Paleo AIP Grocery List

Paleo AIP Grocery List | Phoenix Helix“The human animal differs from the lesser primates
in his passion for lists.” ~ H. Allen Smith


Meat, Poultry and Fish

  • All Fresh Meat: beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison, rabbit, etc.
  • All Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, goose, ostrich, quail, etc.
  • All Seafood: salmon, tuna, trout, catfish, tilapia, scallops, etc.
    -Packed with anti-inflammatory omega 3′s, eat seafood at least once a week on the AIP (several times is even better). For the healthiest seafood choices, read my article: Does Healthy Sustainable Seafood Exist?
  • Organ Meats: liver, kidneys, heart, sweetbreads, etc.
    -Higher in nutrition than any other cut of meat, eat these at least once a week on the AIP (several times is even better). If you need recipes, check out this roundup.
  • Ideally: grassfed, organic and sustainable, but work within your budget. If you can afford organic, buy fatty cuts of meat with a bone. If you can’t, buy lean meats. (Organic fat contains wonderful nutrients; conventional fat stores toxins.)
  • Avoid: deli, cured and pre-cooked meats. They usually contain nightshade spices and sugar, as well as other additives. The exceptions are US Wellness (choose from the AIP-Friendly menu on their home page), and Whole Foods Naked Meats (because they are unspiced).

Vegetables

  • Vegetables to Enjoy: acorn squash, artichoke, arugula, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, cucumber, fennel, garlic, greens, jicama, kabocha squash, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, parsnips, plantain, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, scallions, seaweed, spaghetti squash, spinach, summer squash, sweet potato, turnip, and winter squash.
  • Vegetables to Avoid: (1) nightshades: potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos, pimentos, bell peppers, hot peppers & eggplant (2) dried legumes: peanuts, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, etc. (3) corn: it’s actually a grain. (4) for people with Hashimoto’s disease, the thyroid-goitrogenic vegetable connection seems to be a myth; if you want to be extra cautious, eat them cooked instead of raw.
  • Grey Area Veggies: Although fresh peas and green beans are technically legumes, they don’t usually cause the digestive problems of the dried varieties. However, they are eliminated on the AIP as a precaution, but are one of the first foods recommended for reintroduction.
  • Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen: the Environmental Working Group has a pocket guide you can print for your wallet. It tells which conventional produce has the highest pesticide residue (dirty dozen) and which has the lowest (clean fifteen).

Healthy Fats

Herbs and Spices

  • Enjoy All Herbs: basil, bay leaf, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon balm, lavender, etc.
    - The only exception is ashwaghanda, which is an ayurvedic healing herb that is in the nightshade family.
  • Spices to Avoid: (1) Nightshades: cayenne, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, curry, and spice blends that contain these nightshade spices. (2) Seeds: anise seed, annatto, celery seed, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, nutmeg, poppy seed, and sesame seed. (3) Fruits: allspice, star anise, caraway, cardamom, juniper,  peppercorns, sumac, and vanilla bean.
  • Spices to Enjoy: cinnamon, clove, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mace, saffron, sea salt, and turmeric.

Coconut

  • Enjoy all Coconut Products: fresh coconut, dried unsweetened coconut, coconut flour, unrefined coconut oil, coconut aminos, coconut butter, and additive-free or homemade coconut milk.
  • A Note on Quantity: Coconut is high in inulin fiber, and when eaten in large amounts, it can cause digestive distress. Limit coconut milk to 1 cup daily, coconut flakes/coconut butter to 1/4 cup daily, and coconut flour to 1/8 cup daily. There is no need to limit coconut oil.

Beverages

  • Water: filtered, spring or tap water that has tested as clean/pure. You can also add a few pieces of fruit to infuse it with extra flavor.
  • Herbal tea: check the ingredient list to be sure it doesn’t contain soy lecithin, gluten or other additives.
  • Fermented Beverages: kombucha, water kefir, and beet kvass. Check labels carefully for sugar content and added ingredients. You’ll save a lot of money, if you brew these at home.

In Moderation

  • Fruit: All fruit is allowed on the AIP, but limit servings to 2-3 per day. Goji berries are the one exception; they are a nightshade & need to be avoided.
  • Freshly juiced vegetables and fruit: Some people juice to get extra nutrients into their diet. However, juicing too much can actually cause health problems. Limit to 1 cup per day, choose a higher ratio of vegetables to fruit, and drink alongside a meal with plenty of fat and protein.
  • Flours: Coconut flour, Arrowroot powder, Tapioca starch, Plantain flour
  • Natural Sweeteners: raw honey, fruit juice, dried fruit, grade B maple syrup, molasses
  • Caffeine: black/green/white tea
  • Ideally: choose organic

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AIP Series

I’ve written a series of articles to guide you through the autoimmune protocol, step by step. It includes FAQ, mistakes to avoid, book reviews, and more. Click here to see the whole list.
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Photo Credit goes to Megan Thackeray, who graciously let me use her fun shopping cart photo for this article. By the way, that’s exactly how fast you should go through the processed food aisles on your way to the real food sections.
~~~

This post is linked to the following blog carnivals:
Fight Back Friday, Whole Food Friday, Sunday School, Natural Living Monday, Healthy Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tuned-In Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Well Fed Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Simple Lives Thursday, Paleo Rodeo,

84 thoughts on “Paleo AIP Grocery List

  1. Pingback: Paleo AIP Grocery List | Paleo Digest

  2. Thanks for writing this Eileen! I love the tip about buying leaner meats if they’re not organic. Such common sense, but something I don’t consciously think of when buying meats.

  3. Pingback: 08.11.13 | CrossFit 312

    • No, split peas are a dried legume, so they aren’t allowed. As for buckwheat and quinoa, they behave in the body like grains, so they’re not allowed either. All of those are permanent exclusions on the paleo diet. Nuts and seeds are part of the autoimmune protocol, which means you eliminate them for 30 days, and then reintroduce 1 at a time, to test for tolerance. But that means seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, not seed-like grains. Let me know if you have further questions!

  4. How essential are the organ meats? I am seriously considering AIP, but I am currently a pescetarian, and have not eaten land meats in over 20 years for environmental reasons, although, at this point, there is a decent measure of “meat is icky” mixed in there too. If I were to start it, I was hoping to focus on seafood protein sources and limit meat, although be open to it if need be. My problem is organ meats are a big leap – texture and handling wise – so how essential are they? Are there sea foods that I can focus on to minimize the gap?

    • Kristina, you can absolutely take it in stages and postpone organ meat for now. Seafood is an excellent source of protein and nutrition. I recommend making bone broth from fish bones, shells or heads, if you can get them. And also read my seafood article to maximize your seafood choices.

  5. Thank you so much for all the great info. I have hashimotos and have been following AIP for 3 weeks..I am a little confused..Are we allowed honey? I thought that was a no no on AIP and regular Paleo because it is a sweetner..Again, thanks for all the hard work you do

    • Hi Debbie. Only refined sugars are excluded on paleo. Unrefined sweeteners in moderation are fine, and raw honey is a good one.

      • I am so sorry to be so dense.So I am on AIP, can I have raw honey on that? I just really want to get this right. I have been house bound for 2 years due to the neuro symptoms, anxiety/panic 24/7.. Thank you, Debbie

  6. I consume a lot of coconut products, and have just learned about the high content of salicylates in coconut. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Hi Linda. Unless you know you have a salicylate sensitivity, I wouldn’t worry about it. Sometimes it’s scary to learn about all the potential sensitivities out there, but many (like salicylates) are rare, and it’s more important that we eat as wide a variety of food as possible, to get the deepest nutrition. Only add extra restrictions when absolutely necessary. So, enjoy your coconut, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Karen. I eat canned tuna every week, but not all tuna is created equal. This is what I look for: (1) BPA-free cans (2) Sustainably caught tuna (3) No preservatives or additives (4) High omega 3′s. For example, Starkist only has 125 mg omega 3′s per 2 oz. serving compared to 1384 mg in wild planet tuna. That’s a huge difference, since the omega 3′s are what we seek. Generally speaking, you’ll find quality canned tuna at health food stores or online. I list some good brands in my Healthy Sustainable Seafood article.

  7. Pingback: AutoImmune Protocol: Another Step to Healing Hashimoto’s | Simply Healthy Home

    • At the end of the grocery list, you’ll see links to all the articles in the AIP series. One of them is “20 Egg-Free Breakfasts & Desserts.” Click that link; it’s full of great ideas.

    • Jus wondering if anyone has tried a short/long juice, bone broth fast to give the gut a rest? Eileen, I would be very interested what your views are on this. I’ve read mixed reviews. Thanks.

      • Generally, fasting isn’t recommended for people with autoimmune disease, because it kicks off an intense detox process that’s too hard on a body that is already overwhelmed. The AIP itself is automatically detoxifying, especially if your follow the Wahls recommendations of lots of vegetables daily. Some people are tempted to fast because it can temporarily stop the flares, but they’ll start up again as soon as you start eating again. It’s more important to slowly, steadily, tone down the inflammation in your body longterm through a nutrient-dense, healing diet. So drink bone broth every day, and if you want to add one cup juice daily to get in some extra nutrition, that’s great! But I don’t recommend making that your entire diet, even short-term.

  8. I had thyroid cancer, and just finished RAI . I have gain so much weight that I’m ready to give up! I need to find out what I can do for weight loss. I’ve been back on syntroid for about 3 weeks now. Can you please help me with the weight loss.

    In need
    Heidi

  9. Thank you for providing this information! I was diagnosed with Lupus this past November. I do not want to be on prednisone and plaquenil forever. Hoping this will help. I have four boys ranging from 7 months to 11 and I do not want their memories of mom being tired and achy all the time.

  10. Greetings and a big THANK YOU!!
    I have RA and have been trying to keep it under control for the last 5 years. I thought I knew what I was doing, diet and exercise, no meat, juicing….. but kept getting flare ups and lately its been pretty bad. I was ready to go on meds… I am so glad I found you and all your wonderful information. I really enjoy juicing and was wondering if you recommend juicing with the AIP. I just bought The Paleo Approach and downloaded the Cookbook. It does not say anything about fresh juicing.
    Kind Regards
    Sylvia

    • Hi Sylvia. Juicing is only recommended in moderation on the AIP – meaning one cup a day is fine as a way to get some extra veggies in, but one of the keys to healing autoimmunity is healing digestion, and juicing bypasses digestion. Eating whole foods stimulates it, and here’s a great article on digestive tonics that I think are helpful as well. Just don’t do the cayenne one, since that’s a nightshade.

  11. My daughter has been unwell for nearly 2.5 years. I am at my wits ends. We started a wheat, dairy, sugar and preservative free diet over 2 years ago, and although she is 100% healthier and her immune system is working better, she still has flare ups of these horrendous, nasty boils. She has had a plethora of tests, antibiotics, vitamin supplements, specialists, hair analysis, allergy tests. We have now found the autoimmune protocol and have been on it successfully for 10 days. This morning she woke with 5 lesions again, and am an absolute loss why. My daughter is 14 and been faithful to the diet. Is there a second tier of the AIP … i.e. should I take her off all fruit perhaps? Any ideas would be gratefully received.

    • I recommend the book Hidden Plague. It’s about an autoimmune condition called Hidradenitis suppurativa, whose symptom is skin lesions in the form of boils. The author put hers into remission through a modified version of the AIP. I believe she found some of the “missing pieces” that specifically help this condition. I don’t know that your daughter has HS, but it sounds like she might, and it’s one that is often missed in terms of diagnosis. You’re a wonderful mother to search so hard for an answer, and I’m so impressed that your daughter is willing to change her diet at such a young age. My other advice is to be patient (which I know is hard). Whether you do the AIP or the book’s modified version of it, healing takes time, and flares will continue to happen as the body heals. However, they should slowly lower in number and intensity as the immune system begins to calm down, and eventually go away altogether. Don’t think the diet’s “not working” if a lesion pops up. She’s had this condition for years, and it can take years to heal it as well. I don’t say that to discourage – I do believe you should expect improvement after a few months on the protocol, and hopefully remission as the end result.

  12. I have a question about sweet potatoes.
    I have RA and definately some digestive problems (weak digestion and stuff like that)
    why are sweet potatoes on the GAPS and SCD diet illegal and on the AIP they are allowed.in both cases the body/gut has to heal right?

    • There’s a big variance in starch tolerance from individual to individual. Some people thrive on dense starches like sweet potatoes and plantains, while others find them inflammatory. It’s not part of the AIP because starch intolerance is rare compared to other food intolerances. Although I have it, most of my friends in the AIP community do not. That’s why it’s a troubleshooting step to pursue down the line, if standard AIP isn’t working. Check out my introductory article to the AIP for a list of all the potential troubleshooting steps. GAPS is one of them, but if you tried to do them all at once, you’d have nothing left to eat. And many people never need to do them at all, finding standard AIP puts them in remission. If you want to know more about the similarity and differences between GAPS and Paleo overall, here’s an article I wrote: Comparison of 3 Healing Diets.

  13. Hi! I’m so glad I’ve found your blog because I am looking for a way to treat my symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome (“Minimal Change Disease”, an auto-immune condition).
    Eileen, how is it possible to stop proteinuria if you would be eating protein rich diet? Ever since my diagnose (I spill a lot of protein in my urine) I am afraid of eating meat, eggs and dairy. I am vegan, but I am not getting better. Please, recommend me a diet to follow. I am on a chemo drug right now and desperate to find a solution for this disease. Thank you so much!

    • I’m afraid that is a question beyond my medical knowledge. I recommend working with a paleo nutritionist, to guide you, such as Paleo Mom Consulting. They would know how to adapt the diet to your needs.

  14. Hi Eileen,
    What about canned tuna or frozen veggies that have a statement “may contain traces of soy,gluten etc”,but they dont actually list them in the ingredient list?
    I have hashimoto’s and no known allergies and was wondering about these on the AIP and in general if avoiding those foods.
    Thanks a lot

    • It really depends on how strict you want to be. Some people can tolerate traces of these ingredients, while others can’t. I personally avoid them and recommend others do the same, just to be on the safe side.

  15. Hi Eileen. I wanted to ask you your thoughts on tapioca pearls on the AIP diet. Do you know if they are permitted? I was thinking of sharing a tapioca pudding recipe for the roundtable, but I’m not sure if it’s AIP approved. I see that tapioca starch is ok, but not sure if there’s any difference when using pearls…? Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Kristina. It turns out that gluten cross-reactivity is a myth: http://paleomovement.com/19-gluten-cross-reactive-foods/. This isn’t to say you don’t have a problem with tapioca. It’s just that the human body is so complex, it’s hard sometimes to discern the reason. For example, I react to sweet potatoes, even though most people enjoy them almost daily on the AIP. We are the exceptions, not the rule. When it comes to tapioca, though, how you prepare it is important. It contains cyanide naturally and needs to be cooked a special way to be safe to eat. It’s especially important information now that yuca recipes are becoming very popular. Yuca/manioc/cassava/tapioca are all the same plant: http://thecuriouscoconut.com/blog/cuban-style-yuca-con-mojo-and-fried-yuca-patties. Tapioca pearls have already been through this preparation process, so if you’re reading this Audrey, no worries!

    • To my knowledge, there aren’t other AIP milks, but if you’re just looking to add a little creaminess to a smoothie, soup or dessert, avocado is a great substitute.

  16. Pingback: My AIP Diet Change | My Paleo Pathway

  17. Hi I just started doing aip paleo diet and I have few questions! I read your post and It has helping me out a lot!! But my questions are can we eat rice while we’re doing the diet? If so does it matter if it’s brown or white rice? Growing up In an asian family rice is one of main course meal! Also I read on some organic chips ingredients and it says corn starch or rice flour included is that safe to eat? And last thing is what about almond milk?? Sorry for the long post :) P.S. I’m also going grain free.

    • Hi. Welcome to the AIP! Officially no grains are allowed on the paleo diet, but white rice is considered the one grain that is non-toxic (the toxins are in the bran which is removed in white rice). For that reason, some people choose to include white rice in their paleo template. That said, it’s not allowed on the AIP. The AIP is stricter than regular paleo because it’s designed to help those with autoimmune disease. It’s a temporary elimination diet where you remove potential inflammatory foods for a minimum of 30 days, and then reintroduce them carefully to test your body for a reaction. White rice is one of the things you can test reintroducing. To answer your other questions, no on all of them (sorry!) Avoid corn starch, rice flour and almond milk on the AIP. Actually, you’ll want to avoid most packaged foods altogether. Part of the healing component of the AIP is eating nutrient-dense, home-cooked meals. If you subscribe to my blog, you’ll get notified of my weekly AIP Recipe Roundtable, which will give you lots of great ideas.

      • Just a clarification, please. You state “Avoid corn starch, rice flour and almond milk on the AIP.” You didn’t mention brown rice, though I gather that is a no-no for the AIP? I just want to be sure, as I cringe at cutting my last carb. I see white rice as one of the later stage reintroductions on the AIP, but no mention of brown rice. Many thanks.

  18. Great info. I have costochondritis for 9 years and I read that diet does play a big part with inflammation. I want to start on the AIP diet asap. Got a question is oatmeal allowed? Just planning out my breakfast and can’t find something fast that I can do.

  19. A few technical questions…

    Are capers and caper berries allowed? Is bubbly/mineral water ok?

    Also, my neighborhood co-op has some lovely, local smoked trout but the ingredients are: trout, sea salt, brown sugar, hardwood smoke. Does that little bit of brown sugar make it incompatible with the AIP?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Annika. Capers and bubby/mineral water are both OK. As for the trout, that’s your call. Officially added sugar is frowned upon, but I know that Sarah Ballantyne (leading voice behind the AIP) allows added sugar in bacon, since it’s such a small amount. I would think your smoked trout falls into a similar category.

      • Thanks! I did notice my capers are in ‘distilled vinegar’ which is probably corn… I will have to look for the dry salt ones!

  20. My son was just diagnosed with Arthritis. The tests are not in as to what type? Probably RA. He’s 32. I just recommended Cortisol Manager to him to help with stress. He has 3 kids under 4 and is a lawyer. I had no idea until I read this list that ashwaghanda was a nightshade! I also take Cortisol Manager and have avoided nightshades for years. Or at least I thought I was avoiding. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll do some further research. I wonder if the amount in the supplement is so small that it would be okay. I love the product.

    ….oh…also, I sent him a link to your blog. I love it.

    • Hi Mary. Yes, ashwaghanda surprises a lot of people. Unfortunately, when it comes to nightshades, even the tiniest amount makes a difference. Not everyone is sensitive to nightshades, but most people with RA are. If your son decides to try giving them up, I recommend he avoid the ashwaghanda as well. Sending healing wishes his way!

  21. Are the spices to be avoided meant to be avoided long term, or only for the elimination period? I’d also be interested in the best way to introduce organ meats in a way that somehow masks the flavor? I’ve tried liver numerous ways and I just can’t get passed the taste.

    • Hi Megan. How the AIP works is that everything is avoided during the elimination period, and then carefully reintroduced to see how you body responds. I have a reintroduction e-book to guide you through the process. Fruitbased and Seedbased spices are some of the first things to reintroduce. Nightshade spices are often problematic, so they’re recommended as a later reintroduction.

      To answer your second question, I hear you. If you’re trying beef liver, it’s a very strong flavor. I recommend starting with chicken livers instead. Here’s a recipe I created as a “gateway to organ meats”: Chicken Liver Fried “Rice”.

  22. Pingback: If You Have Just Been Diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease, Read This.

  23. After doing AIP last year for a few months, falling off the wagon, and now starting again, I just realized I should not be having Black Pepper. ARGH! I use it alot, and have made some big batches of food with it…now I need to wait until these are all eaten, then start again. I should say that I have still lost some weight, and my joints feel better anyway. So it may not be a problem – I just want to be 100% for at least a few months. Thanks for all you do!

    • Black pepper used to be a “grey area food” and optional to exclude on the AIP. This year, Sarah Ballantyne tightened up the protocol with the publication of the Paleo Approach. Since some people have trouble with black pepper and other grey area foods (like green peas and green beans), she didn’t want to sabotage anyone’s healing by saying they were safe to eat. So it’s now eliminated for the first 30 days, but recommended as one of the first foods to try reintroducing.

  24. I recently just bought some juniper berry infused sauerkraut– how bad would it be to consume it, as I know juniper is on the avoid list…

    Thank you so much for your page, it’s wonderful!

    • My gut feeling is that since it’s just an infusion and you aren’t eating the berries, it would be fine. But the AIP is all about erring on the safe side. Are you brand new to the protocol? If yes, I would tuck that sauerkraut into the back of your fridge and eat it after you’ve reintroduced fruitbased spices. If you’ve been doing the AIP for a while, treat it like a reintroduction. Have a small amount, wait 72 hours, and see how your body reacts.

  25. I haven’t found a definite yes or no on a few foods that I adore. I’m brand new Sarah books have been ordered waiting for amazon to deliver so I don’t know just yet she may address. Maybe you can help. Dijon mustard yes or no? Cacao powder and nibs yes or no? Lactose free Ghee yes or no? Gluten free Worcestershire sauce yes or no? Miracle Noodle products yes or no? Thank you :)

    • Unfortunately, no on all of those TeaJae. Mustard and Cacao are seeds and all seeds are eliminated on the AIP. Ghee still contains trace dairy proteins, even when certified “lactose and casein free”, and all dairy is eliminated on the protocol. Worcestershire sauce contains nightshade spices. Shiritake is pure fiber and more of a supplement than a food. Fiber supplements aren’t recommended on the AIP.

      I know it’s hard, but the best thing to do is to start fresh with the AIP and embrace the whole foods allowed on the protocol. Be sure to follow the AIP Recipe Roundtables for ideas. I also have over 500 recipes pinned on Pinterest. Remember, it’s not forever. Once you have seen improvement in your autoimmune condition (anywhere from 30 days to 6 months), you can start the careful reintroduction process, and hopefully you’ll find you’ll tolerate many of these foods again.

      • ahhhh thank you OK and that post not forever perfect. I have a clearer understanding. I need to heal first and just maybe after a period of time my body may be able to accept these foods again. Gotcha ;)

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