Foods to consider avoiding if you have an autoimmune disease

98492087_MThere are some foods that are said to cause inflammation, which can be a real problem for someone with an autoimmune disease. When you have an autoimmune disease, you already have an immune system that is raging against you, you don’t need anything else making the situation worse. Many believe that reducing inflammation and avoiding foods that can lead to leaky gut can improve autoimmune disease.

Leaky gut is a hot topic in the autoimmune disease world, because it’s believed that it may be a cause of the disease or simply exasperate the condition you’re already in. When you have a leaky gut, there are tiny holes in the intestines that allow food to leak into your system, which leads to further problems.

What are the top offenders?

When following a diet to help reduce flares from autoimmune disease, you may want to look at a few top offenders. It’s believed that there are a few foods that are the typical problem makers, either by being inflammatory or by increasing leaky gut issues, as follows::

  • Gluten
  • Gluten-free grains (such as rice, corn and oats)
  • Dairy
  • Quinoa
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, and goji berries)
  • Sugar
  • Eggs

Is there a diet designed for those with autoimmune disease?

The foods listed above are said to be trouble makers. However, they’re not the only ones that people with autoimmune disease are warned to watch out for. There is actually a diet created specifically for autoimmune disease, it’s called the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP). It’s based on the Paleo diet, but it actually has even more restrictions. It’s an approach that’s used to help you identify foods that are causing you issues and it’s designed to help reset your immune system. You’ll avoid potential inflammatory foods and those that could cause leaky gut issues.

It’s actually easier to list what the AIP diet allows. You can have meats and vegetables, and in some versions, you’re allowed a certain amount of fruits (keep in mind other versions do not allow fruit, so it depends which one you decide to follow). You’re allowed olive oil, coconut oil, dairy-free fermented foods, vinegar that doesn’t have added sugar, herbs, arrowroot starch, grass-fed beef gelatin, and a small portion of maple syrup and honey.

The foods you should avoid while trying AIP are as follows (some of these overlap with the top offenders mentioned above):

  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Processed foods
  • Legumes
  • Vegetable oil and canola oil
  • Refined sugar
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Gum
  • Nuts and seeds of all kinds (including coriander, cumin, coffee, and chocolate)
  • Artificial sweetener
  • Food thickeners and emulsifiers

Following the AIP diet can be very difficult. It takes a lot of discipline to adjust to. But, it can help you identify possible problem areas. If you try doing the diet, you should stick to it for at least 30 days, if not a little longer, then gradually start to bring foods back in (one at a time). Take your time with this so you can really gauge if you have a reaction. If you do, take the food out of your diet. You can move through the different foods and see which ones you may be sensitive too.

Yes, this diet is restrictive, but if you do it all at once, you’ll be able to rule out the problem makers faster. It can be a huge guessing game when you don’t take the time to do an elimination diet. Also, keep in mind, the other bonus of the AIP diet is that it’s designed to help give your immune system a reset and even potentially heal a leaky gut, so it may be worth giving it a go.

There is a long list of foods that could be triggering your flares. Take time to figure out which ones are worsening your autoimmune disease, so you know what to avoid.



  1. Philip Smatkar says:

    Cannabis is also known for its anti-inflammatory characteristics. It can be smoked or ingested, whatever you prefer. You can make cannabis tea or make cookies with cannabis…For more useful tips check out

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