Autoimmune Protocol Diet

How does the AIP diet function?

The AIP diet mirrors the paleo diet in both permitted and restricted food types and follows a similar phased structure. Many view the AIP diet as a more stringent version of the paleo diet due to their resemblance.

The AIP diet involves two key phases:

Elimination Phase

In the initial phase, termed the elimination phase, the focus is on excluding foods and medications suspected of triggering gut inflammation, disrupting gut bacteria balance, or causing immune responses.
Foods like grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, nightshade vegetables, eggs, and dairy are entirely off the table. Tobacco, alcohol, coffee, oils, food additives, refined sugars, and specific medications (such as NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, and high-dose aspirin) are also avoided.
However, this phase encourages the intake of fresh, nutrient-dense foods, minimally processed meats, fermented foods, and bone broth. It emphasizes lifestyle enhancements like stress management, improved sleep, and physical activity.
The duration of this phase varies, often until noticeable symptom reduction. Typically lasting 30–90 days, some might witness improvements within three weeks

Reintroduction Phase

Once symptoms alleviate, the reintroduction phase commences. Foods previously excluded are reintroduced gradually, one by one, gauging individual tolerance levels.
The objective here is to pinpoint which foods trigger symptoms and reintroduce those that don’t, broadening the dietary spectrum while steering clear of problematic foods. Each food is reintroduced separately, allowing 5–7 days before the next reintroduction.
Foods well tolerated can be reintegrated, while symptom-inducing ones remain off-limits. Remember, food tolerances can change, prompting periodic retests for initially failed foods.

Step-by-Step Reintroduction Protocol

An outlined approach to reintroduce eliminated foods:

  • Choose: Select one eliminated food.
  • Trial: Consume a small quantity a few times on test day, then avoid it for 5–6 days.
  • Observation: Start with a tiny amount, wait for reactions. Increase to a larger portion if symptom-free for 2–3 hours.
  • Assessment: Monitor for symptoms over 5–6 days without reintroducing other foods.
  • Reintegration: If symptom-free, gradually reintroduce and repeat the process with a new food.

Avoid reintroducing foods during periods of heightened inflammation like infections, inadequate sleep, high stress, or after intense workouts. Specific reintroduction orders, like starting with low-lactose dairy, may be recommended for certain foods.