What’s In, What’s Out On AIP? Answers To Tricky Foods

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to see what that means!

In order to support our blogging activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types or remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

That being said, we only promote authors, products, and services that we wholeheartedly stand by!


Tricky AIP

Are there any foods that make you go “hmmm” while following the AIP? I decided it was time to start compiling answers to these often confusing foods all in one place. Read on to get all the deets on “tricky” AIP foods. And, if you have ideas for future posts about other foods you aren’t sure about, leave me a comment. We’ll try to clarify and clear up the mysteries!

Coffee and Chocolate

Most people know that coffee and chocolate are eliminated initially on AIP, but the “why” is a source of confusion. It is not because they are “beans” and legumes are out. Coffee and chocolate are misleadingly referred to as beans, but they are actually seeds. Seeds contain protective compounds that can be awfully tough on our systems. It is also not because of caffeine content. While caffeine consumption is best kept low on AIP, it is not the basis for food eliminations.

Verdict: Coffee and chocolate are NOT elimination-phase legal.


Okay, before we get started on this one, let it be known that this is a nit-picky area of the protocol. A history lesson could be useful here. Back in the way back, when AIP was first coming on the scene, vanilla was not mentioned as a food to eliminate, it just rested in a no-man’s land. In fact, some of us who started the protocol in those early days never eliminated vanilla at all, as it was not mentioned. Later, it was defined by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (in her book, The Paleo Approach) that vanilla bean, along with other fruit or berry-derived spices, should be avoided during elimination phase, because the seeds of these plants are ground up with the spice. This allowed for gluten-free vanilla extract (where the alcohol will cook off, so best for hot-preparation recipes) or grain-free, sugar-free vanilla powder (which works for cold preparation recipes). In some cases, those in the AIP community use the seeds scrapped from the inside of a vanilla bean, since they can be consumed without chewing them, like many of the seeds in elimination-friendly fruits (more on that below).

Verdict: Gluten-free vanilla extract (alcohol will cook off), grain-free, sugar-free vanilla powder, and possibly fresh vanilla bean scrapings are elimination-phase legal.

Fruits & Vegetable-like Fruits with Seeds

This is often an area of concern for folks trying to carefully comply with the elimination phase of AIP. Foods like berries, kiwis, watermelon, pomegranate, cucumber, zucchini, and even bananas or plantains are not a problem, mainly because we don’t really chew these seeds. Dr. Ballantyne does note in The Paleo Approach that if you aren’t experiencing obvious improvement using AIP, you might consider these small seeds. Why consider them? Because, they do contain small amounts of protease inhibitors. Proteases are a group of many kinds of a digestive enzyme that helps us digest and break apart proteins. For a host of complex reasons, very sensitive individuals might consider this with even the consumption of very small seeds, like those found in the above mentioned foods, if they are having trouble improving their health on the protocol.

Verdict: Fruits and vegetable-like fruits with seeds are elimination-phase legal.

Beans, Peas, and Other Foods from the Legume Family

There’s actually a lot to cover in this category, so let us take it one at a time.

  • Legumes with Edible Pods — This includes green beans, scarlet runner beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, peas, etc. Like vanilla, when AIP first came on the scene, this was not a specific elimination and was very much viewed as a gray-area. Later, Dr. Ballantyne clarified that while generally not a problem, initial elimination with early reintroduction was wise, due to lectin content. If you want some clarity on lectins, check out this article.
    Verdict: Legumes with edible pods are NOT elimination-phase legal.
  • Carob — Carob is a legume with an edible pod, BUT it gets a pass. Why? Because we only consume the ground up pod, not the seeds, as a chocolate substitute. If carob seems to bother you, it may be the fact that it is a high-FODMAP food and smaller servings may work better for you. It is a food that is recommended in The Paleo Approach to consume in moderation anyway.
    Verdict: Carob is elimination-phase legal.
  • Jicama — Jicama is part of the larger legume family as well, however, like carob, it gets a pass. Why? Because we only consume the tuberous root.
    Verdict: Jicama is elimination-phase legal.
  • Rooibos Tea — Again, rooibos is part of the larger legume family, but gets a pass. In this case, we only consume the leaves. It should be noted that, like carob, it is recommended to consume rooibos tea in moderation.
    Verdict: Rooibos tea is elimination-phase legal.
  • Bean or Pea Sprouts — Surprise, these are not okay. The problem is that concentrations of lectins are still pretty high in the sprouts.  You might think this would apply to rooibos too, but mature leaves are less problematic.
    Verdict: Bean or pea sprouts are NOT elimination-phase legal.

Mucilaginous Foods

This category includes aloe vera, slippery elm, chia, and flaxseed, all of which produce thick, mucous-like gels. Dr. Ballantyne recommends a great deal of caution with these foods for a number of reasons; they can hinder digestion, in some cases are high in phytic acid or high in phytoestrogens, and are shown to modulate the immune system. All of these effects can be problematic for those with autoimmune disease.

Verdict: Aloe vera, slippery elm, chia, and flaxseed are NOT elimination-phase legal.


This one confuses lots of folks. Peppercorns come from trees or shrubs and are their fruit, hence why they are removed like other fruit and berry-based spices. Black, white, and green peppercorns all come from the same tree (color is the result of harvesting or treatment processes), while pink peppercorns can come from a different tree family. The heat from this spice is not the same as the heat from nightshade peppers — it is from a chemical called piperine, not capsaicin. In The Paleo Approach, it is recommended to be cautious with pepper and eliminate initially, with a likely early reintroduction. In the early days of AIP, it was one of those foods that was not initially eliminated, but later clarified.

Verdict: Peppercorns are NOT elimination-phase legal.

Sweet Potatoes

Folks, let’s put this one to bed…sweet potatoes are not the same as white potatoes. It is not part of the nightshade family, unlike the white potato, which is a nightshade. Sweet potato is a starchy root veggie, different from a yam, but both very nutritious. The flesh can be beige, white, red, purple, yellow or orange, but again, flesh color, even white or purple, does not mean it is part of the nightshade potato family (which we eliminate).

Verdict: Sweet potatoes (and their often mistaken cousin, yams) are elimination-phase legal.


Okay, this is going to ruffle feathers, but let’s clear this one up. Coconut is really different from tree nuts. The coconut palm is not technically a tree, it’s related to grass. All the tree nut allergy folks should now try to calm down (everyone who is trying to get offended, breathe deep…I am in no way insinuating a tree nut allergy is not life-threateningly serious). Dr. Ballantyne recommends that we use moderation with whole coconut and coconut products, due to phytic acid and very high inulin fiber content. This moderation caution doesn’t apply to coconut oil which doesn’t contain phytic acid or inulin fiber.

Verdict: Coconut is elimination-phase legal.


Stevia is a sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of a plant. Lots of folks in the larger health and wellness community looooove stevia and trumpet its amazingness far and wide. Guess what? It can mess with our hormones in a big way, which is a huge problem for those with autoimmune disease. The science here is complex, but if you want all the nitty-gritty, check out this article.

Verdict: Stevia is NOT elimination-phase legal.

Onions, Garlic, and other High-FODMAP Foods

Certain foods can be high in particular kinds of sugar (the acronym FODMAP stands for the chemical names of those sugars) that, in the case of a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine (SIBO), can be fermented by the bacteria. This causes incredible bloating, pain, nausea, flatulence, belching, diarrhea, or constipation for those with an overgrowth. Onions and garlic are among the highest-FODMAP foods and are also among the most commonly used on AIP, because we rely so much on them for flavoring. Despite this, we don’t eliminate these foods, because SIBO is not an issue across the board for those with autoimmune disease. IF you have autoimmune disease AND SIBO, it can help to temporarily eliminate or reduce FODMAP consumption, because it helps control symptoms. (Note that controlling symptoms is not the same as treating the bacterial overgrowth. SIBO cannot be treated with diet alone.)

Verdict: High-FODMAP foods are elimination-phase legal.


For those with diagnosed Celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity (all autoimmune disease has a very high association with gluten-sensitivity), there are some foods that your body may mistakenly identify as being the same as gluten and begin producing antibodies to that food. The list of the common foods associated with “mistaken identity problem” was developed by Cyrex Labs, which also has a test to help you identify if you have cross-reactivity to any of them. The standout food on the list that many people still consume during the AIP elimination phase is tapioca (the same thing as cassava or yucca). Much like the FODMAPs above, we don’t eliminate tapioca, because cross-reactivity is not an issue across the board and even if you do experience cross-reactivity, it may not be to tapioca. Additionally, some people may not tolerate cassava well due to its high-starch content, but not necessarily because their body is cross-reacting to it. If you aren’t experiencing obvious improvement using AIP, you might consider eliminating cassava to see if you do better or being tested for cross-reactivity. This article has tons of further detail.

Verdict: Cassava is elimination-phase legal.

Evening Primrose Oil

This oil is made by cold-pressing the seeds of a flowering plant. It has many therapeutic uses, most centered around female hormone balancing. However, as it is derived from a seed, it is removed during the elimination-phase of AIP. (Caution! If you’ve been prescribed Evening Primrose Oil, it is best to consult with your doctor, before eliminating it. There are possible substitutes, but those decisions should be made with a professional.)

Verdict: Evening Primrose Oil is NOT elimination-phase legal.


Tigernuts are not nuts. They are tubers which are dried after harvest and then used in a variety of ways (from “milks” to flour). They are very high in resistant starch (starch our bodies can’t digest, sometimes called “prebiotic”), which makes them a food that doesn’t work as well for some folks.

Verdict: Tigernuts are elimination-phase legal.


Pectin is a fiber found in fruits, especially apples. It is often used for thickening jams for canning and can be used in baking as a binder. It is best in moderation on AIP, because the extra fiber can be hard for some folks to digest.

Verdict: Pectin is elimination-phase legal.

Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Cream of Tartar

Baking soda is also called sodium bicarbonate. It can be both mined and produced. Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda, an acid (usually cream of tartar), and corn starch. Both are used to make things rise and expand in baking, but baking soda is alkaline, while baking powder has some acid. Obviously, baking powder is removed on AIP due to the cornstarch, however, simply combining baking soda and cream of tartar creates baking powder.

Verdict: Baking soda and cream of tartar are elimination-phase legal, but baking powder is NOT.

Caffeinated Tea (Green or Black)

AIP is a coffee-free (see above), but not a caffeine-free protocol. Green and black teas can be consumed, but due to the caffeine it’s generally advised to drink them earlier in the day and in moderation. It is also important to read labels carefully, as many teas have soy lecithin or other additives that are avoided on AIP. If adrenal fatigue is part of your health picture, you’ll want to work to eliminate caffeine entirely.

Verdict: Caffeinated teas are elimination-phase legal.

About Angie Alt

Angie Alt is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness. She helps others take charge of their health the same way she took charge of her own after suffering with celiac disease, endometriosis, and lichen sclerosis; one nutritious step at a time. Her special focus is on mixing “data with soul” by looking at the honest heart of the autoimmune journey (which sometimes includes curse words). She is a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy Consultant through The Nutritional Therapy Association and author of The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook: Eating for All Phases of the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook. You can also find her on Instagram.


  • Laneene says

    Wow! Thanks for this post. Certainly cleared up a lot of things for me. So,so glad I found your site and am using your books. You all take the ‘scary’ out of AIP. 🙂

    • Angie Alt says

      Hahaha! Laneene, you inspired my new tag-line. “Taking the scary outta’ AIP.” Glad it helped!

      • Ally says

        Can you have chickpeas on Autoimmune diet?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Ally, no chickpeas are not included in the elimination phase because they are legumes.

          • patricia says

            Is AIP compliant? What about flavored sparkling water (eg LaCroix Curate)?

            thank you 🙂

          • Angie Alt says

            Hi Patricia! It’s wise to be skeptical of anything labeled “natural flavors,” It’s a good idea to “investigate” a little when you see that. In the case of La Croix, their website says this about their flavoring, “All natural flavors are essences or oils derived from the named fruit, i.e., lime / lime oils. There is nothing artificial in LaCroix – enjoy!” Now, essential oils are used a lot in food manufacturing (for instance rosemary extract is used as a natural preservative to extend the shelf-life of meat all the time), and I’m sure they aren’t as “pure” as food manufacturers would like us to think (for instance oils can be solvent extracted, which adds a lot of chemicals to the mix), but from my perspective they are fine in moderation, but be aware of your own reaction. If they seem to bother you, avoid them. Ultimately, if a little sparkling water flavored w/ probably not “splitting hairs clean” essential oils allows you to transition away from toxic drinks, like soda, & makes AIP sustainable for you . . . drink up!

    • Hi Ally, says

      Hi Ally, Just wondering if dried golden berries are allowed on the AIP diet?
      Thank you,

      • Mickey Trescott says

        Mary, are you talking about golden raspberries? If so, they are included in the elimination phase.

  • Erin says

    There she goes, dropping mics. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time for this post, Angie. Like a boss.

    • Angie Alt says

      LOL! You are so welcome Erin. Very worthwhile research from my perspective.

    • Anne says

      I’m a half a week into aip week1 elimination protocol.
      I did download the quick start protocol pages. What a Godsend!!! I have been working on my immune issues for almost a year- finding the helpful parts to me,AND I found AIP. Thanks for you hard work
      I have lichen sclerosis and anti phospholipid antibody syndrome- don’t know any more. ( this is plenty! 🐤

      • Angie Alt says

        Glad you found our resources so helpful, Anne!

        • Debbie says

          I found Baking Powder with tapioca starch (without cornstarch) so is that ok to use?

          • Angie Alt says

            Debbie, that should be fine.

  • Taryn says

    Hi Angie,

    Thank you for such an informative artical, have just recently started my aip journey and you have definitely answered a lot of my questions. I just wanted to confirm something with regards to vanilla, you say that vanilla bean scrapings are ok on aip but does that include vanilla bean paste? Thanx:)

    • Angie Alt says

      Taryn, I’m glad it helped so much! Congrats on your new journey to health! As to the paste, I can’t say for sure . . . I would really carefully read the ingredients list. My gut is that there are probably ingredients that make it a stable paste that probably aren’t very elimination phase friendly.

      • Alice says

        Question on this last year for Christmas I made home made vanilla with rum, and vodka and of course vanilla beans is it okay to use and how?? Phase?

        • Angie Alt says

          Hi Alice-
          Rum is generally always guaranteed gluten-free & there are also gluten-free vodkas out there, so as long as you are using this home made vanilla with gluten-free alcohols & in cooked preparations (so the alcohol burns off), this is fine during elimination phase.

  • Carlle says

    What does it mean to be elimination phase legal or not? Can you say allowed or not allowed to clarify? Thanks!

    • Angie Alt says

      Whenever you see “elimination phase legal” in the post, it is allowed to eat while you are still in that phase of AIP (& will also be okay during the reintroduction phase. Whenever you see “NOT elimination phase legal” in the post, it is NOT allowed to eat while you are still in that phase of AIP (but you may be able to enjoy it again if your body successfully responds to it during the reintroduction phase).

  • Chelsey L says

    Love this post. I know it would have been insanely helpful at the beginning of my AIP journey. 🙂

    • Angie Alt says

      Right, Chelsey!? I thought the same thing while I was writing it.

  • debbie gilbertson says

    love love these articles
    i so appreciate the shares!! How about tamarind.. for sauces, and such?
    keep it comingxo

    • Angie Alt says

      I will add tamarind to a list for future “what’s in, what’s out” posts. Thanks for leaving a comment Debbie!

  • Debbie says

    Love reading your info. Thanks. I’ve been on AIP for months to see if something triggered a flare in my rheumatoid arthritis and so far nothing has but now I have terrible wind when I’m just eating meat and veggies done in coconut oil so I’m getting a little frustrated. But your posts help me know I’m doing everything right. So thanks again.

    • Angie Alt says

      You are welcome Debbie! If several months of AIP hasn’t yet helped, I would consider digging deeper w/ your doctors for root issues that might be impeding progress.

  • Camille says

    Angie, thank you for the article it’s very informative. I was bummed when I read that cassava is the same as tapioca. I had a reaction to tapioca and wanted to try cassava for baked goods or biscuits since I haven’t had a bread item in a very long time. Are you saying they are the same because they are both starches? I suppose I can try cassava even though I had a reaction to tapioca. I won’t know if it bothers me until I try it. I’m desperate for a bread item! 😀 Thank you.

    • Angie Alt says

      Tapioca is produced from cassava (also known as yucca), so they are not only both starches, but they are from the same exact plant. You are correct though. I would give it a shot & see how your body responds to the different processing.

  • LJ says

    Please break this down the verdicts a little more for me. Elimination-phase legal & NOT elimination-phase legal means what? Please explain in terms of ok to eat & not ok to eat. Thank you.

    • Angie Alt says

      Whenever you see “elimination phase legal” in the post, it is okay to eat while you are still in that phase of AIP (& will also be okay during the reintroduction phase. Whenever you see “NOT elimination phase legal” in the post, it is NOT okay to eat while you are still in that phase of AIP (but you may be able to enjoy it again if your body successfully responds to it during the reintroduction phase).

  • P. Sawyer says

    Plantains are mucilogeneous. Are they in the same category as chia?

    • Angie Alt says

      No, P. Sawyer. They are not considered a mucilogeneous food & are okay during the elimination phase.

  • Dawn says

    I recently found some plaintain chips with no added sugar or other ingredients cooked in Palm olein. Ok in the elimination phase?

    • Angie Alt says

      Dawn, thanks for commenting. I’ll add palm olein to a future “what’s in, what’s out” post.

  • Marelize Keyter says

    Have to bookmark this one.
    Five star rating!
    Thank you.

  • […] not despair over not being able to have vanilla. This post from Autoimmune Paleo came out recently that discusses some of the common foods that people may or may not think are […]

  • Brian says

    What about popcorn or coconut milk during elimination phase? Also, what can be used for sweetness, like honey or pure maple syrup?

    • Angie Alt says

      Corn is a grain, so popcorn is out during elimination phase. Coconut milk is fine as long as you tolerate it & try to avoid additives. Honey & maple syrup are fine in moderation.

  • Casey Meizinger says

    This site is amazing! As a physician and also newly diagnosed Hashimoto’s “patient”, this article was helpful on so many levels. Really looking forward to making big changes for my health. Thank you!

    • Angie Alt says

      Thanks so much for reading Casey! We love having physicians on board! Glad this article helped.

    • Gabriella Echevarria says

      Hey how did you find out you had an auto immune disease? I believe i do because i have h.s. and havr been doing research to cure myself. Woud love feedback and tips. Thank you.

  • Shan says

    Cyrene Array 10 states that tapioca is not a gluten cross reactive food. It falls under the control for cross reactivity.
    With the mucilage producing foods why is okra considered ok, which is a high mucilagenous food, but licorice and marshmallow root are not ok?

  • Kathleen Pierson says

    Thanks so much for the information. I’m just starting with my AIP journey and I’m looking forward to the positive changes. Do you know if Arnica for pain relief is ok in the elimination phase?

  • Molly says


    I have been having problems that seem to be related to a lack of growth of any beneficial bacteria in my gut, and an overgrowth of candida and staph bacteria, resulting in beta glucaronidase being produced at high levels. My doctor gave me a list of foods that include apples, sun chokes, and brown rice, that are pre-biotic foods. He said because this is my busy time of year (I work 7 days/10 hours per day from May-November, hardly any time to cook, though I have been on AIP for 2 weeks), I should add organic brown rice back into my diet because it is a pre-biotic. Garlic and onions are also on that prebiotic list, as is eating less meat because betaG has been found to be present in people with high meat diets. However all of those things (low meat and rice for AIP and garlic and onions for FODMAP) seem to contradct the information I am finding here. I can find local organic meat easily, though it is harder to find grass fed. My symptoms are constipation and daily headaches, I have low protein absorption and high stomach pH, my mother has MS. Any info or resources on decoding the contradictions would be appreciated.

    Thank you!


  • […] The autoimmune protocol is one of the most restrictive elimination diets, as it weeds out anything that could cross-react with your antibodies, including all grains, eggs, seeds, and gums. If you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and are experiencing advanced systems, or have very high antibody counts, a total detox like this one might be in order. Otherwise, there are some more lenient options, especially for Hashimotos-specific suffers. One category that is allowed: wild fish and seafood. Here’s a good list of frequently asked AIP questions. […]

  • Michelle says

    Thank you! I had no idea about EPO. I have been doing Aip for a week but made an error in accidental exposure something every day… So this info helps.
    I have a supplement I would like to take that includes sulfurophane from broccoli and broccoli sprout extract. Any ideas….or is there a supplement ingredient database I could refer to?

    • Angie Alt says

      You are welcome Michelle. There is no AIP supplement ingredient database, but I think if it’s just broccoli & a gel cap, you are fine.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Michelle! We don’t have a supplement database (good idea!), but if the product is made from a food that would be AIP it should be OK (like broccoli). I would check for other fillers though, that is where you can get into trouble. Good luck!

    • Danielle says

      You can also buy fresh broccoli sprouts at some stores like at Sprouts

  • Susie says

    Thank you for this info. it is very helpful! What about egg’s? Where do they fit in…?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Susie, eggs are not included in the elimination diet!

  • Stacey Allen says

    Great read… I have Hashimotos and Lichen Sclerosus and have not been elimating the foods that I should have been. I have sick for many many years and have had the worst flare up ever so two weeks ago I said enough is enough… I have eliminated everything but peppercorns but every time I was eating some thing I would scratch like a made woman…. (I was starting to think I may be allergic to food ) so I think the black peppercorns might have been the problem because I didn’t know I was suppose to eliminate them and I use a lot of pepper. Going to leave it out and see what happens. On the AIP is Sole permitted?

    • Angie Alt says

      Glad this was helpful Stacey! If you are talking about sole, the fish, then yes, it’s permitted.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Stacey, you wouldn’t be the first person we’ve heard of recording to pepper – you don’t know until you try an elimination! Good luck!

  • […] This is just a quick summary of my understanding of the AIP lifestyle. The Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne, is the expert. Her book, “The Paleo Approach” and blog are all really worth reading, if like me, this approach to health just makes sense. The Autoimmune Wellness Team also got me started. Their getting started guide answers so many of those initial practical questions. Also their blog really goes into detail about what you can and can’t eat. […]

  • Claire F says

    Hi there, I could do with some clarification. This ‘What’s in, what’s out’ list says that green beans are out in the elimination phase, however I just made a recipe from this website for chicken soup that called for green beans. Is this because they can be reintroduced successfully?

    Thank you

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Claire! In the early days of AIP, green beans were a “gray area” food and many people (including myself) included them in their elimination diet. When Sarah Ballantyne came out with The Paleo Approach, she put them in the eliminated foods category. I think there are still one or two recipes floating around on this site from the olden days 🙂

      • Natalee says

        I recently bought The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and saw the same chicken soup recipe that called for green beans and am surprised that it hasn’t been edited out if recommendations have changed. Good thing I am not a fan of green beans in soup and left them out. I definitely want to give myself the best chance to have a healing success story.

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Natalee! My book was the very first recipe book for AIP, before the “rules” had been firmly established. In the early days of AIP, a lot of people (including me!) ate legumes with edible pods.

  • Filippa says

    Hi Mickey and Angie, your blog and podcasts are helping me a lot, so thank you! I’m realizing that I’m still getting a lot of bloating from sweet potatoes (which seemed like they were going to be my saviour food amid all this elimination…so maybe I’ve been overdoing it). Maybe FODMAP-related or fructose. So I’ve cut them out but now I feel hungry all the time and seem to be constantly craving carbs/baked things. Do you have any suggestions for filling/comforting foods I could switch to? Plantain seems almost impossible to get hold of here in Japan.

    I’m also very interested in incorporating bone broth, but having been vegan for 5 years I don’t feel ready to start making it from scratch, and even if I could get over my silly squeamishness I think it would be difficult with the language barrier and the lack of pasture raised meat options around here. I know everyone says the powdered versions are not worth it but I wondered if you had any thoughts/alternative ideas to speed up gut healing? I could just get a gelatin supplement but I liked the broth idea as a way of also adding some flavour to dishes, which seem to have become a bit bland without any of the nightshade/seed spices. Thank you for any help!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Filippa! First off, I’d suggest if you suspect SIBO to get tested and treated sooner than later. Restricting FODMAPs, especially on top of an already restrictive elimination diet can be really tough for most folks. It sounds like you are pretty sensitive to your carb levels, and I’d suggest trying to get some alternate sources of starchy carbs into your diet. If you can’t find plantain, I’d try hard winter squash, taro, cassava, or yuca, if you can get them! Also, you might consider white rice as an earlier introduction if you find you can’t get your hands on any other carb sources. Are you eating meat on your elimination diet? I don’t recommend doing it as a vegan, although if you are willing to eat fish it is possible to get enough protein and nutrients from seafood. The powdered broth idea is up to you – I personally don’t use it, but I know there are a few companies out there making it and products are getting better all the time. I’d just worry about it being quite expensive compared to making your own, but I totally understand how hard it is to jump in after not eating meat for so long. In the end, AIP is a template that you can personalize to your own needs and situation. Hope it helps!

  • Stephanie says

    Hey Mickey and Angie!
    First, a BIG thank you for all of your books, recipes, resources, and podcasts! They are all such a BIG help to my healing journey. I know you are always asking us for topics, questions, etc. and I wanted to ask for something. I’m a firm believer in natural remedies to heal specific symptoms. However, I recently felt some cold symptoms and did my normal routine but added something new: licorice root. Then I started itching (my reaction to non-AIP food) and as I took small sips it just smelt “funny” to me. These are all cues of how I react to non-AIP food. I stopped mid-sip and started googling and found this post. It was great that someone made a comment about it not being AIP. So, a long story short- can you point me to a AIP natural remedy guide? Things like elderberry, licorice root, essential oils, etc. Yes, no? This would be such a wonderful guide/reference. Again, thank you for everything that you two are doing…you are helping so many of us heal. Thanks, Stephanie

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Stephanie! Great question, and I think that type of a guide would be hard to write just because those of us with autoimmune disease react so differently to immune stimulating herbs – for instance, I know many who use licorice medicinally and find it helps support their stress response! I think we might need a knowledgable herbalist in the community to work on a guide for us… know anyone? 😉

      • Emma says

        Ohh- me me! I’ve been studying and using herbs medicinally since I started my autoimmune journey. Let me see what I can gather…

        • Gabriella Echevarria says

          I just started my journey and would love to know as well please. Have a great day!

    • Grace Bridges🎻 says

      I second Stephanie’s comment above! 👆🏻 I’m worried that I will get sick and take herbs that harm my immune system. It would be very helpful to know which guide is trustworthy so i could buy for the next time I’m I’ll

  • Hannah says

    What about red clover seed sprouts? I have a bunch of them…

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Hannah! The green part of the sprouts are fine if you trim them from the seed, but the actual seeds are still a no-go on the elimination diet. Hope it helps!

      • Janet says

        Is drinking red clover tea made from the flower of the plant recommened?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          If there are no other ingredients and it is made from the flowers, it would be AIP compliant.

  • Rena says

    Can you tell me if coconut water and maca powder are AIP elimination phase legal? Thank you

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Rena,
      Coconut water is fine, maca is a no because it is an immune stimulant. Hope it helps!

  • Selena says

    I am confused on vanilla powder aka vanilla bean powder being ‘legal’ on AIP. It is made from the bean so is it still ok to use? My daughter has a bday coming up and I want to make her a special treat. We are less than 2 weeks into this protocol and its hard for the kids to forgo the sweets during summer. Thank you! This website and cookbook, autoimmune paleo, are sooo helpful!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Selena! Yes, if you read above vanilla bean powder is fine as long as it doesn’t have other non-AIP ingredients.

  • Samantha True says

    Hello, I wanted to know about the gums, xanthan, guar etc.. I purchased some items and they contain this for instance a powdered bone broth and a protein powder. I noticed that they are in alot of products.

  • Camila glenn says

    I’ve been doing aip for 5 weeks and taking aloe Vera for the last 3. 😢 Would you recommend adding another 4 weeks before I start to reintroduce to “clean myself out”? I think I’ve been compliant otherwise. Thanks!

  • Tracy says

    WOW! THANKS! what a great list. My eczema has flared this summer and I was racking my brain as to why. I had been advised to take slippery elm for some digestive issues and have been taking it faithfully all summer. I was told it was AIP complient. Hoping that by quitting the slippery elm my eczema will calm down.

  • Nadia Earnest says

    Hi! Is mustard/ mustard seed ok on AIP?

    • Angie Alt says

      Mustard comes from a seed so both prepared mustard & mustard seed are out during the elimination phase. However, it is such a small seed that you may find that early reintro goes well. Be sure to watch out for nightshades being added to prepared mustards purchased in the grocery store though.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Nadia, it is not included on the elimination diet since it is a seed.

  • Michelle says

    Thanks for this thread. I am curious about other immune stimulants. Is there a list? My Dr prescribed a chlorella detox. My issue flared badly over 2 months. Had no idea chlorella was an immune stimulant! All the progress I made was lost! Then I started taking Maca to help with stress. I did ask doc first. But now I see that’s an immune stimulant. What about beet root powder? Is that Ok? Besides vitamin c and Echinacea, what other sneaky immune stimulants are there? Not try to add kindle to the fire! Thanks!

    • Angie Alt says

      I can’t really provide an exhaustive list of potential immune stimulants. To my knowledge beet root powder is fine. You might consider working w/ a naturopath or Chinese Medicine specialist to learn more about immune stimulating herbs.

    • Mickey Trescott says

    • Maztergee says

      Thank you so much for this detailed list. Very helpful. Some say Cassava and tapioca are out, but you’ve cleared this up.

      , i make cassava and Tiger nut flour pancakes with arrow root starch, and plantains.

      I did Carnivore for a couple of months but feel better on mixing it up on AIP, plenty to eat now 🤝🙏🏻

  • Stephanie says

    I am going to be starting an AIP elimination soon and I’m curious (though I think I may know the answer already) about the use of essential oils from seeds – coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom, etc. We use a lot of essential oils and I want to do this elimination the right way. Thank you for your help!

    • Angie Alt says

      You can still use those EOs topically or diffused, etc, but we’d suggest a lot of caution ingesting them at any time & they are eliminated during the initial phase of the protocol. Good luck!!

  • Hannah says

    Hi Angie & Mickey,
    Thank you for all of the work you both do for the AIP community.
    I was wondering if diatomaceous earth is AIP compliant to be used as a supplement to help with detoxification.

    • Angie Alt says

      You are welcome! In terms of AIP compliance, to my knowledge diatomaceous earth is fine. I can’t comment too much on using it for detox though.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Hannah, best to ask your doctor before starting any supplements, but DE is AIP-legal.

  • Anita Kokavecz says


    I wonder if we can use caraway seeds the same way as vanilla is elimination phase legal – so the whole seeds without chewing them, maybe cooked in a dish in a teabag and taken out after cooking.

    Thanks for your advice,

    • Angie Alt says

      They are out during the elimination phase, but it may be possible to use them for flavoring via the “teabag method” you are describing.

  • Jeanne Thomas says

    Hi Angie and Mickey,
    Thank you for all of this amazing information. It really is an amazing resource for those of us trying to figure out our chronic issues. My Doctor recommended this to me and I am starting it next week.

    My question is: Is Lactic Acid compliant? I found these great snack olives at Trader Joes that have Lactic Acid in them and I have looked through the comments in two posts to see if it was talked about and I don’t see anything about it. Also Citric Acid? I also looked in the Handbook and didn’t see anything either.
    Thank you,

    • Paige says

      I second this question!

    • Abby says

      I have the same question about lactic acid. Thank you! Does anyone else know?

    • Angela says

      I would like to know this too. You can not buy olives without these. I have looked, organic, non gmo and ect. We are supposed to be able to eat olives, but every jar and can including Korean kimchi (fermented foods), have lactic and citric acid. Some sites say no to these acids but say yes to olives so where do you buy olives that don’t have these acids?

      • Mickey Trescott says

        Angela, if you search for salt-cured olives, you can find them!

  • Megan says

    Thank you so much for all this info, guys! I’ve been doing AIP on and off for the last 3 years (how is that possible? :P) and just re-started a 30 day program last Tuesday to really give my body a break from potential offenders. The hardest thing to give up (again!) has been coffee, so I’m thankful to see green tea is okay. I found a variety I really like and want to keep using it. I also did NOT know that about Stevia! I thought that was an OKAY sweetener (not the best, but not the worst!). Really good to know.
    Remind me: At what point did you gals gradually begin re-introducing foods? My first go-round, my FM doctor did not prohibit me from using cocoa, so I had cocoa pretty early, and then green beans, and eventually white rice. I seemed to do fine with all of those, but I felt so good the first 4 months I was on AIP, I didn’t want to rock the boat too much with lots of other reintros. This time around, I want to be more “aggressive” if possible and re-introduce more gradually and more methodically. The last time, I got pregnant (!!) at 4.5 months into AIP and that threw all my re-introductions hopes out the window because food aversions got real!
    Thank you so so much. You are such an asset!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Megan! Angie and I have shared our in-depth stories linked on our about page, and also early on in season 1 of our podcast. In short, we were super sick and were both in the elimination phase for quite awhile (9 months for me), but we were coming from a place of severe illness. It is important if you aren’t experiencing any positive changes at the 3 month mark to work with your doctor to troubleshoot any underlying issues that are hindering your progress. Wishing you luck!

  • […] I thought it was because I have seen other AIP recipes that use vanilla and cacao, but according to this article cacao is not AIP and vanilla used to be undecided, but now it’s recommended to leave […]

  • Nikki says

    HI! If you find yourselves doing another “What’s in, what’s out” blog post I was wondering if you could address oat straw ( for making tea) and baobab powder. Bless you both for all you do!!

  • Cheryl Lundgren says

    I see bean and pea sprouts are out but what about broccoli sprouts? And if they are in, can you eat the seed or cut them off the sprouts?

  • Sara says

    I’ve been reading all over paleo mom and this website and while I know that fresh peas (sugar snap and snow peas), and green beans are ok to reintroduce on stage 1 after the elimination phase, I’m wondering if dried split peas are included in this? I can’t find any info about it! What are your thoughts? I’d love to make a bowl of split pea soup, or even fresh pea soup, but I’m not sure if this would be ok for a stage 1 reintro!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Sara! Yes, dried split peas are not elimination phase compliant, nor are they stage 1 reintros, which are reserved for soft, fresh legumes. Hope it helps!

  • Anna says

    Hi, what about alfala sprouts? Radish sprouts? Thank you. Anna

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Anna – sprouts are fine as long as you eat the green part and not the seeds. Hope it helps!

  • Rachel says

    Thankyou for breaking it down, there’s a lot of conflicting info online so it’s good to have a clear explanation of why some of these foods should be eliminated.

  • Rachel says

    What are your thoughts on alternative milks like oat milk, almond milk etc. I’ve been sticking to coconut milk but would be interesting to know if you think a good quality organic almond milk with no thickeners/additives would be ok.

    • Angie Alt says

      If you have successfully reintroduced any of the alternative milks and can find high-quality ones, I think they are fine. They are not elimination phase compliant however.

  • Taylor stolt says

    Would sunflower sprouts be legal during the elimination phase or are any sprouts out?


    • Mickey Trescott says

      Unless you are eating just the green parts and not the seeds, they are eliminated during the elimination phase.

  • Cathie says

    Looked at Green Pastures Blue Ice cod liver oil and found article
    About it possibly not being as good as Rosita cod liver oil. I ordered
    The magnesium supplement suggested by Mickey. Made the
    Beet soup with fennel recipe from Mickey’s book using gold beets and it was delicious. Trying to eat a variety. I still need to use tacrolimus on my lichen sclerosus for itching…but am hopeful to one day have it in remission before it destroys more tissue.

    • Angie Alt says

      Glad things are going so well one-step at a time Cathie! And yes, we believe Rosita is the best cod liver oil brand.

  • Bobbi says

    There’s a supplement I want to use that has acacia in it. Is that compliant? The product is Vital Proteins creamer. It is a gum and a fiber. Also is Mastic gum compliant? I know other guns aren’t so I’m curious.

    • Mary Hope says

      Hi! I’m also wondering if acacia is AIP compliant. I’m looking for a fiber to add to smoothies and have heard acacia powder might be an option. Thank you!

      • Mickey Trescott says

        Mary, even though it is a natural fiber, I’d omit during the elimination diet because it is a thickener. Better to be safe than sorry!

  • Jenny Thompson says

    Hi, are capers eliminated? Thanks

    • Angie Alt says

      Jenny, as long as there are no eliminated spices added to the brine, they are totally fine.

  • Melissa says

    Hi Angie and Mickey, thanks so much for this informative article. I am a vegan turned Pescetarian to do the AIP and was wondering about reducing lectins in beans by boiling or pressure cooking. Would that perhaps be sufficient to be able to eat beans again at least a few times a week? Do you know if pressure cooking them helps reduce lectins more than soaking them overnight and boiling them the next day? Thanks so much for sharing your insight.


    • Angie Alt says

      I don’t know for sure how the lectins “measure” after these different methods, but I’ve read before that combining the soaking w/ pressure cooking can make them somewhat more digestible. In terms of reintroducing them in a few weeks time, I’m not sure how that will go for you. Typically soaked & sprouted legumes are considered a Stage 4 reintro, meaning that it can take time before most of us are able to tolerate them well. If you feel able, I might explore eggs as possible reintro after 30 days, as they would be a richer & more easily digested source of protein to add to the fish & more nutrient-dense than legumes.

  • Bee Jinesh says

    Is pea protein milk or Hemp milk allowed on AIP?

    • Angie Alt says

      No Bee, because they are derived from a legume or a seed.

  • Ilya says


    Thank you for this great article. Are next products elimination phase legal:
    1) Triphala (ayurvedic mix of Amalaki fruit, Bibhitaki fruit, Haritaki fruit)
    2) Wheat grass, Barley grass, Alfalfa grass etc.
    3) Cellulose used in supplements capsules
    4) Cacao (cocoa) butter
    5) Silymarin (milk thistle seed extract)
    6) Egg shell collagen or just egg shells


    • Angie Alt says

      I’ll keep this list in mind for future additions of this post! I’ll have to research some of these.

      • Is flax seed oil compliant on AIP? Also is avacado compliant and almonds?

        • Angie Alt says

          Hi Lisa! Flax seed oil is not compliant, because it is a seed. Avocado is compliant. Almonds are not because they are nuts.

          • Johan says

            HI, Almonds are not a nut. They are a considered fruit family.

      • Ann Marie says

        Would you be able to share what the verdict is on milk thistle? Milk thistle and milk thistle products (supplements, teas) seem to come from the seed of the plant. Yet I have seen it on safe foods to consume on AIP lists.

        • Angie Alt says

          Ann Marie, I am considering a new list of tricky foods & will add this one to the list to research.

  • Karen says

    Thank you for all the wonderful information that you share. I love your website and Dr, Ballantyne’s. I have IBS with microscopic colitis as well as ankylosing spondylitis associated with IBD. My doctor had me try injectable methotrexate recently which caused a huge IBS flare-up which I am doing the elimination diet to try to get it under control. (Not taking methotrexate anymore).
    I read a lot of articles on Dr. Axe’s website. He doesn’t refer to autoimmune issues as much as healing leaky gut. I was wondering if you have any thoughts on his supplements. Many of them have sprouted seeds and/or fermented ingredients. I was just wondering if you are familiar with his products and if they are compliant with the autoimmune protocol? I am a pretty picky eater and thought his supplements might be a good way to get some ingredients that are fermented.
    Thank you for your help. I look forward to hearing your answers.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Karen! I’m not familiar with Dr. Axe products, but if they have any “no” foods for AIP, I recommend steering clear of them while in the elimination phase. Hope it helps!

  • Lia says

    Even if they aren’t tree nuts, coconuts are SEEDS. So why are they allowed while all other seeds are not?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lia! Coconuts are actually not nuts or seeds, the technical term is a drupe. They don’t have the same immune-stimulating or anti-nutrient compounds as nuts and seeds. Hope it helps!

  • Lia Payne says

    Thank you for that fact about coconut! That’s been a question that’s been plaguing me! Lol. Also, you mention above that there’s a less severe protocol for those with hashimoto only. Can you provide a link or other way to access that info? I’ve been on AIP for two days and would love something less severe. 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful relies.

    • Angie Alt says

      Lia, I’m not sure what you are referring to about a “less severe” form of AIP for those w/ Hashi’s?? Mickey & I often let folks know that if they need to take the transition to AIP more slowly, eliminating in stages, that is perfectly acceptable. Is that perhaps what you are referring to?

  • Lia Payne says

    Just did a little research and found that while coconuts are drupes, and a drupe is a fruit, the part of the coconut that we eat is the endosperm, and the endosperm is part of the coconut seed. So what do we make of this? Thanks!

    • Angie Alt says

      Lia, coconut is in during AIP elimination phase. Some folks find they are sensitive to it due to it’s high inulin content. If you find that it doesn’t bother you or that you can at very least eat small amounts, it’s fine. Also, coconut oil does not contain the inulin fiber.

  • Sarah Herman says

    Hi, Ive just read that the coconut aminos I have contains chilli. That would be is out for AIP? How much would it hurt?

    • Angie Alt says

      Yes, chili comes from nightshade vegetables & is out. “How much it hurts” depends on the individual. If you are currently in the elimination phase, you’ll want to avoid no matter what to help make the reintro process more clear. If you are in the reintro phase, you’ll just trial it & see if it causes any symptoms for you.

  • Sarah Herman says

    Hello again. I’m confused about green beans and snap peas. In the ‘foods to include guide’ https://autoimmunewellness.com/paleo-autoimmune-protocol-print-out-guides/ it includes green beans and snap peas but above you have stated they should be part of the initial elimination according to Dr Sarah Ballantyne. So, can we eat them?
    Tahnaks you so much for your time answering all of our questions.

  • Molly says

    Hi. I wanted to see if any of the four sigmatic mushroom elixers are allowed on the AIP diet. Thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Molly, no as they are immune stimulants.

  • Ying says

    Hi! Thank you for the wonderful information. How about okra (lady fingers?) is it ok to eat it whole as there are plenty of seeds?

  • Lindah says

    Hi! I have a question about white rice. Is there any actual evidence it’s “good” or “bad” to include during aip elimination phase?

    I’ve heard people say that white rice isn’t inflammatory because the bran is removed, but Dr. Ballantyne states in some of her posts that it’s still bad, saying she gave the research in this post (https://www.thepaleomom.com/gluten-cross-reactivity-update-how-your-body-can-still-think-youre-eating-gluten-even-after-giving-it-up/) but nowhere in this article does she actually differentiate between types of rice. I checked the research paper she cited and from what I could tell they didn’t list what type of rice they used in their study (though I suppose I might have missed it in all that science babble!).

    • Angie Alt says

      I don’t think any of the foods we temporarily remove on AIP are really classified by us or Dr. Ballantyne as “good” or “bad.” It’s more like based on a number of factors, they got an “in” or “out” vote during the elimination-phase per Dr. Ballantyne’s research. One of the factors she considered was the nutrient-density. White rice is not a nutrient-dense food and it is basically starch, so can cause crazy blood sugar if not consumed w/ adequate protein and fat. That blood sugar issue could be one of the reasons she feels it is inflammatory, despite the removal of the bran. Ultimately we do a lot of the practical implementation and advocacy work here at Autoimmune Wellness and less of the research of the literature. Dr. Ballantyne is well-qualified in that department and a trusted friend. I think the best way for you to dig into this further if you’d like to better clarify the evidence is to reach out to her. Thanks for reading here!

      • Lindah says

        I didn’t mean to imply that she isn’t qualified. Sorry if it seemed that way!

        The reason I ask about the white rice is because I have a lot of trouble maintaining weight, and when I try aip it’s basically impossible. A friend suggested white rice my be able to help with that.

        • Angie Alt says

          I knew you didn’t mean that. I was only saying that she is best person to help you evaluate the science further if you’d like more detail. If you are having trouble maintaining your weight on AIP, white rice may be a good early reintro, because of all that starch it can help you put weight on.

  • Aubrey says


    Curious if amla (Indian gooseberries) is allowed in an elimination phase. Thank you!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Aubrey,
      A quick google search indicates that it is not a nightshade family plant, so it should be OK.

  • Rebecca Marculescu says

    Hi Mickey and Angie, Thank you so much for creating this incredible community. I don’t think I could have gotten through the last 9 months without it. I just wanted to reiterate a question above that I didn’t see an answer to (sorry if I just missed it). I know citric acid is out, but what about lactic acid and phosphoric acid? Usually if I don’t recognize it as a food I assume it might be out, but the acids are confusing (ascorbic acid is just from citrus, right?).

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Rebecca! The answer w/ lactic acid is that it depends. It is derived from sugars that come from corn or beets, but it is unlikely that you’ll know exactly which it comes from. With phosphoric acid the place you are likely to encounter it is actually in soda or other ultra-processed foods, which you are probably not consuming anymore on AIP, so it’s just not a concern.

  • Lauren says

    We will be traveling to NZ soon, are kumara’s AIP approved?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Lauren, yes, kumara, or sweet potatoes are AIP.

  • karen says

    Hi. I was wondering about mushrooms. I’ve seen conflicting information where some say that mushrooms are ok on the AIP diet but others say all should be avoided. Should they all be avoided during elimination phase? Are there some that should be avoided due to them being an immune stimulant while others are ok?

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Karen! Mushrooms are fine during the elimination phase of AIP, however, some of the medicinal mushrooms should be used w/ caution, that way you have the opportunity to decide how they individually impact you. Mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, chaga, etc. may negatively stimulate the immune system for some folks. Hope that helps!

  • Lisa Callicott says

    Hi! I can’t seem to find an answer. I drink Lipton Green Tea decaffeinated. Everything seems to say “caffeinated teas” are compliant. Does that mean decaf versions are not? Thank you!

    • Angie Alt says

      Just make sure you read the labels carefully. If there are no other non-compliant ingredients than the decaf green tea is fine.

  • Virginia McDowell says

    So glad to have you and this website – which later led me to thepaleomom. Thank you! After months of trying recipes from Gundry and Wahls, I’m still having symptoms….and so my search for another way to eat, found you! An MS doctor told me I “probably” have MS but isn’t ready to make it definitive – and my rheumatologist doesn’t have yet a diagnosis for me either. Meanwhile my symptoms continue – though the prednisone is helpful! However, it’s not a long term solution whereas changing my diet is. Thank you for providing support, eduction and building a community of people in search for a better quality of life!

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome Virginia! We’re wishing you wellness on your journey!

  • Chichi says

    I guess i have been doing this wrong with the nightshades. I need to swap out my regular potatoes with sweet potatoes 🙁

  • Trish says

    I have 3 medically diagnosed auto-immune diseases. One in particular is a mast cell disorder. If I consume green tea it wreaks absolute havoc on my body! Far exceeding gluten or any other irritant. My mast cell disorder is closely aligned with my thyroid disorders according to my allergist and my endocrinologist. Which would make sense, since it was a trigger for an extreme reaction of hives and angiodema which simultaneously caused my thyroid to go from a 9 (bad) to a 21 within a month. I wish wellness experts would stop advocating green tea. Many women have the same disorders I do and come to sites like this touting health benefits from tea. I think if you have many autoimmune problems, this may not be as safe or good of a choice as people believe. And for some like me it could be a horrible choice. Sadly, I thought I was being healthy and doing the right thing.

    • Angie Alt says

      There are, obviously, lots of individual variations in how people respond to various foods/drinks. That is the basis of using a protocol like AIP in the first place, since it will help an individual discover the foods which work well vs. those that do not. The research available about tea benefits, green included, show that there are some positives. As you point out, what works well for some may not work for you. Green tea is still “legal” for those in AIP elimination, but we’re glad that you have discovered it is not a good match for your body.

  • […] vanilla extract is completely optional… it’s one of those “tricky” AIP foods and it can be omitted without any problem if you’d rather just avoid […]

  • Katie H. says

    Hi! I have been working with a nutritionist since 06/2018. I am a Hashi girl. My only goal is my weight, as I don’t feel awful (no belly issues, etc.). In the past, I tried everything over the counter. Nothing. I tried Isagenix, it worked, but wasn’t ideal long term, and I quickly gained 15 lbs in 3 months after stopping Isagenix. My Endo is not a nice person. He tells me I have a weight problem, he argues with me when I tell him all of my efforts and tells me I need to use Alli. Yes, finding another Endo would be ideal, but not practical in my area. I will eventually visit a Functional Doc, but not at this time. I went to the gym and busted my *ss. The weight won’t budge. I broke down at work and a friend had me contact his nutritionist friend. In the beginning, we discovered WHAT I ate wasn’t too much a problem (I eat fairly clean…fairly). I’m not a fast food, sweets, junk person. I love veggies, meat and seafood. My issue was not eating enough. For years I hovered 800-900 cals a day. Over 6 months, we brought that up to 1700 a day. Did I lose weight? No. Did I gain weight? No. Still stuck. So, she convinced me to try a modified AIP. I plunged full AIP. I am 5 weeks in, and guess what?!?! No weight change (yes, I’m not just using scale, I measure and watch my clothing. And yes I do exercise: elliptical, weighted hula hoop, and mild strength training). I am beginning to freak out at the thought of reintroductions for fear of gaining weight! I was hoping I could gain some insight here on weight and AIP. Any help/suggestions are welcome.

    • Angie Alt says

      You may be at a set point that is right for your body or you may need adjustments to your thyroid medication. If your Endo will not help you to make those adjustments, I would look for someone new, even if that is a difficult search. It sounds like you are doing all you can & deserve that extra help. You might also try looking up weight loss on The Paleo Mom’s site, as she has in-depth discussions about other ways that may help you optimize.

      • Katie H. says

        Thank you Angie. I finally pulled the trigger and made an appointment with the Functional Med doc in my area. I’ve heard great things about her. Only negative is she does not take insurance. But…I can do this. I will check back in!

  • Rebecca Hauck says

    Question! I use the oil cleansing method to wash my face at night (rub oil on face, wash away with hot water and it takes all makeup and dirt off). I use evening primrose oil to do this. I see you have not to consume the oil….but I’m wondering, do you think it is still safe to use for my oil cleansing? Definitely not ingesting it.

    • Angie Alt says

      Rebecca, oil cleansing is great for your face! If you aren’t noticing any sensitivity issues w/ your skin than I would not worry about using evening primrose to cleanse w/. The recommendations for foods to exclude during the elimination phase of AIP don’t necessary extend to using them on the skin, unless a person has a known sensitivity w/ topical use.

      • Rebecca Hauck says

        Wonderful! Thank you so much, Angie! 🙂

  • Vanessa says

    Hi, I have a couple of questions:

    I know Aloe Vera, Chia, flaxseed etc are not AIP compliant, however what about marshmallow root? I’m looking for an alternative mucilage plant I can use in cooking (in moderation) that perhaps does not have such a negative impact. For example okra is mucilage and is allowed on AIP, and so is agar. I appreciate it’s also down to what the individual can tolerate, but is there a definitive list of mucilage plants that are AIP compliant? I personally don’t have any issues with any mucilage plant.

    Also are there any alternatives to gelatin as a non-animal derived egg replacer? Agar just doesn’t work unless it’s making something cold to set.

    Lastly, I take supplements as an alternative to synthetic medicine (mainly for my back problems, such as glucosamine, and I’m banned from taking NSAIDS) and I’ve made herculean efforts to ensure they are AIP compliant, however some things are just not available without some fillers. There are some hypoallergenic brands or food grown brands but they are hugely expensive, which is not sustainable. Do you have any tips?


    • Angie Alt says

      Marshmallow root can be a immune stimulant (not necessarily what you want to do w/ autoimmune disease as our immune systems are already in overdrive), so it’s important to go slow & assess how it effects your body. There are many positive uses for mucilage plants though, so if it doesn’t negatively impact you, you might want to continue using it. I am not aware of any really good quality non-animal derived egg replacers, outside of Agar, that also work w/ the AIP template. As to the supplements, sometimes we have to weigh the risks vs. benefits. If you & your healthcare providers think that some supplements, despite fillers or “non-AIP” ingredients, are worthwhile for you, you might decide to take them anyway.

      • Vanessa says

        Many thanks for your reply. I just can’t get agar to work. There’s plenty of info and recipes for agar to use as an egg replacer in baked goods such as cakes, but no matter which way I use it, it doesn’t work at all, so looking for another binding alternative. Flaxseed is out for AIP because it’s a seed. I’ve been a semi-professional baker for decades and have nailed gluten free, dairy free and grain free cakes, and while cakes aren’t really great for AIP because of sugar content (I used approved natural sweeteners!), I can do my best for occasional treats, and serve the vegan community at the same time. Thanks

  • KL says

    How exactly does the aip program define ‘nut’? While it’s stated in this article that coconuts and tigernuts are not actually nuts this is also the case for many ‘nuts’ such as cashews as well. So obviously it’s not based on what’s a botanical nut since cashews are banned, OR culinary nut either since tigernuts and coconuts are allowed.

    • Angie Alt says

      Nuts in AIP might sometimes be grouped together, even if they are botanically or culinary different, simply for ease of classification for most folks. What is important is how they chosen to be initially eliminated due to their potential to cause inflammatory or other responses in an autoimmune body while the focus is on healing.

      • KL says

        I know that individual foods are judged by their inflammatory responses (anti-inflammatory is kind of the point with this diet after all…). I guess I was just hoping for a little more clarification on how nuts as a group are determined, considering it’s very common for people to say stuff like “nuts aren’t allowed in aip because they’re common allergens and can be inflamatory” and then turn around and say “but tigernuts are okay because they’re not really nuts!” Oh well. Thanks anyway! It’s probably a lot of work to answer all the random questions people have, so I appreciate what you folks do.

  • Dawn says

    Sorry this might seem like a strange question, or maybe an obvious one! I haven’t started AIP yet, but I’m anticipating I might as I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I’ve already eliminated half of these foods from my diet. However, I’ve recently discovered toasted brown rice green tea, which I’ve only ever had at restaurants in the past and I LOVE the flavour of it! I’m wondering if this would be AIP compliant…. I’m not technically eating the rice and I’m not sure how much of the rice would make it’s way into my system in a tea form, or if I’m just getting the flavour?! Please let me know your thoughts on this – thanks so much!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Dawn! This wouldn’t be included because rice is a grain and they aren’t allowed in the elimination phase. Plain green tea is fine, though!

      • Dawn says

        Thanks so much for your reply Mickey…. I assume that also means rice vinegar is out of the game too then?!

  • […] questions in AIP groups. Angie has cleared up the confusion about vanilla and a few other tricky AIP foods before. But to summarize: vanilla extract made with gluten-free alcohol (I make my own with Three […]

  • Jenn says

    Thank you so much for your interesting and informative post! Wondering if you could tell me if licorice root is okay or not for someone with a legume sensitivity? I’m having a hard time finding any information on the subject. Thank you!

    • Angie Alt says

      Jenn, I’m not certain on this. I would probably try some experimentation.

  • Devora says

    Thank you so much for providing such beneficial information, it’s so generous of you 2 have this site, it’s so helpful.
    I wanted 2 know if celery is allowed on aip diet, to eat the stalks or the root veg?

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Devora, you can eat celery in all it’s forms on AIP.

      • Angela says

        I didn’t think you could eat the celery seed, correct?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Angela, celery seed is out on Core AIP, but included in the new Modified AIP protocol.

  • Theresa says

    Hi Mickey & Angie,

    Great article!

    What about using aloe vera as a scalp treatment for dandruff, and washing hair with chickpea flour as a no poo method? Would the harmful components be absorbed through the skin and still cause flare ups?

  • Dawn says

    I know that, during elimination phase, chocolate is not allowed. However, I actually have a local maker close to where I live that makes raw chocolate with JUST organic cacao paste, organic cacao butter, and organic maple syrup! I was excited to find them and wondered when/if and/or how to try to reintroduce this (of course with very strict moderation!) Thanks so much!

  • Bree says

    Hi there,

    Is yerba mate elimination phase legal?

    • Angie Alt says

      Yerba mate is elimination phase legal, but be sure to moderate caffeine if you have blood sugar imbalances or adrenal fatigue.

  • Rachael says

    Hi! Thank you for all of this information, as well as your books. I just got two of them and am really enjoying the recipes! I’m just beginning an elimination phase for the first time and am wondering if oat straw and alfalfa in teas are AIP compliant. Thanks in advance!

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Rachael-
      Since oat is a grain it is out on during elimination phase of AIP, alfalfa is also out.

  • Christa says

    Im just starting my Elimination phase and about to make a smoothie and I usually use coconut milk- but- just read the ingredients and there is sunflower lecithin and locust bean gum in my coconut milk..hmmmm, would this be allowed on the Elimination phase because sunflower is a seed? I have no idea about locust bean gum, lol. SO incredibly grateful I found your website! Many thanks!!

    • Angie Alt says

      Now, that coconut milk would not be elimination phase “legal.” Native Forest is a brand that is typically acceptable.

  • […] understand the confusion, but fruits with seeds are compliant! As Angie Alt explains in this post, “Foods like berries, kiwis, watermelon, pomegranate, cucumber, zucchini, and even bananas or […]

  • Rachel says

    I have a client new to AIP and desperately wants dessert. I’m curious as to how some of the desserts featured have maple syrup, or coconut sugar. I didn’t think they were AIP compliant. Would love some clarification. Thanks.

    • Angie Alt says

      AIP is not a sugar-free protocol, but it is a low-sugar protocol & we try to concentrate on using more nutritive sweetener options when we do use sugar, such as maple, honey, etc.

  • […] This article by Autoimmune Wellness explains how vanilla powder can be included on the elimination phase of the autoimmune protocol. […]

  • Nic says

    I’ve been reading about AIP and am so confused – different sites list different foods on the elimination phase ‘out’ list! Is lime and orange ok during elimination?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Nic! We get that frustration, as a lot of people post misinformation. Everything we post here on the site is current, so be sure to follow us for updates to AIP. That being said, lime and orange are both elimination phase compliant.

  • Amanda says

    Hi! I will be starting AIP for the second time in the coming weeks and wanted to go in this time around better prepared. I don’t think I am at a point where I feel confident to make my own fermented foods, which seem to be an important part of the diet, nor to make my own coconut yogurt. Are you able to recommend any brands of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha), and coconut yogurt? I had found Eden Foods sauerkraut (https://store.edenfoods.com/sauerkraut-organic-32-oz/), which seems like it would be compliant, but it contains lactic acid. Is lactic acid acceptable as long as it’s naturally occurring? I had also looked into Cocojune and Coyo yogurt brands, which are both coconut based and seem like they would be compliant.

    Additionally, is it okay to take supplements like probiotics and vitamin B, or THC & CBD? Would appreciate any insight you can provide. Thank you!!

  • Amanda says

    Hi! I will be starting AIP for the second time in the coming weeks and wanted to go in this time around better prepared. I don’t think I am at a point where I feel confident to make my own fermented foods, which seem to be an important part of the diet, nor to make my own coconut yogurt. Are you able to recommend any brands of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha) or coconut yogurt? I had found Eden Foods sauerkraut, which seems like it would be compliant, but it contains lactic acid. Is lactic acid acceptable as long as it’s naturally occurring? I was also looking into Coyo and Cocojune coconut yogurts, and while they seem compliant, I wasn’t sure of the consensus on consuming foods you don’t make yourself.

    I am also curious about supplements like probiotics and vitamin B, and even THC and CBD—are any of these compliant for AIP? Appreciate any advice as I try this diet for the second time to help determine a root cause for my chronic headaches. Thank you!!

    • Angie Alt says

      Amanda, fermented foods that are ready-made, but elimination phase compliant generally include just the veggie, salt, & water, be sure to read the labels for things like nightshades or spices that are not compliant. Coconut yogurts that do not include artificial sweeteners, thickening agents or other food additives are okay. Probiotics, Vit B, THC, & CBD can all be used on AIP during the elimination phase, you may want to do some reading from Dr. Abbott on our site or from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne on The Paleo Mom site for more research on THC/CBD & how it applies to autoimmune disease.

  • Lori Biondo says

    Hi my SO unsweetened coconut yogurt contains locust bean gum. Is that AIP compliant? Thank you.

    • Angie Alt says

      Lori, generally we try to avoid gums & other food additives of this kind during the elimination phase of AIP.

  • Hi! Thank you for the simple and super informative article! I’m shopping for vanilla powder as mentioned and there are sooo many available. It seems choosing the ground vanilla bean would not be wise as it includes all the parts we’re directed to avoid. What brand or type do you recommend? I’m finding quite a few that don’t list the actual ingredients so it’s hard to tell what actually makes up their “dextrose base” or “silicone dioxide” in the formulation. Thank you in advance for your recommendations!

  • […] Carob is actually a legume with an edible pod but it’s still allowed during the elimination phase. It’s acceptable because it’s made from grinding up the pod not the seeds. [source] […]

  • teresa says

    I have a low CD4 count (white cells/tcells) and am wondering if it’s advisable in the introduction phase to eliminate all meat, poultry or fish entirely? Isn’t it necessary for white cell creation? Thank you.

    • Angie Alt says

      We do not eliminate animal protein on AIP, in fact, we’d encourage you to eat it for the reasons you mentioned & much more.

  • teresa says

    I am wondering if laxatives are forbidden? I am needing linzess and miralax right now to address severe immotility issues. If they are, what do you recommend and/or do you have any understanding if these cause inflammation? Thank you so much.

  • […] Nope. Chocolate is a seed (even though it commonly thought of as a bean) and seeds are not elimination stage friendly. [source] […]

  • Jennifer says

    I am wondering if pea shoots are allowed since they are part of the plant and do not include the seed.

    • Angie Alt says

      Jennifer, as covered in the above post, pea shoots are not elimination-phase compliant. The problem is that concentrations of lectins are still pretty high in the sprouts.

  • Lisa says

    Hi there! Wondering about non-alcohol vanilla in vegetable glycerin. Does anyone know if that’s AIP-compliant? Thanks!

    • Angie Alt says

      Lisa, that’s fine, just make sure the vegetable glycerin is not derived from soybean oil.

  • Kathy says

    Hi, Is taro root OK for AIP diet? Thanks!

  • Mary says

    Hi Mickey! My husband and I found your cookbook early on in his diagnosis last year along with Terry Wahls and Sara Ballantine and ALL the information has been life-saving- thank you!!! One area we struggle with is Mayo. There are plenty of vegan brands out there but many use products that are not AIP compliant. One brand we found uses as its base – avocado oil and Aquafaba. Is aquafaba AIP compliant. Since it so closely mimics egg white when whipped, it is a popular solution to those with severe egg allergies.

Leave a Comment