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Don't be confused and wonder anymore about what you can eat on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol! Here's a complete AIP food list of what you can and cannot eat with a free printable PDF guide that you can hang up in your pantry.
What are the things you need to AVOID on AIP (and why)
It certainly can be discouraging to see a list of foods on the Autoimmune Protocol and want to cry. It looks like you can barely eat ANY of the foods that you're probably used to. But let's unpack why many of your favorite foods are removed.
Why You Need to Avoid Foods on AIP
The reason certain foods are removed from the elimination diet of the AIP Diet is that scientific research and studies have found that they are:
- potentially allergenic
- may cause or contribute to leaky gut (a major factor in autoimmune disease)
- may cause or contribute to inflammation in the body
- may cause or contribute to the immune system ramping up – producing more autoantibodies against your tissue and not doing the job of protecting you from foreign invaders
When you remove these foods it gives your immune system a rest, lets it heal, and eventually allows it to start to work the way it should.
A good analogy to understand this is firefighters fighting a huge wildfire.
If there are fires in 5 different places in a 100-mile area, there will be bands of firefighters fighting those fires, others in other places trying to prevent the fires from spreading, and then others resting up so they can take the next shift.
If the fire goes on for weeks, the firefighters will be exhausted, not as able to fight as well as they had been, and chances are if a cat runs up a tree somewhere nearby, they won't be able to help.
But if the fires all stop, the firefighters get well-deserved rest, they eat big meals to replenish their energy, and they spend some time with their families, chances are if that cat runs up a tree, it will be rescued easily.
Your immune system basically is a ton of fires trying to be put out all at once.
Don't get overwhelmed with this AIP Food list
A word of caution before you look at this AIP food list below.
This list below isn't meant to be memorized or anything. It's simply a guide you can use when you have the question “Can I have this on AIP?”.
I think you'll find it handy to pull this page up and use the SEARCH function in your internet browser – search for the food item you're wondering about and see where it falls – Allowed or Not Allowed. (Or print out the PDF below and hang in your pantry)
For now, if you're going through this for the first time, just skim through to get the basic idea!
Inspiration for this List
And one more thing to do is give credit where credit is due – I received inspiration from this list via a list I've gotten from my AIP Coaching materials (Mickey Trescott, Angie Alt, Sarah Ballantyne, Jaime Hartman), also a list of Pete Evans, and from my own community who always love to ask questions about what's legal and not!
My hope is to make this the most comprehensive list out there!
If you have a question about something NOT on this list, please comment below and I'd be happy to add it or research to find out where it goes. This will be a living document, so I'll add changes as needed.
What are the Foods You Need to Avoid
Barley, Bulgur, Corn, Durum, Einkorn, Farro, Fonio, Job's Tears, Kamut, Millet, Oats, Rice, Rye, Semolina, Sorghum, Spelt, Teff, Triticale, Wheat (all varieties), Wild Rice
Amaranth, Buckwheat, Chia Seed, Quinoa
Butter, Buttermilk, Butter Oil, Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Cream, Cream Cheese, Milk, Curds, Dairy- protein isolates, Ghee, Heavy Cream, Ice Cream, Kefir, Sour Cream, Whey, Whey-protein Isolate, Whipping Cream, Yogurt
Adzuki Beans, Beans with Edible Pods, Bean Sprouts, Black Beans, Black-eyed Peas, Broad Beans, Butter Beans, Calico Beans, Cannelini Beans, Chickpeas, Edamame, Fava Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Great Northern Beans, Green Beans, Italian Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Mung Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Peanuts, Peas, Runner Beans, Split Peas, Soybeans, Tempeh, Tofu
Processed Vegetable Oils
Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Olein, Peanut Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil
Processed Food Chemicals and Ingredients
Acrylamides, Artificial Food Colors, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Autolyzed Protein, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Carrageenan, Cellulose Gum, Emulsifiers, Guar Gum, Hydrogenated Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lecithin, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Nitrates, Nitrites (naturally occurring ones are ok), Olestra, Palm Olein, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Phosphoric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Textured Vegetable Protein, Trans Fats, Xanthan Gum, Yeast Extract, and any other ingredient with an unrecognized chemical name
Agave, Agave Nectar, Barley Malt, Beet Sugar, Brown Rice Sugar, Brown Sugar, Cane Crystals, Cane Juice, Cane Sugar, Caramel, Corn Sweetener, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Crystalline Fructose, Date Sugar, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Demerara Sugar, Dextrin, Dextrose, Diastatic Malt, Evaporated Cane Juice, Fructose, Fruit Juice, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Galactose, Glucose, Glucose Solids, Golden Syrup, High-fructose Corn Syrup, Invert Sugar, Inulin, Jaggery, Lactose, Malt Syrup, Maltodextrin, Maltose, Monk Fruit, Muscovado Sugar, Palm Sugar, Panela, Panocha, Powdered Sugar, Rapadura, Raw Cane Sugar, Raw Sugar, Refined Sugar, Rice Bran Syrup, Rice Syrup, Saccharose, Sorghum Syrup, Stevia, Sucanat, Sucrose, Syrup, Treacle, Turbinado Sugar, Yacon Syrup
Sugar Alcohols and Artificial Sugars
Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, Erythritol, Mannitol, Neotame, Saccharin, Sorbitol, Stevia, Sucralose, Xylitol
Nuts and Nut Oils
Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Walnuts (and any flavors, flours, butters, oils, or other products derived from nuts)
Seeds and Seed Oils
Chia, Chocolate, Cacao, Cocoa, Coffee, Flax, Hemp Seeds, Poppy, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame, Sunflower, Tahini
(and any flavors, flours, butters, oils, or other products derived from seeds)
Allspice, Anise, Annatto, Black Caraway, Black Cumin, Cardamon, Celery Seed, Coriander, Cumin, Dill Seed, Fennel Seed, Fenugreek, Juniper, Mustard, Nutmeg, Pepper, Poppy, Russian Caraway
Nightshades and Nightshade Spices
Ashwagandha, Bell Peppers, Cayenne Peppers, Cape Gooseberries, Chili Peppers, Chili Spice, Eggplant, Garden Huckleberries, Ground Cherries, Goji Berries, Hot Peppers, Naranjillas, Paprika, Pepinos, Pimentos, Potatoes (sweet potatoes are ok), Sweet Peppers, Tamarillos, Tobacco, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Wolfberries
Chicken eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, quail eggs, or any other type of egg
Beer, Wine, Liquor, or any other form of alcoholic beverages
Trace amounts are ok in kombucha . Alcohol may be ok if cooked off, like in a stew
Other Misc Items
Aloe Vera, Baking Powder, Black Pepper, Chlorella, Dandy Blend, Elderberry, Maca Root, NSAIDs (Aspirin or Ibuprofen), Peppercorns, Psyllium Husk, Slippery Elm, Spirulina, Teechino, White Pepper
Why are these excluded? Many of these can affect the immune system – making it work harder and increase activity, which is the exact thing you're trying to avoid during AIP.
What CAN you eat on AIP?
These are the foods that are included on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.
Antelope, Bear, Beef, Bison, Buffalo, Boar, Caribou, Chicken, Cricket, Deer, Dove, Duck, Elk, Goat, Goose, Grouse, Guinea Hen, Hare, Kangaroo, Lamb, Moose, Mutton, Ostrich, Pheasant, Pig, Pork, Quail, Rabbit, Sheep, Turkey, Venison
If possible, try to get pastured, grass-fed, organic, or wild. I know this doesn't always. fit in with everyone's budget, but do your best and don't sweat it if you can't afford pastured meats. You'll still heal with conventional meats, but opt for lean cuts and cut off any fat as that is where the toxins tend to reside.
Also, both muscle and organ meats are ok, but integrating organ meats at least once a week is encouraged because they have tons of nutrients that your immune system needs.
Fish & Seafood
Anchovy, Arctic Char, Bass, Bonito, Carp, Catfish, Clams, Cod, Crab, Crawfish, Eel, Gar, Haddock, Hake, Halibut, Herring, Lobster, Marlin, Mackerel, Mahi-mahi, Monkfish, Mussels, Octopus, Oysters, Perch, Pollock, Salmon, Sardines, Scallops, Shrimp, Snapper, Sole, Squid, Swordfish, Tilapia, Trout, Tuna, Turbot, Walleye
If possible, get wild caught. Again, don't sweat it if you can't afford it, but look for canned fish as it often is much cheaper than fresh or frozen fillets, etc
Arugula, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Broccoli Rabe, Butter Lettuce, Cabbage, Carrot Tops, Chicory, Collard Greens, Cress, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Iceberg Lettuce, Kale, Lamb's Lettuce, Lettuce, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Napa Cabbage, Radicchio, Romaine, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Purslane, Swiss Chard, Tatsoi, Turnip Greens, Watercress, Winter Purslane
Organic if possible
Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Capers, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Fennel, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, Green Onions, Leek, Nopal, Onion, Ramps, Rhubarb (stems only), Shallots, Scallions, Squash Blossoms, Wild Leeks
Organic if possible
Root Vegetables and Tubers
Arrowroot, Bamboo Shoots, Beets, Burdock, Carrots, Cassava, Celeriac, Daikon, Ginger, Horseradish, Jerusalem Artichokes, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Lotus Root, Malanga, Ñame Root, Parsnip, Radish, Rutabaga, Sweet Potato (any color), Tapioca, Taro, Tigernuts, Turnips, Wasabi, Water Chestnuts, Yacon, Yams, Yucca
Organic if possible
Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash, Squash, Summer Squash, Zucchini
Agar, Arame, Dulse, Hijiki, Kelp, Kombu, Nori, Wakame
Harvested from an unpolluted area if possible
**Be careful if you have Hashimoto's with these high iodine sea vegetables as they can potentially make your condition worse
Acai, Bilberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Currants, Elderberries, Gooseberries, Grapes, Huckleberries, Lingonberries, Mulberries, Muscadine, Oregon Grapes, Raspberries, Salmonberries, Sea Buckthorn, Strawberries
Organic If Possible
Fruits and Melons
Acerola, Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Bitter melon, Blood Oranges, Buddha's Hand, Cantaloupe, Chayote, Cherimoya, Clementines, Coconut, Cucumber, Dates, Dragonfruit, Durian, Fig, Grapefruit, Guava, Honeydew, Horned Melon, Jackfruit, Kaffir Lime, Key Lime, Kiwi, Kumquat, Lemon, Lime, Loquat, Lychee, Mandarin Oranges, Mango, Mangosteen, Melon Pear, Meyer Lemons, Okra, Olives, Orangelo, Orange, Nectarines, Papaya, Passionfruit, PawPaw, Peach, Pear, Persian Melon, Persimmon, Pineapple, Plantains, Plums, Pomegranate, Pomelo, Quince, Rambutan, Rosehip, Star fruit, Tamarind, Tangelo, Tangerine, Vanilla, Watermelon, Winter Melon, Yuzu
Organic if possible
Button, Chanterelle, Cremini, Morel, Oyster, Porcini, Portobello, Shiitake, Truffle, White Button
Organic if possible
Avocado Oil, Bacon Fat, Coconut Oil, Lard, Leaf Lard, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Palm Shortening, Poultry Fat, Red Palm Oil, Salo, Schmaltz (chicken or goose fat), Strutto, Tallow (from beef, lamb, or mutton)
Fermented Meat or Fish, Kombucha, Kvass, Lacto- fermented fruits and vegetables, Non-dairy Kefir, Sauerkraut
Arrowroot Starch/Powder, Cassava Flour, Coconut Flour, Cricket Flour, Green Banana Flour, Plantain Flour, Pumpkin Flour, Sweet Potato Flour, Tapioca Starch, Tigernut Flour, Water Chestnut Flour
Asafetida, Basil Leaf, Bay Leaf, Chamomile, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro (Coriander leaf), Cinnamon, Cloves, Curry Leaf, Dill Weed, Fennel Leaf, Fenugreek Leaf, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish root, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Lavender, Lemongrass, Mace, Marjoram Leaf, Onion Powder, Oregano Leaf, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Salt, Savory Leaf, Spearmint, Tarragon, Thyme, Truffles, Turmeric, Vanilla
Organic if possible
Learn more about what AIP Spices you can eat
Other Misc Items
Active Yeast, Anchovy Paste, Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, Balsamic Vinegar, Capers, Carob Powder, Chutney (no peppers), Coconut Aminos, Coconut Butter, Coconut Concentrate, Coconut Milk, Coconut Vinegar, Coconut Milk Yogurt (check for non-compliant ingredients though), Cream of Tartar, Fish Sauce, Fruit and Vegetable Juice (in moderation), Jams, Matcha Tea, Nutritional Yeast, Pectin, Red Wine Vinegar, Sea Salt, Smoked Sea Salt, Tea, Truffle Oil (made with olive oil), Vanilla Bean Powder, White Wine Vinegar, Yeast, Yerba Mate
Coconut Sugar, Coconut Syrup, Honey, Maple Sugar, Maple Syrup, and Molasses
Trace amounts of cane sugar are ok in kombucha and cured meats
Sweeteners are meant to be used in moderation
What are good things to add to your diet on AIP?
While this AIP food list is helpful for determining what is allowed and not allowed on AIP, it shouldn't be the only thing you use to determine what you eat.
A common problem with AIP is that everyone concentrates on removing foods, but not on making sure you ADD foods that are going to give you the biggest boost nutritionally.
Some foods that are important to try to add to your diet are things like different kinds of seafood and shellfish, a wide variety of vegetables, and organ meats like chicken or beef liver.
These are important because they have SO many nutrients that help replenish the immune system and help it to work optimally.
In fact, the ladies over at Autoimmune Wellness believe that things like organ meats are necessary on AIP , not just “supplemental”.
What if you don't like liver?
I'm with ya – I can't stand the taste of beef liver. Blech!
Yet organ meats are like nature's multivitamin and apparently necessary for optimal immune function. What do you do?
Some organ meats are a lot more palatable than others, like chicken livers for instance, or beef heart.
Or you can try to really hide it in something super flavorful like my AIP Gyro meat and there are some great ideas in the comments of this video I did on organ meats.
I personally find it hard to source organ meats and I don't find myself making them as much as I should, so I prefer to get my organ meats in via a desiccated liver capsule.
Is it ideal? Not sure, but I definitely notice a difference in energy levels, etc if I stop it for a while, so I know it's doing something.
I take the grass-fed pastured liver capsules from Perfect Supplements (this is an affiliate link – use code THRIVING10 to get 10% off your order)
Easy swaps for going AIP
If you're wondering what you can swap for some of your fave foods that aren't on the allowed AIP food list, I've got you covered.
In this post are 20 AIP swaps for common foods that you might be missing.
AIP Food List Printable PDF
If you want a printable version of this AIP Food List, you can grab one in my Paleo & AIP Freebie Library under the AIP section.
It'll be handy to keep in your pantry or kitchen to know what you can and cannot eat while on the elimination part of the Autoimmune Protocol. Note: This list isn't as updated as the post as I'm constantly adding foods to the post as I learn of them, so if you have a question about a food not on the list, check here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The short answer is meats, seafood, most veggies, fruits, and fats. There are some specialty flours allowed to make baked goods, and some other spices and flavor elements to make it interesting.
Yes! Bananas are definitely allowed on AIP!
Unfortunately, no, eggs are not allowed on the elimination portion of the AIP diet because of their potentially allergenic nature and compounds within the egg whites may contribute to leaky gut. They are allowed in the early reintroductions (yolks first, then whites).
No, unfortunately chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are a legume and not allowed during the elimination portion of AIP. They are allowed in Stage 3 of the reintroduction process though!