Autoimmune Paleo Diet: A Comprehensive Guide
Image Credit: Fish fillet with leafy veggies, Image Source: Unsplash

AIP stands for autoimmune paleo and is a hybrid diet. It incorporates elements of the paleo diet, a popular eating regimen for meat enthusiasts, with elimination diets intended to minimise disease-triggering foodstuffs. The goal of autoimmune paleo is to reduce autoimmune disease symptoms. In this particular disorder, the body's immune system misfires and starts attacking itself rather than harmful bacteria and viruses that have invaded the body.

The elimination diet, also known as the autoimmune protocol, may lessen specific symptoms by omitting food triggers. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid disorders, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, vasculitis, and scleroderma are examples of common autoimmune disorders.

Basics of AIP Diet 

Exclusion diets are characterised by deleting foods that repeatedly aggravate or exacerbate symptoms. Focusing on foods from the caveman age, such as meat, fowl, fish, fruits, and vegetables, while avoiding those from the modern era, such as dairy, refined sugar, grains, and legumes, is one of the core paleo concepts. By focusing more on foods supposedly helpful for reducing inflammation and the autoimmune symptoms it causes, autoimmune paleo expands on paleo. AIP staples include bone broth, shellfish, grass-fed beef, liver, and other organ meats. There are certain fruits and vegetables as well. Additionally recommended are oils like avocado, coconut, olive oils, yoghurt, and other fermented foods.

What to eat and avoid

Bone broth, liver, grass-fed beef, fermented foods like sauerkraut, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, fatty fish, and shellfish are all permitted on the AIP diet. Dairy, cereals, legumes, sugar, eggs, nightshade vegetables, seeds, nuts, coffee, seed oils, and alcohol must be avoided or consumed in moderation.

Sauerkraut, Image Source: Freepik


The paleo autoimmune protocol focuses on four crucial areas that affect autoimmune and chronic disorders. The list includes addressing nutritional shortages, maintaining intestinal health, controlling hormones, and controlling the immune system. According to one notion, autoimmune paleo can treat "leaky gut." Consuming the suggested foods can help the gut's gatekeeper function return and safeguard the body against allergens and harmful microbes. Identifying food triggers is the main diet objective to lessen autoimmune symptoms. AIP eliminates dairy products, alcoholic beverages, and food additives, which can also cause weight gain. Thus, there may be a bonus of weight loss.

Preparation in advance

Inform your doctor if you're planning to try the autoimmune paleo diet or any other restrictive eating plan. It will confirm whether it's suitable for you. Consult a dietician to help you choose the healthiest foods. Make a list of autoimmune-friendly foods as well. During the elimination and reintroduction periods, have a blank journal on hand to record everything you eat and any symptoms you encounter.

Logging food details, Image Source: Freepik

Reintroduction rules

For at least a month, AIP restricts foods thought to worsen inflammation and its effects. One must keep a dietary log to monitor overall health and symptoms during this period. Nuts and seeds are initially cut out. This is because they frequently cause food intolerances in persons with autoimmune illnesses, and when they are slowly reintroduced, they must be ruled out as triggers. You progressively resume the banned foods, one at a time, during the reintroduction phases. If a single food causes your autoimmune symptoms to flare up, it is likely a specific trigger you should continue avoiding. You can modify the diet to suit your needs by identifying particular food groups or foods that appear to cause triggers.

Necessary cautions

Elimination diets, such as the autoimmune paleo diet, may not be appropriate for people with eating disorders like orthorexia. Generally speaking, diets that forbid an entire food group raise the possibility of vitamin, mineral, and other nutritional deficits. Heart disease may be exacerbated by a higher meat intake.