What Is The AIP Diet?

guest blog post by Dr. Jason Ciaramitaro

Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is an elimination diet that focuses on removing potentially problematic foods in order to eliminate the inflammatory process that occurs in the gut when consuming foods to which one is intolerant. This inflammatory process is a result of what is called “leaky gut,” -- one of the root causes of autoimmune disease. 

AIP is similar to the more popular paleo diet, which focuses on consuming only meats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and healthy oils. Foods eliminated on the paleo diet are grains, legumes/soy, dairy, sugars, vegetable oils and all processed foods. AIP also eliminates these, as well as eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds and alcohol. 

Eventually, foods can be added back into the diet in what is called the elimination-provocation process. This process involves removing all offending foods for a period of time, allowing the gut to "reset" and then reintroducing the foods one at a time while noting any adverse reactions.

The rigidity of the AIP program is challenging and long-term maintenance is difficult. Eliminating such a large array of foods leaves one with very few options, especially when dining out. In addition, when reintroducing a food back into your diet, reactions aren’t always noticeable. You can have an inflammatory response without any symptoms.

An easier approach is to discover your individual food sensitivities and create a diet that is tailored just for you. There are two options to make your life easier if you suffer from an autoimmune disease: food sensitivity testing by a functional medical practitioner (which can be very expensive and has limited reliability) or neuro-lingual food allergy testing, which provides on-the-spot results.

Sara Graham