Health Lifestyle

Beginner’s Guide: Autoimmune Paleo Diet

There have been a ton of different types of diets to try all over Pinterest. I know that in my perusal, I’ve seen gluten-free, clean eating, paleo, vegan, and more. But one that you might not be familiar with is the autoimmune paleo diet. Now, full disclosure, I’ve never done this exactly, but I’ve done an extremely similar one when we were testing what foods I react to. Today I’m going to explain what this diet is and who it’s right for, as well as some recipes that fit in with it. I’m not an expert, but I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve talked to doctors about it. I hope this helps you decide if you’ll give it a try and, if you try it, I hope it works well for you!

Wondering if the autoimmune paleo diet is right for you? I'm breaking it down into what it is, what foods are included, who it's right for, and a bunch of AIP recipes you should try.

What Is the Autoimmune Paleo Diet?

At the root of the autoimmune paleo – or autoimmune protocol diet or some variation thereof – is the belief that leaky gut is the cause of autoimmune illnesses. By eating this particular diet, the thought is that you can heal your gut, which can help your autoimmune illness. My personal issue with this idea is that some people insist that healing your gut will completely heal the illness without medication, which is not something that is possible. (I talked to my rheumatologist about this once and he burst out laughing.) However, while I’m questionable about leaky gut and permanently healing an incurable chronic illness with food, I recognize that it’s possible to majorly help your body with this diet if you have an autoimmune disease.

This leads me to the other idea behind autoimmune paleo, which is that you shouldn’t eat foods that will trigger your immune system. While many people with autoimmune diseases respond negatively to the same foods, many others don’t. For example, I don’t have celiac disease, but gluten super angers my immune system. I know many other people with RA who have the same experience. But I also respond negatively to eggs, while others do not. The autoimmune paleo diet consists of cutting out a whole bunch of foods that a lot of people with autoimmune diseases respond negatively to, so if you’re not quite sure about leaky gut, it is worth cutting out a ton of foods for a few weeks in order to test them (individually) to see how you respond. This is what I did for the time period when I was on a similar-to-AIP diet.

Beginner's Guide: Autoimmune Paleo Diet Click To Tweet

Here are all the foods you should cut out if you want to try this diet: grains, legumes, dairy, nuts and seeds, eggs, nightshades (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes), industrial seed oils (aka only eat olive or avocado oil), processed foods, alcohol, NSAIDs (like Aleve or Advil), sugar, starches, fruits (or at least no more than one serving a day), and yeasts. 

(Sources for this can be found here and here.)

It can be overwhelming to a see a long list of foods you can't eat on the autoimmune paleo diet. Instead, check out these recipes that you CAN eat.

Who Should Try It?

As you probably picked up, this is for autoimmune disease patients. If you don’t have an autoimmune disease and there is no history of it in your family, there is no need to do this diet. If you’re just looking to eat super healthy, look into clean eating or paleo or something similar.

If you have an autoimmune disease, I suggest talking to your doctor(s) about this before trying it just to be on the safe side. My doctors were fine with me trying it, but I’m glad I checked with them first. You never know!

Some Autoimmune Paleo Recipes

Healing Recipes Meal Plan – This is a roundup of a bunch of different recipes that adhere to different diets. Each recipe is indicated as AIP or Whole 30, and so not all recipes are AIP. Make sure you look closely when you look through this post.

25+ AIP Pantry Staples You Need To Get Started – Exactly what it sounds like! If you’re going to do AIP long-term (or at least a month), you should check this out. I suggest committing to AIP for a certain length of time if you’re going to use this post as a guide because it will be expensive to replace what you currently have in your pantry. I’m sure you already have some of this, just not all of it.

Top 10 Autoimmune Protocol Recipes – These look so good! I understand why they’ve earned the ranking they have.

65 Healing AIP Smoothie Recipes – Not sure how you can completely change your diet? Start with smoothies. Drink up all that goodness!

20+ AIP Lunches – These are broken into different categories, including meat & fish and veggies & salad. No matter what type of food you usually like to eat for lunch, this should help you find a good replacement.

The Ultimate List of AIP Comfort Food Recipes – I think this might actually be the only list of autoimmune paleo recipes you ever need. There are so many different recipes that you should be set for a while!

Have you tried autoimmune paleo? What did you think?

Like this post? Check out:

What I’ve Learned about Life from My Autoimmune Disease, A Day in the Life of an Arthritis Patient, 4 Reasons To Meal Prep

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  • Reply Taylor Corbett

    “However, while I’m questionable about leaky gut and permanently healing an incurable chronic illness with food, I recognize that it’s possible to majorly help your body with this diet if you have an autoimmune disease.”


    So many people think natural cures completely heal severe chronic diseases, but in reality, they are great aides to modern medicine!

    January 16, 2018 at 6:30 pm
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Exactly! Natural treatments + modern medicine is best, in my opinion.

      January 25, 2018 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Kate the (Almost) Great | Boston Lifestyle Blog - 10 Simple Self Care Methods That Will Improve Your Life | Boston Lifestyle

    […] Beginner’s Guide: Autoimmune Paleo Diet, Tips for Working from Home, My 2018 TBR List, My Favorite Face Masks […]

    June 22, 2018 at 7:31 am
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