoid

With aip fat bombs (recipes), you get to avoid most of the bad ingredients. However, if you want to know specifically what items to eliminate, we give you a complete list: 

  • All types of grains and products made of them
  • Legumes and foods derived from them 
  • Nightshade veggies like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, paprika, and eggplants
  • Eggs 
  • Dairy and dairy-based protein powders or other supplements
  • Nuts and seeds 
  • Coffee and alcohol 
  • Processed vegetable oil such as soybean, sunflower, canola, corn, and others 
  • Refined and processed sugars 
  • Artificial sweeteners and food additives  

Benefits of the AIP Diet

Reduces Inflammation

AIP diet recipes have the ability to reduce inflammation and other IBD-related symptoms. Some patients even noticed improvements in bowel frequency, stress, and level of activity.

Heals a Leaky Gut

Autoimmune protocol diet meal plan may help with leaky gut. According to the latest discoveries, the food we eat can reduce the degree of inflammation and heal leaky gut.

Aids Autoimmune Disorders

Some doctors even suggest that the AIP diet can minimize AIDS symptoms and help patients with this autoimmune disorder.

Hormone Regulation

AIP approved foods tend to eliminate inflammatory responses and regulate hormonal issues. Diseases like Hashimoto or other thyroid problems are autoimmune, and consuming certain foods can help.

Regulates Immunity

We can achieve immune regulation by restoring a healthy amount of gut bacteria, which have a barrier function. AIP diet gives these microorganisms the resources and the opportunity to keep our immune system in check.

Drawbacks of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet

This diet is highly restrictive, which makes it quite challenging for some people to follow, especially during the elimination phase. On top of that, if you often attend social functions, you will have to avoid eating it at all costs. It means no dining out at a friend’s house, restaurant, or some social function. 

Additionally, no one can guarantee that a diet for autoimmune diseases will reduce inflammation or minimize symptoms. Some people tend to stay longer in the elimination phase than they should, which leads to nutrient deficiency. That’s why the reintroduction phase is crucial, and it shouldn’t be skipped.

Who Should Try the AIP Diet Plan?

Anyone with rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, IBD, and lupus should try the AIP diet. You may also check our Paleo On the Go review to find recipes that might help your condition. Unfortunately, you can’t cure autoimmune diseases, but you can manage their symptoms. 

We still have limited evidence indicating this diet can help people with IBD and Hashimoto’s disease. However, based on how this dietary regime works, there is still hope for other conditions. It’s best to seek professional guidance regarding what foods to eat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it work?

2017 research has found that an autoimmune protocol diet can minimize IBD symptoms. While the tests showed no changes with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, people reported feeling better and noticed a reduction in symptoms and better quality of life. This further indicates that the AIP diet can be a part of a more comprehensive treatment program.

Is the anti-inflammatory diet and the AIP diet the same?

While these two have similarities, they are actually quite different. Autoimmune protocol diet aims to reduce autoimmune disease symptoms. On the other hand, an auto-inflammatory diet focuses on eliminating overall inflammation in the body. 

Can it make you lose weight?

You could lose weight, especially by avoiding processed sugars and dairy foods. This is an elimination diet specially designed for particular autoimmune disorders, and by restricting many ingredients, you can also regulate your body weight.


What is the AIP diet? Can it really help with autoimmune diseases? What type of food should I eat? These are only some of the questions we receive daily. But we hope this article managed to clarify all your doubts. 

While this type of diet is designed to combat inflammation, it can’t do wonders because, after some time, symptoms may return. That’s why it’s crucial to listen to your body and only choose ingredients that work for you. Don’t worry because you will learn what food triggers inflammation through tests and trials. 

Due to the complexity of the situation and still limited research on autoimmune disease, you have nothing to lose. Give it a try; you never know, maybe the AIP diet is the best thing that ever happened to you!

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