AIP stands for the autoimmune protocol. It is a way of eating for those who need to really heal their gut. It eliminates grains, dairy, legumes, refined sugar, eggs, nightshades, and nuts/seeds. I assure you, you can still eat delicious and nutritious food without these things!
Grains include: corn, barley, durum, oats, millet, rye, wheat, rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, etc. Grains are extremely hard to ignore as there are many hidden sources of corn. The Paleo Mom has a great resource for this in her book ‘The Paleo Approach’.
Dairy includes: butter, milk, yoghurt, cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, whey, ghee, heavy cream, etc.
Legumes: any type of bean as well as peanuts, soy, and peas. Soy finds its way into everything in the form of ‘soy lecithin’ in many processed foods so be on the lookout for that.
Refined sugar: Any sugar that has been refined or added to a food or liquid. Sugar hides under many names so this is one to be on the lookout for as well! Hidden names for sugar include: high fructose corn syrup, disaccharides, polysaccharides, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, fructose,glucose, lactose, rice extract, molasses, sorbitol, etc. You get the picture. Sneaky sneaky sugar. This includes non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia.
Eggs: any type of egg.
Nightshades: As Sarah Ballentine describes them, “Nightshades are a botanical family of plants, more technically called Solanaceae. These plants all have certain characteristics in common (like the shape of the flower and how the seed is arranged within the fruit.” Nightshades include peppers and the spices derived from them, tomatoes, eggplant, goji berries, paprika, and potatoes just to list a few.
Nuts/seeds: any nut or seed and the spices derived from them. These include chocolate and coffee.
Alcohol and NSAIDS, emulsifiers, thickeners, and other food additives
Just as there are things that should be eliminated, there are also things that should be incorporated into your diet, these include:
Organ meat, vegetables of all kinds, quality meats (look for grass-fed and/or pasture raised), quality fats (grass fed and/or pasture raised animal fats, fatty fish, avocado, olive, coconut, and palm), fruit (keep fructose level between 10-20g/day), fermented foods, and lots of bone broth!
This is a LOT. However, this is meant to be a temporary elimination diet in order to heal your body and lower inflammation. Most people do it for as long as they need (from as little as one month up to two years) depending on the severity of their autoimmune condition and then slowly add things back into their diet in a very specific way.
I hope this helps you understand what the Autoimmune Protocol is all about!
For further resources on the AIP check out The Paleo Mom!