While I’m not about to delve deep into the science behind the AIP or attempt to re-write some exceptionally well presented and well researched material that’s already available online, I will give you a quick synapses here and point you in the right direction to the BEST resources possible.
AIP stands for Autoimmune Protocol, or as some call it, the Autoimmune Paleo diet. This diet however, differs considerably from the standard Paleo diet, so this is where we need to start. Let’s dispel any myths and give you a good foundational understanding of the AIP, the whats and whys.
The approach simplifies foods into two categories, either they promote health (nutrients) or they undermine health (because they have inflammatory compounds). That said, the protocol calls for stricter guidelines for which foods should be eliminated from our diet to help us begin healing from the inside out.
Done properly, the AIP should provide you with a well-round and balanced diet of healthy, satisfying foods.
What will I eat?
Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry! While it has been suggested this is more of a plant powered diet than Paleo, trust me you won’t be stuck eating nothing but soups and salads or eating like a little bird. It’s not a radical diet heavily weighted with fats and proteins or a carb-loader … we’re talking simply about a well balanced diet of real food – nothing scary (but facts are facts, most people don’t eat enough nutrient dense veggies, so you will be eating more of those)!
If you want to put a cool label on it, feel free to call yourself a nutrivore!
The AIP is a specialized elimination diet based on the Paleo diet. It is a starting point, a template – one that you will customize to your personal health condition and nutritional requirements, and you’ll adapt it as you go.
The primary focus of the AIP is that of nutrient density. It includes high-quality and in-season vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meat and poultry, grass-fed organ meat and wild-caught seafood.
The AIP eliminates many of the foods typically found in the standard Paleo diet, foods that may adversely effect and overstimulate the immune system causing inflammation in the body and damage to the gut.
The protocol starts with the elimination of the top food allergens: gluten/grain, dairy, eggs, soy, nightshades (like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.), legumes, nuts, seeds, alcohol, refined sugars and in some cases shell-fish (only necessary if you have an allergy). This may sound like a lot, but AIP gets you thinking outside the box and you’ll be ADDING lots of amazing foods to your diet.
Elimination is not forever! Before you freak out, it’s important to know that the AIP is NOT overly restrictive as some believe, it does not create eating disorders and it does not require a permanent elimination of all of these foods. Careful reintroduction of foods back into your diet will be important, but that will come only once you have seen significant improvement in your condition. But we’ll get to that later.
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