Often referred to as a stricter version of the paleo diet, the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet is a more current approach to eliminating inflammation through what we choose to eat.
Like the paleo diet, the AIP diet eliminates grains, beans, soy, peanuts, hummus, dairy products, processed foods, refined sugars and vegetable and canola oil.
It also bans other foods that aren’t always restricted by paleo eaters, including:
- Nuts and seeds
- Certain spices, including cumin and coriander
- Food thickeners
- Alternative sweeteners
So, what’s left over? An AIP diet is one that’s rich in meats and fresh vegetables. You can also consume herbs, olive oil, coconut oil, tiny amounts of honey and maple syrup, vinegars with no added sugar, and fermented foods that contain no dairy.
If you’re considering this diet to help your digestive system, here are a few things you need to know:
- The AIP diet is focused on elimination, aimed at cutting out foods that cause inflammation and fight autoimmune conditions.
- The diet is often used to treat leaky gut syndrome, a condition that may be at the root of other digestive issues.
- Some people choose this diet as a long-term choice, while others follow it for several weeks before adding new foods.
- Include as much fresh food as possible, while avoiding fast food and processed foods.
- While fresh vegetables are always recommended, the AIP/paleo world is divided on fresh fruits. Some people cut out fruit completely, while others say it’s ok to have two pieces of fruit per day.
This diet may be too difficult to follow for some people. It’s possible to eliminate just some of the foods from the list above and still benefit. But you may find that the benefits of switching to an AIP diet consisting of anti-inflammatory foods, outweigh the inconvenience. Your body will likely respond well to eating healthier foods.
As with any diet, it’s good practice to consult with a doctor, or to work with a dietician to help you make the switch.
And if you’re looking for something to eat, try this recipe – from the site Autoimmune Wellness – for breakfast fries with a bacon and chive crumble.
Breakfast fries with bacon and chive crumble:
- 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and sliced into ½ inch wide fries
- 1 tsp. avocado oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 5 slices of bacon
- 2 large zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and chopped
- 2 cups thinly sliced curly kale, stems removed
- 1 tbsp. chopped chives
- ½ tsp. grated lemon zest
- ½ tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange your oven rack at the center of the oven.
- Toss the fries with avocado oil and sea salt on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges become lightly browned. As the fries bake, move onto step four, and return to step three when the timer hits 20 minutes.
- Turn broiler on high and broil fries for three minutes. Watch them carefully. When they’re browned, remove them from the oven and set them aside.
- In a large stainless-steel skillet, cook bacon on medium heat until both sides are crisp, and transfer to it to a cutting board. Once it the bacon has cooled, chop or crumble it.
- Sautee zucchini in the bacon fat for five minutes until brown and tender. Add kale to the pan and cook until bright green and tender for about three minutes.
- Use a small bowl to mix the bacon, garlic, chives, lemon zest and juice.
- Serve by diving the potato fries among two plates, topping each plate with half the green vegetables, with the bacon/chive mix sprinkled on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you’re looking for other ways to combat your leaky gut or inflammatory gut issues, Proper Nutrition can help.
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