Beginner’s Guide to the Autoimmune Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is known for being somewhat of a fad these days, with celebrities touting its many benefits. But is there more to it than that? Our nutritionist Bri gives us a basic run down of the paleo-diet evolution.

The original paleo diet

In a nutshell (but not a peanut shell), the paleo diet is designed to be a very clean and whole-foods based diet. Devotees claim that it’s: anti-inflammatory, very low in processed foods, packed full of antioxidants from all the veggies, as well as being moderately high in red meat (which keeps the carnivores happy).

The autoimmune paleo diet

The Autoimmune Paleo diet (or AIP diet) is based upon the garden-variety paleo diet, but with much stricter “rules”. It is most often used as a management technique for autoimmune conditions (says it right there on the box!), including Rheumatic conditions, Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease, Lupus, and Coeliac disease to name a few. It follows the same anti-inflammatory concept as the paleo diet, but also acts on reducing or preventing the autoimmune response, reducing symptoms of the autoimmune condition, and preventing secondary autoimmune conditions from developing.

Paleo food exclusions

Both the paleo diet and autoimmune paleo diet exclude foods thought to be inflammatory or anti-nutritive, including:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten and grains
  • Pseudo-grains such as quinoa
  • Legumes and pulses (including peanuts and soy)
  • Vegetable oils (apart from olive and coconut oil)
  • Sugar and sugar substitutes (apart from small amounts of honey and maple syrup)

Autoimmune paleo exclusions

The autoimmune paleo diet goes one step further and excludes:

  • Nightshades – tomato, white potato, chilli, capsicum, eggplant, etc
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Any food additives (preservatives, colours, etc)

Auto-immune paleo inclusions

I can see your eyes widening as the list goes on, after all it does exclude a lot of staples that are generally considered healthy choices for our bodies. So, what can you eat while on an autoimmune paleo diet?

  • Vegetables (though not those nightshades)
  • Leafy herbs
  • Organic meats and locally caught fish
  • Coconut milk
  • Olive, coconut, and avocado oils
  • Small amounts of low-sugar fruits
  • Fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir
  • Bone broths
  • Occasional small amounts of honey and maple syrup

Creative recipes abound

It might seem like a small list, but there are some very creative food bloggers out there, making dishes like “spaghetti Bolognese” with zucchini noodles and a beetroot-based sauce and delicious aromatic coconut-chicken soups.

Get in touch with Bri

If you think the autoimmune paleo diet would suit your needs, or you’d just like to have a chat about what a Clinical Nutritionist could offer you, don’t hesitate to book your free, no-obligation phone call with Bri here or call the clinic on 1300 03 03 25.