The Autoimmune Protocol Guide to Fats

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In my last article I gave a little personal background on my decade of low-fat vegan dieting and how I believe it contributed to my ill-health, as well as gave you a bunch of reasons why fat is incredibly necessary for the optimal functioning of the human body. Here I have prepared a little guide on fats, as they apply to someone on the autoimmune protocol.

Saturated Fats are highly stable and are the best fats to use for cooking. All of the carbon atoms are saturated, which lends to their dense structure and being solid at room temperature. They are found in tropical oils and animal fats.

Monounsaturated Fats are moderately stable and best for cold applications. They are missing two hydrogen atoms and instead have one double bond between carbons, making them liquid at room temperature. Contrary to popular belief, monounsaturated fats should not be cooked with and should be kept in an opaque container away from any heat source. They are found in olives, avocados, nuts and their oils.

Polyunsaturated Fats are highly unstable because they have many missing hydrogens and lots of double bonds between carbon atoms. They are extremely reactive and oxidize when heated, exposed to light or improperly stored. They are found in seed oils like canola, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, etc.

Since the autoimmune protocol cuts out processed foods, it is easy to avoid the industrial seed oils prevalent in our modern diet, but the one mistake I see a lot of people make is cooking with olive oil. You should always be cooking with a saturated fat. My favorite is coconut oil, but I also use tallow or lard frequently.

Quality is extremely important when you are looking at sourcing healthy fats for your pantry. It is very important to get fat from animals that have been raised organically and grass-fed or pastured. If you are purchasing tropical oils like coconut or palm, make sure to buy organic. For olive and avocado oils, make sure to purchase from a reputable company that cold-presses and stores their product in dark containers (monounsaturated fats are easily oxidized by heat and light).

Fats to use on the Autoimmune Protocol:

Fats Suitable For Cooking (Saturated)

Coconut Oil
Duck and Goose Fat
Palm Oil

Fats Suitable For Eating Cold (Monounsaturated)

Olive Oil
Avocado Oil

Otherwise Healthy Fats Avoided on the Autoimmune Protocol:

Nut Oils
Cold-Processed Seed Oils (sesame, flax)

Fats Everyone Should Avoid:

Processed oils
Margarines and spreads
Partially hydrogenated oils
Hydrogenated oils
Industrial seed oils (canola, cottonseed, corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, peanut, grapeseed)

What is your favorite way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet?

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Marinka says

    While I always cook in coconut oil, it’s rather expensive and I already use quite a lot of coconut throughout the day. Variation is key, so you just inspired me to ask my local meat supplier for beef fat (from grass-fed animals) so I can render my own tallow and start cooking in it. Thanks!

    • autoimmunepaleo says

      Yes, I love switching it up! I also buy coconut oil by the gallon from Amazon… its much cheaper to find a bulk source and render your own though!

      • Cindy Thornton says

        What do you think about the Mediator Release Test? It would seem to me that one could take the test and “eliminate” the elimination phase on AIP. Any thoughts about the accuracy/validity of this test?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Cindy,
          I haven’t heard of that, but we generally don’t recommend testing to bypass or skip the work of the elimination phase.

  • Eileen says

    Can you explain further why you are so against cooking with olive oil? Its smoke point is actually a little higher than coconut oil: .

    • autoimmunepaleo says

      Eileen –
      It isn’t about the smoke point – olive oil is mostly monounsaturated fat, which means that it is less stable than a saturated fat because the carbons are not all saturated with hydrogen (which means that it has more unstable points to react with other substances and “oxidize”).

      Olive oil should be cold pressed and kept in an opaque bottle in order to stay fresh. I use it in salads and to drizzle over dishes after they have been cooked, but I never cook with it.

      It probably isn’t a huge deal for quick low-heat cooking, but I don’t want to take the chance eating a rancid fat, especially with autoimmunity. Especially if digestion is compromised (i.e. leaky gut), those rancid fat molecules can really do a number on the immune system.

      This is a pretty good article on the subject –


      • Eileen says

        Thanks for the link. They’ve convinced me that EVOO is more nutritious raw, but I don’t see it as being dangerous when cooked below the smoke point. Rancidity & oxidation are a greater risk when you store your olive oil poorly. One thing about the WHFoods article is that their temperature information is inaccurate. The smoke point of olive oil is significantly higher than the 200-250 they claim. (Provided it’s the real thing, and not the fake olive oil often sold in the grocery stores today.) I wrote a detailed post about that, if you’re interested:
        WHFoods also exaggerated the stovetop frying temperatures as being 375-525, when 350 is standard. Since they were wrong on those basics, I do question some of their conclusions. Here’s an alternate view from Mark Sisson, who thinks it’s fine to cook with olive oil: .
        I agree with Mark, so we might just have to agree to disagree here. I still love your blog, and we all need to make the choices that make sense to us. Here’s to the health of all of us!

        • autoimmunepaleo says

          Eileen –
          I was basing my opinion on what they teach us in my nutritional therapy course – our source is an excellent book called “Know Your Fats” by Dr. Enig. Her book is incredibly in-depth and amazing, I highly recommend it if you want to look deeper into fats! She lists olive oil as having a smoke point of 280 degrees, which is higher than the WH foods article, but still quite low for cooking.

          At the end of the article by Mark Sisson he says to use olive oil cold on salads, and at most lightly heated. I can definitely get behind that!

          I do disagree that olive oil, even a good product stored properly should be a standard cooking oil for someone on the AIP. A healthy person with excellent digestion can probably handle cooking in olive oil once in awhile, but with leaky gut those rancid oils can really cause problems in the digestive tract, especially when someone is making an effort to eat so clean otherwise and heal their gut.

          I like your article about olive oil quality – that is another topic all together! Its amazing how companies get away with scamming us these days!

          Thanks for the great discussion – I love it! 🙂


          • Nancy says

            Are refined coconut oils okay to use on an elimination diet if they are organic?

          • Mickey Trescott says

            The only refined oil I would use is coconut oil.

          • Lauren Umbaugh says

            Hi Mickey, I really appreciated this discussion as well! I’m newly diagnosed with Hashi and Leaky Gut, and having a tough time getting enough calories as I battle food sensivities and digestion issues while working on the elimination phase. I am looking for a coach to work thru this with, ideally someone who can work with me through meal planning. I’ve tried your 2 week plan and learned a lot but also hit some walls that I’m frankly not educated enough to feel confident getting over. Do you know of anyone who is specifically good with Hashi AND Leaky Gut? And is taking new clients? Much thanks in advance!

          • Mickey Trescott says

            Hey Lauren! Have you checked out the AIP Certified Coach directory?

  • Jenn B says

    Where do you get your good saturated fats to cook with? I cannot find lard.

  • I also became very sick following vegan…and have never felt more alive in my life after eating chicken skin, coconut oil, and steak regularly. Some bodies just need to pay attention to the fat. Thank you for the well-explained break-down.


    • autoimmunepaleo says

      Yes, that is so true! I try not to over do the chicken skin because its so high in omega-6, but a girl’s gotta live a little… 🙂

  • epg says

    Thank you for this clear explanation. Very helpful.

  • Nancy says

    I am struggling with LOTS of debilitating conditions (all immune system related) and am trying to do a quick study of the AIP. Can you please explain why things like ghee and flax oils are avoided on the AIP Protocol? Thanks much and I really, really appreciate your wonderful posts and recipes.

    • autoimmunepaleo says

      Ghee is derived from dairy and flax is a seed, both of which are avoided on the protocol because research shows them to be gut irritants. Although something like ghee might be tolerated by some with autoimmune disease eventually, its best to leave it out in the elimination period. Hope it helps!

      • Jill says

        If seeds are gut irritants, would that include the Chia seed? Have always heard of it being a powerhouse of nutrients/protein/good for immune boost…..but now I am wondering if it is more harm than help for AIP.

        • Mickey says

          Yes, chia seeds are to be avoided while on the elimination diet. I think most of the “superfood” marketing for chia is all hype.

  • My friend says monounsaturated fats are okay for cooking as long as it’s at low temperatures. Is there validity to that?

    • Mickey says

      Yes, they are more stable, but I still wouldn’t cook with them to be on the safe side.

  • kt says

    I took the ALCAT (IgG food sensitivities) and came back with a moderate allergy to beef, coconut, and a minor allergy to pork. Does that take out tallow and lard? I have not been using any of these fats. I have instead been using more ghee, what duck fat I can find, palm oil, and a bit of chicken fat, but just started AIP today. It is important to take ghee out, right? In my case would it be worth keeping in to make sure I get enough saturated fat?

    • Mickey says

      Hi KT, I have heard that allergy testing is wildly inaccurate and changes quickly. How do you feel when you eat those foods? I think an elimination diet is the best way to find out about food allergies. I think the fats should be fine – allergies are to protein, not fat, so I think you should be fine with tallow and lard as long as they are strained well. I would not use ghee while on the elimination diet, but you can reintroduce it later. Good luck!

      • Janelle says

        Hi Mickey, I am about to embark on the AIP, but I too was given the IgG food sensitivities tests. Some of the results were things I’ve never noticed a reaction to. As I don’t want to do the AIP twice, or forever, would you recommend initially cutting the foods out that showed an immune reaction on the tests…or just include them? There are so many differing opinions regarding these tests…I’m honestly tired of researching their validity…and would just like to get going on the AIP! What is your viewpoint?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Janelle, I think you will find Eileen Laird’s article on our site helpful:

          What I do with my clients that have had previous testing is remove additional foods as pinpointed on their sensitivity testing, and then introduce them along with the regular AIP reintroductions. I do not let my clients modify AIP the other way around–say a person who testing shows does not react to eggs still needs to eliminate them. Hope it helps!

  • ava says

    Hi Mickey,
    I am trying to get over my fat-phobia and incorporate more healthy fats. I do use coconut oil, but what about the yummy coconut butter? Is it okay to eat that. Its so yummy and feels sinful but hopefully the fats are good. What are your thoughts

    • Mickey says

      Coconut oil and coconut butter are both excellent fats to include in the diet! 🙂


      • Jamie says

        Hi there- I bought some coconut butter that says it also has 1% hemp oil. Is this AIP compliant?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Jaime, because it contains hemp which is a seed, no, sadly! I wonder why they would put hemp oil in there… coconut has enough fat as it is!

  • Pam Free says

    Mickey, I read somewhere that you buy gold label coconut oil from Wilderness Family Naturals and I just looked it up and it is 75- plus shipping. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s virgin organic coconut oil lately for 5.50 a pound, making it about 40- a gallon. Can you really taste the difference for more than double the price?
    Thanks a lot,

    • Mickey says

      Hi Pam, that actually isn’t the coconut oil I buy–I get the gold label from Tropical Traditions. I pay $250 for a 5-gallon bucket and only buy when they have free shipping. That comes up to $50 a gallon. Its the best quality I have found, much better than the TJ’s in my opinion (I’d recommend trying a small jar of their product though because it is much different than the other coconut oils on the market because it is hand processed, and I know some who don’t care for it).

      Hope it helps!


  • Bee says

    How many grams of fat is optimal per meal/day?

    Same question for protein and carbs?

    I’m transitioning to aip from vegan is to heal loads of imbalances gi/autoimmune/inflammation/endocrine issues

  • jackie says

    Hi, I haven’t read through all the posts, but I was wondering why ghee is on the list of fats to avoid, since it’s pure fat without any lactose or casein. At least the kind I get is (Pure Indian Foods Cultured Ghee). Also, on another note, is cacao (nibs, powder, paste) allowed? I didn’t see it anywhere on the list of foods to avoid or include, unless I missed it.

  • Quinn says

    Thank you for the article. I’ve switched to eating Paleo for couple weeks, but have some inflammation already happening in my body. I don’t cook with any kind of fat, I can’t afford grass-fed beef, but all the meat I buy are organic. I wonder if that is still too much omega 6 fatty acids. Since I also have an autoimmune disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis), I am afraid that it will get worse…

    • Mickey says

      Hi Quinn, have you considered buying beef in bulk? It takes some initial investment and getting a big freezer, but pound for pound many times it is cheaper than buying conventional meat at the store (I think I end up paying around $4 a pound for all cuts).

      I don’t recommend not cooking with fat–your body NEEDS healthy fats to repair tissues, create healthy cell membranes, to assimilate fat soluble vitamins, and many other things. I’d only avoid unhealthy or unnatural fats, like seed oils, hydrogenated oils, and the like.

      Hope it helps!


  • Vanessa says

    I have reactions to olive oil, avocados, coconut products and palm oil. I’m discouraged. I have been using Grapeseed because I don’t know what else to use on my salads that I don’t react to. Tallow and lard are not easy to come buy and I don’t want those on salads. And not sure how to get healthy fats in my diet having to avoid all those oils. It seems to be more complicated since my body is reacting to so many things. :/

    • Mickey says

      I am sorry to hear–are you having trouble digesting the fats, or you think they are causing immune reactions? The reason why I ask is that you may need to enlist the help of a practitioner to help you find digestive supplements to aid with breaking down fats if that is where the issue is.

      I would not eat grape seed oil on AIP, or even otherwise… it is very high in omega-6 and unstable. Have you tried playing around with the quality of olive oil? Many olive oils are cut with canola or soybean and that could be what you are reacting to. I’d try that, in addition to adding some digestive support to see if that is the root of your issue. If not, I would try something like macadamia, walnut, or almond oils as a last resort (although these are technically not AIP.


    • Jamie says

      Heya, I know this is old, but I figured it might help someone else. It sounds to me like a salicylates intolerance caused by leaky gut. I too have on and off issues with it depending on my gut state. Epsom salt helps. It’s usually a lack of sulphur transporters and enzymes which causes it to build up in the body. Best thing to do is go low salicylate temporarily and focus on healing leaky gut. Elemental diet can be useful meanwhile to cover nutritional bases.

  • Kris says

    Hi. My naturopath says good quality, pasteurized butter is ok? Do you disagree?

    • Mickey says

      Kris, dairy of any kind is not allowed on the autoimmune protocol, but high-quality raw dairy is fine for healthy people who tolerate it.


  • angela says

    I would like the name of an oil to be used for temps over 350. Want to fry some sweet potato chips. I understand that neither olive oil nor coconut are good for deep frying. Went online to look at palm oil but am uneasy about the impact on the rain forest. Any suggestions?

    • Mickey says

      Angela, Coconut oil is fine for deep frying, as is any other solid cooking fat–lard, tallow, or duck fat would be great options. Good luck!


  • […] 1 tablespoon solid cooking fat […]

  • Xin says

    Hi, just came across this while looking into poor fat digestion and autoimmunity.

    Notes: Duck fat has higher amounts of omega 3’s and 6’s and probably shouldn’t be consumed regularly for optimum health. The same goes for lard and generally fats from non-ruminant animals. The ratio of 3 to 6 is also worse than ruminants.

    (This is all the animals presupposing grass-fed or not fed grains/allowed to select diet naturally. i.e. evolutionarily appropriate diet for species)

    Tallow from grass-fed ruminants such as beef fat, buffalo/bison fat, lamb/goat fat is very high in saturated fat, with little of the remaining percentage as omega 3 and 6.

    If you’re cooking with lard (from pigs) or duck fat, the omega 3’s and 6’s WILL oxidize.

    They’re not magic, chemically. 🙂

    I’ve personally found that I have lots of trouble with non-ruminant animals and read of many others who have the same.

    I highly suspect that a large group of other people are suffering from not thinking about the omega 3/6 content and oxidation, or just overconsumption of bad 3/6 ratio fats.

    It’s very much worth bearing in mind that bad health effects resulting from any particular action are not always acute and immediate.

    Autoimmune suffers did not get sick, for the most part, via very obvious, immediate bad health from the things which contributed to the disease, and it is no different once sick — there are still factors which we may not be able to correlate directly to the way we feel bad later.

    At the least, I certainly think it’s worth minimizing or avoiding non-ruminant animal fats for awhile and paying careful attention to health.

    Of course, stress, sleep, and a whole host of other factors may out-affect using these fats, so it may be difficult to correlate all the changes in one’s life perfectly with ANY ‘trial period’… and, there are always long-term, insidious, quiet effects.

    Some thoughts for everyone’s consideration.

    P.S. To that end, I highly suspect that some large portion of the general population is in immediate danger of ‘autoimmune disease’ and suffering quiet effects from things considered ‘otherwise healthy’ fats. like dairy fats… and thus, it is not only autoimmune sufferers who should follow the so-called “autoimmune” protocol.

    Our approach to life and health is not far-sighted and prophylactic enough.

    Even among the ancestral community, I see many people pushing their adrenals, sleep, etc. based on the fact that they feel fine NOW — everything is so feeling-based. Feelings are very useful, but I fear for using present feelings as a guide as to whether there is future danger.

    • Cheesefoot says

      At least grass fed has a slightly better ratio. What about salmon eggs, grass fed marrow, and beef brain? Those are all sources of omega 3’s. Just try to balance it i guess….

  • […] your consumption of healthy fats. Every cell in your body is made of 50% fat and your brain is 60-70% fat. We’ve all been […]

  • G says

    Hi, I was wondering if vegetable oil is ok on Paleo or AIP? (Thanks)

  • […] and their parents would cook food in lard.  That’s now pretty much replaced by inflammatory industrial seed oils, sadly.  The good thing about the AIP is that healthy animal fats are encouraged, so go ahead and […]

  • […] calories, and increase your nutrition. That means less AIP-friendly treats, and more vegetables, healthy fats, seafood and organ […]

  • John says

    are these any good?

    i want to reintroduce ghee after i reintroduced eggs.
    Which fat gives the taste similar to butter?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi John,
      Lard and tallow are fine on AIP, but ghee is a stage 1 reintroduction. I don’t tolerate it so I am not familiar with the taste, but most say it is like butter 🙂 Good luck!

      • John says

        I have been of AIP for 3 months and i started with eggs with whites. When I eat them I don’t feel any different, but I never had any symptoms so for me it is super hard. I can probably eat bread and I wont notice anything. I am in silent stage and that is the worse when it comes to testing your reactions.

  • […] Something I found that may be useful to others with autoimmune disease was this from […]

  • […] cortisol to raise the glucose, so you don’t want to drop that low. Eat less carbs and more healthy saturated fats to maintain healthy […]

  • […] However, nausea worsens when blood sugar drops, so keeping blood sugar stable by eating plenty of healthy fats with your carbohydrates is helpful. Other things that can help with nausea are drinking ginger tea, […]

  • Deana says

    Hi Mickey. After being on AIP for over 3 months and RA symptoms worsening I decided to have an MRT test. Needed to see if any foods normally OK on AIP were not necessarily good for my body. It was beneficial as several foods I consumed like pears, olive oil, shellfish, beef, avocados, beets and more turned out to be reactive for me. I assume I cannot use beef tallow or beef bones for broth since I am reactive to beef. Is that correct?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Deana,
      Yes, if you are avoiding beef you would also want to avoid fats from the animal. Hope it helps!

  • […] Solid Cooking Fat—This is one ingredient you can’t go without. Read my guide to cooking fats for discourse about why you should have a solid cooking fat on hand to make your meals. Lard, […]

  • Jeri says

    What about Palm Olein? I see it in commercially prepared plantain chips, but I’m not sure if I should buy them.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Its palm oil, although pretty refined. A lot of people consider them AIP, I choose only to eat them when I’m traveling 🙂

  • Kelley says

    What percentage of the diet should fat be on the AIP protocol?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Kelley,
      It is impossible to say for everyone, as it is not a one-size-fits-all approach! I think it is important to include healthy fats, but the actual percentage depends on how your body feels.

  • Analisa says

    What about spectrum Palm Oil?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Analisa,
      Palm oil is OK on AIP, but I think it is important to choose a sustainable source.

  • Leigh says

    What about eating coconut manna or cocoa butter raw? Is it dangerous?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Leigh,
      I don’t have any issues with coconut butter or manna, as long as you aren’t sensitive to them!

  • Richard says

    Hi Mickey,

    What about sunflower oil? Is it safe to consume for those with an autoimmune disease?


    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Richard,
      Since sunflower oil comes from a seed, it is not included in the elimination phase.

  • Pilar says

    Can sesame seed oil be applied skin? I have autoimmune and there is a lymphatic Therapiest i go to that only used organic sesame seed oil in her protocol to pull toxins out of your lymphs. How long that this elimination gave last? After that you can start including seeds and nuts? There? Etc
    Thank you

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Pilar!
      As long as you don’t have a sensitivity to it applied topically, it should be fine while you are on the elimination diet. Hope it helps!

  • Johanna England says

    What if safflower and canola oils are organic,non-gmo, refrigerated in a light proof container and not heated? I found a product called “MELT” made of virgin coconut oil, blended with flaxseed, hi-oleic sunflower, palm fruit and canola oils. The product is delicious and tastes exactly like butter. How bad is it?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Johanna,
      These oils are not compliant with AIP no matter how they are processed, as they come from a seed source sorry!

  • Leah says

    Can you recommend an AIP acceptable massage oil? Biotone has an organic one but it contains sesame and sunflower oils which I assume would be no-nos. It also contains jojoba and I am not surenabout that? Seems like what you put on your skin should mirror what you are allowed to put in your gut.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Leah! Yes, your thinking is right, but we really only recommend avoiding potential triggers on the skin – gluten, soy, etc. Unless you are very sensitive, most people tolerate seed oils on the skin. Mountain Rose Herbs sells a lot of bulk oils for massage like fractionated coconut, apricot kernel, etc. Hope it helps!

      • Kristin says

        Can i also try etheric sees oils on the skin, during AIP?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Kristin,
          I’m not sure what your question is asking, but seed oils are not included in the diet on AIP, but some people still use them on the skin. Hope it helps!

  • Cathy says

    Is cacao butter allowed ? I don’ eat chocolate, but I would like to make white chocolate

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Cathy, it is not included in the elimination diet, but you can include it as a stage 1 reintroduction.

  • Suzanne M VanRandwyk says

    I have to watch my cholesterol. The animal fats on this list have me worried. How is it possible to cook with animal fats and NOT have your cholesterol go up?

  • Brian says

    I’m just getting started with AIP & appreciate the beginner articles & batch cooking videos. After cooking a couple recipes, I’ve found that I really don’t like the smell or flavor of coconut oil & I’m having trouble eating anything cooked in it without becoming nauseous, which makes it difficult to eat anything. Would you suggest giving coconut oil more time to adjust or can I substitute animal fats in place of anything that calls for coconut oil? Would I use the same amount of animal fat in place of the coconut oil?

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Brian-
      Yes, you can generally sub animal fats whenever a solid cooking fat (like coconut oil) is called for, although if the recipe if for a dessert of some kind that may significantly effect the flavor, so experiment there. You could also try looking for a more refined coconut oil which will generally have less coconut scent/taste.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Brian! I have two suggestions for you – sometimes refined coconut oil can have a completely neutral smell compared to unrefined (what you likely have). You can try that, or you can replace with animal fats, like lard, tallow, duck fat, etc. Good luck!

  • Nicolette says

    I just started the oil cleansing method to try and improve my skin. What are your thoughts on using grape seed oil on your skin? I know it is a no no to cook with. Coconut is drying and olive seems too thick. I’ve been on strict AIP for nearly five months and my joint pain from psoriatic arthritis is now minimal and my Hashimoto’s symptoms are lessening, but my skin has not cleared a bit. I’m getting ready to start reintroducing foods this week. Love your site. It’s been a wealth of knowledge. Thank you.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Nicolette! This is a great question, and my general opinion is that seed oils are OK to try on the skin for those on the elimination diet. Everyone’s skin is different and you may respond better to grape seed! Also a note to maybe check in with your doctor about hormonal imbalances that could be causing breakouts, as this can be a common underlying issue. Hope it helps!

  • Ricki says

    How does one implement the AIP diet if they have told by GI dr to eat low fat due to pancreas issues? My pancreas was severely damaged by allergic reaction to a medical dye contrast so I’ve had to eat less than 20gms a day for the last few years. I also have EDS, POTS, reoccuring gastritis and IBD, and signs of MCAD. Due to these conditions, I keep getting directed to try the AIP diet by other health professionals. I think I’d be even more limited in what I can eat and risk other nutritional issues? I feel stuck!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Ricki! I would definitely reach out to a nutritionist or health coach to help you modify the elimination diet to your doctor’s recommendations. I do think it would be difficult to go very low-fat, but not lower-fat than typical, and I have used this approach in certain situations with my clients in the past. Good luck!

  • Bella says

    Hi Mickey – I’ve just started cooking with coconut oil and I’m confused! I’ve used raw virgin coconut oil, once to fry sea bass and once to roast vegetables (at 400F) and both times the oil gave off a strong smell (almost like burning) and there was some smoke as well. Does this mean I should only be using the oil for lower temps? In your recipes I see you use it and also roast at 400F, so not sure if I’m doing some wrong or unhealthy. Thank you!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Bella! There is a wide variety in refinement of coconut oil, and virgin coconut oil has a much lower smoke point. If you are going to use it for high-temp cooking and frying, I’d make sure to get some refined coconut oil for that. Also, your oven temp might be cooking higher than you think, but I think the culprit is likely the refinement! Hope it helps 🙂

  • […] we’re talking about oils, I commonly get asked what oils to avoid. Like the people behind Autoimmune Wellness, I too avoid the cheap seed oils (I’m food intolerant and reactive to them anyway) such as […]

  • Carolyn says

    Hi Mickey, I recently bought your book and was surprised by talo and lard recommendations for cooking.
    Could you please give me your thoughts on refined Avocado oil for high temperature cooking? I’ve been using it the last few years because it says it’s smoke point is 450 degrees. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

  • Hi there, I was just recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and will be starting an AIP diet in a few days. I am a little confused with some of the information that I have read. I printed off the Foods to Avoid and Foods to Include on the Autoimmune Protocol; but, in the What’s In and What’s Out – it says to NOT include green beans and snap peas (but they are on the list of items to include). So you can see my confusion. I have been eating pretty much a paleo diet for the last year and a half, have occasionally had green beans with no problems. Thanks for all the wonderful information, this whole process seems a little overwhelming at times.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Kim! In the early days, there wasn’t a lot of clarification about those legumes with edible pods – now they are considered “out” during the elimination phase and a stage 1 reintroduction food. Hope it helps!

  • Sam says

    I just bought the terra chips, the ingredients of the chips has canola oil but the chips are gluten-free and non-gmo. Should I eat it or not?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Sam! I don’t tell people directly what to eat or not, but canola oil is not compliant with the elimination phase of the Autoimmune Protocol. Hope it helps!

  • Patricia Polock says

    What cooking oils do you prefer for everyday sautéing if you have coconut sensitivities? I assume
    coconut/palm oils would be eliminated. It seems lard is reserved mostly for baked goods and fried foods. I have leaky gut, and am just realizing after several months of trying to eat aip, that I may be cooking with the wrong oils, ie olive oil and avacado oil.
    Appreciate your blog!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Pat! If you are sensitive to coconut I recommend lard, tallow, or duck fat. Avocado and olive are great for cold/low-heat uses (like salad dressings). Hope it helps!

  • Judy says

    Mickey, what about MCT oil? Is that allowed on AIP?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Judy, yes as it is derived from coconut oil.

  • Lori E Cohen says

    I’m interested to hear what you think of this new research on oils…..still standing firm? Thanks so much for all you do btw.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lori! If you meant to post a link it didn’t come though, I’d love to check it out!

  • Lindah says

    Question 1: Are there any aip compliant oils with neutral flavor besides the refined coconut? Sometimes olive oil is just too strong for salad dressings, and the coconut is obviously too firm. Would the avocado oil be less strong?

    Question 2: Any thoughts on tigernut oil? I’ve seen some other aip blogs talk about it but have never tried it myself.

    Question 3: Are the product links in the post up-to-date? The duck fat states the ducks were fed an all corn diet, but I thought that was discouraged for aip.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lindah! If you get pork leaf lard and render it at low heat, it can actually be very neutral flavored- this is why it is a prized baking fat. Avocado and olive aren’t ideal for high heat cooking, but great for salad dressings. I’ve never used tigernut oil, so I can’t comment on the flavor. We do our best to keep links up to date, but there are thousands of links on the site and manufacturers change their products all the time. With duck fat I think the best source is going to be through a local farmer, although there are some good commercial varieties. If you can get a fat from free-range, foraged ducks that is ideal, but most commercial varieties are going to be raised on grain.

  • Tatsiana DeRosa says

    I’m in shock to learn that avocado oil is not suitable for high heat cooking. That’s what I’ve been using for YEARS thinking it’s the best alternative. Even the bottle that I buy says best for high heat cooking 400-450 degrees. Why would they put that if it’s unhealthy? (Retorical question lol)

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Tatsiana! Just because an oil has a high smoke point doesn’t mean the fats are most stable when cooking. Oil manufacturers are trying to say their product won’t burn at a high heat, but the more unsaturated the fats the more potential to oxidize with high heats. Of all of the liquid oils I think avocado is the “best” for cooking, but I still think it is safer to use a more stable oil like coconut oil. And honestly, ultra high-heat cooking like frying is likely to damage any oil, and I only recommend it sparingly. Hope it helps!

  • Irina Blinnikova says

    What about chicken (organic, grass-fed) fat? Can I use it ?
    Thank you!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Irina! Chicken fat is AIP, but I don’t recommend using it as a primary cooking fat as it is quite high in omega-6 fats (even if the chicken is pasture raised). Hope it helps!

  • Sophia Bedford says

    Palm oil is bad for the environment.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Many foods can be bad for the environment (like pesticide-sprayed crops, conventionally raised meat, etc.), it is up to the consumer to source products that are made ethically and sustainably. There are a few companies producing sustainable palm products.

  • Shay Jordan-Hrobsky says

    To confirm – it’s all butter? Is it just how it’s made? We have avocado butter but I’m confused about that. Thank you 🙂

  • Rosy says

    Hi Mickey, I love grilling and find it is easy to grill batches of vegetables and even make Spatchcock chicken on my cast iron pan in the gas grill. I learned recently that you need to coat the grill with some kind of oil to prevent food from sticking. Question 1: What do you recommend as oil for coating Grill Grates (they say high heat oil)? Question 2: What about smoking with wood? Do you recommend this to use less nomato bbq sauce? Really appreciate all you have done for the community!- AIP Newbee 🙂

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Rosy! I usually use avocado oil to season cast-iron. And I do smoke with wood occasionally, it does have great flavor but isn’t the healthiest.

  • Q1: Is it safe to use safflower oil on your skin as a massage oil?

    Q2: Many dried fruits seem to be prepared with sunflower oil. Should these be avoided when following AIP?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Tracy! Seed oils are generally fine on the skin, unless they cause you an issue, or are used near the mouth where they will be ingested. Sunflower oil added to dried fruits is not elimination-phase compliant. Hope it helps!

  • Angie says

    Can you recommend a good AIP oil to fry with? I’ve been using Organic Olive Oil to cook everything with. *face palm* But I’ve created a couple of recipes for fried foods I miss on AIP but want to use the best oil for a deep fry. Like 3/4 inch deep oil in a frying pan. Again, I’ve been using the olive oil.. Had no idea about it’s smoke point or going rancid. I feel awful that I didn’t know. Thank you so much!

    • Angie says

      Btw, I only fry foods, about once every 6 weeks or so. Just when I get a hankering. I have Hashi and have been on elimination phase for 10 mo. I’m just scared to re-intro and to do it “wrong” or to not be sensitive enough and miss something crucial. Thank you again!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Angie! I am not huge on frying foods, because heating oils up that much is not great no matter which oil we’re talking about! But it can be an OK occasional treat. I would use a solid fat for frying, like lard, coconut oil, or tallow. Hope it helps!

  • A says

    Mickey, when it comes to massage – should grapeseed oil still be avoided? If so, what would you recommend for high quantities used?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi A! The eliminations do not apply topically, so grapeseed oil should be OK used externally (just be cautious on the lips, as that can get ingested easily). Hope it helps!

  • Alexandra says

    Hi Mickey. Can you please elaborate the reintroduction of nuts and seeds oils in phase I reintro? I reintroduced the pumpkin seeds oil, extra virgin sunflower seeds oil, I am thinking of trying some nuts oils in the upcoming weeks. How about the canola oil? Is now the right time to try it or this one will forever be a total no go? I mean, we are advised to proceed with the reintroduction so that we could eventually go to a restaurant and have at least something on their menu. But even the more expensive restaurants usually use hidrogenated / processed / industrial seed oils. So what are the oils that can be reintroduced on phase I reintro? Do they include the ones commonly used in restaurants too? If not, then when can we try to reintroduce those ones? Thank you!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Alexandra! The way you design your reintroduction protocol is totally up to you – some people wait for things like canola, since they will be unlikely to use them in their kitchen, but can be done sooner if you want to be eating restaurant food. Technically they are stage 1 reintroductions. I would just make sure to reintroduce every nut and seed-derived food separately, and slowly. Good luck!

      • Alexandra says

        Hi Mickey. Thank you for your quick answer. My question came through my mind recently, when my cousin was hospitalized for covid complications. In the hospital nobody cares about your AIP diet and, if you are given gluten, nightshades, processed oils, dairy or foods that you haven’t reintroduced yet this can only add to your covid inflammation and make things worse. Just a thought…
        Do you know if this issue has been addressed by some AIP specialists?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Alexandra! Thanks for the question – unfortunately it is really difficult to control for food in a hospital setting (especially for an emergency such as COVID). I personally have some frozen and dehydrated food saved up for this type of situation, in the case they will allow my family to bring me food. Angie addresses how to handle the food piece w/ a planned surgery in this post:

  • Gina says

    Is Spectrum palm shortening aip? The thought of shortening grosses me out but I would love to do more baking. Also is it tolerable for someone who can’t tolerate coconut?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Gina, yes it is allowed in the elimination phase, and sometimes tolerable to someone who is sensitive to coconut, but you’ll want to see how you feel if it is an ingredient you don’t consume regularly. Good luck!

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