More Info on The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)

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Hi Sarah, Thanks for all of this helpful information. I have never been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition but have been struggling with moderate to severe digestive issues (ranging between constipation and diarrhea, always with severe bloating and gas) and occasional joint pain and stiffness for a long time. I have been following a paleo diet on and off for two years, and on much more strictly for about six months, with limited success. I seem to react differently to the same foods, there is no pattern – I can never pin point what is bothering me, which led me to think that my underlying issue is a leaky gut.

I am considering trying the AIP to see if that does the trick. Is the protocol worthwhile for people without autoimmune diseases? I have already given up grains, dairy, all sugar and processed food, soy, and legumes.

It is the most nutrient-dense version of the Paleo diet, with all of the “gray” area foods removed, so yes, worthwhile if you aren’t seeing improvements on standard Paleo. Something to try first though might be digestive support supplements (Betaine HCl is contraindicated in some circumstances so check with a doctor, pancreatic enzymes, plant enzymes and ox bile, also many all-in-one formulas available) and a focus on increased sleep and stress management.

This seems like it is a silly question, but I’m at my wits end and would love your input. I’ve been trying to figure out my 2 year old’s skin issues (not sure if it’s eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis? Lots of bumps all over her body, but especially bad breakouts on her face with lots of redness and almost acne like…). So, finally realized that it might be because of what I’m feeding her so we have had her eating paleo- that wasn’t enough so realized I just need to bite the bullet and put her on AIP to figure this out. Here’s the silly question: Are sweet potatoes classified under ‘potatoes’ for foods to avoid? I thought they’d be fine since they’re paleo-friendly, but gave her a sausage/kale/sweet potato mix for breakfast and her skin, which had been clearing up completely broke out again. REALLY appreciate what you do for all of us. Thanks.

They are considered paleo and AIP, although it’s possible that your daughter has a sensitivity to them. The first culprit I would look at though is the seasonings in the sausage (red pepper, cayenne, paprika?).

Hi! I have been coming to your site quite often in the last few weeks gathering info from you, as well as, and I must say that your recipes have been super yummy! I suffer from hidradenitis suppurativa and based on the info from, I have decided to go paleo AIP. Surprisingly, my husband and 2 year-old are embracing the change in our meals, but I am still getting resistance from my 9 year-old. What meals do your kids love best?
Thank you!

Sarah has a section of “kid staple” recipes here: (although not all of them are AIP). You can view all AIP recipes here: You can read her posts about feeding kids here: (scroll down for sections for older kids). You may also want to join our new The Paleo Approach Community group on Facebook and seek support there. The group has over 4,000 members, you can request to join here: — Tamar (Sarah’s assistant)

Hi, I have been battling with weightloss after I had my thyroid removed a few years ago. I also have a minor case of cirhossis. For a couple of years, I have exercised my butt off and ate clean in regards to processed foods, sugars and etc. I have found that I need to keep myself in a very narrow range in regards to eating and exercising which really borders on OCD. Recently, due to an injury, I have not been able to exercise and put on about 30lbs. Recently learned of the Paleo diet but someone suggested the AIP protocol. My wife has realized that she is gluten intollerant (maybe we all are!!) so there is a lot that we have a base understanding. My biggest problem is that at some point, when I lose weight again, I will hit a level and won’t be able to lose more. Is this something that the AIP/Paleo can help?

Any information regarding Paleo and Thyroidectomies would be appreciated too

That’s a hard question to answer. Certainly, the AIP is a great diet for weight regulation (so if you’re overweight you will probably lose weight and if you’re underweight you will probably gain weight) due to micronutrient suffiency, hormone regulation, and blood sugar regulation. But, it can’t help if the weight that you want to be is not actually a healthy weight for you (and this is pretty common for people to want to be 10-20 pounds lighter than what is actually a good weight for them). And, your ability to lose weight will be very influenced by whether or not the dose of your thyroid hormone is accurate.

If you have hypothyroidism, and you’ve been tested to see if your glucose intolerant, would the AIP diet be of any use?

starches are not “paleo friendly” and are best avoided right? and this includes tapioca rihght?
and legumes/beans are paleo right?but only..if properly soaked etc? would they be paleo if they were srpouted? and that they were an advanced i ahve leaky gut and adrenal fatigue..then i shouldnt add them in until leaky/adrenal are healed? so even rooibos..peanuts..mequite..etc should be avoided? (cuz they are all legumes/beans right?
rice is a grain right?
is potato a starch or anightshade?
is soy paleo? what about fermented soy? would fermented soy otherwise be ok for thosse w/o thyroid probs or leaky gut?
is xylitol ok/paleo? what about xanthan guM?
thanks you guys!

Starches are not eliminated on Paleo, only those that come from grains or legumes. Legumes (including peanuts) are not considered Paleo, although green pods (like peas and green beans) are a gray-area food you may choose to include or reintroduce if they do not cause symptoms for you. Rice is a grain, white potatoes are nightshades, and soy of all kinds is a legume. Sarah does not recommend additives like xylitol or xanthan gum because they are gut irritants. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

thanks! what would some examples of starches be that are paleo safe and that dont come from grains/legumes? potato st? tapioca st? can i get a full list? ok so even if legumes are soaked/sprouted they still are not paleo, right? (aka there not even considered an “advanced” paleo food?) and rooibos..peanuts..mequite are legumes right?ok so xylitol and xanthan gum would not be considered paleo right? thanks so mcuh! ok so soy (even fermented is not paleo) would it otherwise be ok for those that dont have leaky gut/adrenal fatigue?

Hi Amanda, If you search Sarah’s website here, with any of your questions, I’m pretty sure she has written about it! The search bar is on the right under the FB links. Hover your cursor over the links in the menus: About, Inquiries, Eating Paleo, Living Paleo, Ingredients, etc. -Diana

ok so teh safe starches are all only veggie starches then? and potato and tapioca and arrowroot starches would be considered paleo then? am i missing any that come in handy as far as cooking goes? i didnt see anythiong on the site about my ? in regards to srpo9uted/soaked legumes..can u help or give me a link or something? didnt see anything about xylitol or xanthan gum…so are they paleo ro not? im thinking xanthan gum isnt right?

ok so even soaked and sprouted legumes would not be considered paleo then right? and would stil cotnain harmful lectins?

Legumes are not considered Paleo, especially if you are on the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP). People with healthy guts might tolerated them occasionally, but I haven’t seen anyone recommending legumes as part of a regular paleo lifestyle. If you have gut or auto-immune issues, just stick with real food. Focus on eating vegetables and protein and fats. If you are trying to lose weight don’t eat too many starchy vegetables. However, if you are dealing with low thyroid, you might find adding in the starchy vegetables helps with energy levels. Use the menus on this website to find answers to most of your questions. They are really helpful! :)

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