The food you eat can have a big effect on how you feel. It can also help in controlling symptoms from various chronic diseases, including autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s. The AIP diet, for Hashimoto’s or autoimmune paleo diet, is one of the most effective ways of eating for those trying to control Hashimoto’s symptoms.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Hashimoto’s and the AIP diet and discover some AIP meal delivery services.
- What is Hashimoto’s?
- The Autoimmune Protocol Diet
- Best and Worst Food Lists for Hashimoto’s
- AIP Meal Delivery
- Feel Good with the AIP Lifestyle for Hashimoto’s
- AIP Meal Plan for Hashimoto’s
What is Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder in which lymphocytes attack the thyroid tissue and destroy it over time by releasing excess thyroid antibodies. The thyroid is a gland that secretes hormones that control a variety of processes throughout the body.
When the immune system cells destroy the thyroid gland tissue and affect thyroid function, then hormone production drops, causing multiple symptoms of thyroid disease.
Some of the most common symptoms of thyroid disorders include unexplained weight gain, fatigue, joint and muscle pain and stiffness, depression, hair loss, brittle nails, and dry skin. Blood tests would show elevated thyroid antibodies.
Of course, any of these symptoms can be caused by other diseases, so you should always talk to your doctor about your health and diet.
How Changing Your Diet Can Help
The typical treatment for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is thyroid medication to restore thyroid function and control symptoms. However, for many people, a change in diet can help control symptoms more naturally.
Our bodies use the food we eat as fuel to carry out many bodily processes, and it has to eliminate what can’t be used as fuel. Though that is a very simple way of explaining it, the food we eat can significantly affect how our bodies run and, therefore, how we feel.
The Autoimmune Protocol Diet
The AIP Diet is an anti-inflammatory diet developed for those with thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that affects gut health like Celiac disease, and those with inflammatory bowel disease, among others.
This autoimmune diet focuses on using dietary intervention and nutritional intake to control autoimmune symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, and chronic pain.
You can expect to mostly eat lean animal protein and vegetables on the Autoimmune Protocol Plan, though we will dive deeper into what you should and shouldn’t eat a bit later.
A Word About Adrenal Fatigue
When researching what to eat for improved thyroid function, you might come across something called adrenal fatigue. The medical community, as a whole, doesn’t accept adrenal fatigue as an official medical diagnosis. However, it is a term that’s often used to describe low thyroid function and the effect it has on your body, including hormonal health.
Hashimoto’s and AIP
Since autoimmune disorders have a lot to do with inflammation, this way of eating cuts out inflammatory foods. The AIP diet is also a grain-free diet and a gluten-free diet, making it beneficial for those looking to heal their gut microbiome.
Today we will be focusing on how AIP eating is a lifestyle intervention that is great for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Some research has been done regarding Hashimoto’s and the autoimmune protocol dietary adjustments, also called the autoimmune paleo diet, so let’s look at some food lists.
Best and Worst Food Lists for Hashimoto’s
With any diet, there are foods that you should eat and those that you shouldn’t. When first introduced to AIP, many people are surprised to learn that the healthy foods they thought they were eating might actually be causing inflammation and making their Hashimoto’s worse.
Dairy and eggs are major food triggers for many people with autoimmune dysfunction, as are legumes and nightshade vegetables.
Yes, those healthy tomatoes and peppers you’ve been loading on your salad may be making things worse.
This doesn’t mean that these foods are harmful across the board for everyone. But, for some people with autoimmune diseases, avoiding them can help relieve symptoms.
Here are the worst foods for Hashimoto’s and the foods you should eat instead.
Worst Foods for Hashimoto’s
The worst foods for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or any autoimmune disorder, create inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an immune system response, so it is important to limit inflammation as much as possible with autoimmune diseases.
Foods that have been shown to contribute to inflammation include dairy, grains, coffee, legumes, nightshade vegetables, added sugars, refined sugars, nuts, seeds, eggs, oils, and food additives found in processed foods. Let’s elaborate on what foods a few of these include.
Nightshades are vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes. Grains include foods made from rice, cornmeal, oats, wheat, or barley, so a few examples would be bread, pasta, oatmeal, popcorn, cereal, and tortillas.
Another one that people get confused with is legumes. Legumes are plants that have a pod with a seed inside. Some of the most common ones are peas, lentils, soybeans, peanuts, and chickpeas.
It is important to note that not all oils should be avoided, just those that are chemically altered or refined and those made from other foods you should avoid, such as nut seed oils like sesame oil and dairy fats like butter or ghee.
Though this may seem like a lot of different foods to cut out of your diet, you likely won’t have to get rid of all of them. Each person’s body is different, and therefore, we will all have different reactions to each of these foods.
The best way to find out which foods trigger inflammation for you is to do an AIP elimination diet. To do an elimination diet, you first eliminate all of these foods and then slowly add them back in to see which you notice those cause symptoms. This way, you can still include some of these foods which do not affect you personally.
Best Foods for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
A combination of medication and dietary changes seems the be the most effective way to improve thyroid function. During the elimination phase of AIP, you’ll avoid the foods above and instead fill your plate with these healthy and delicious foods.
The best foods for Hashimoto’s and thyroid health mainly consist of lean proteins, leafy greens, fruits, healthy fats like those found in coconut milk or avocados, fermented foods, and certain vegetables. Good lean proteins include salmon, turkey, shrimp, and chicken breast.
A few healthy fats you should eat are avocados and olive oil. For vegetables, focus on cruciferous vegetables or starchy vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, or mushrooms. Berries are great fruits for Hashimoto’s, as well as citrus, pineapple, bananas, peaches, and apples.
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but as long as you avoid certain foods listed above, all other whole-ingredient foods are fine.
An Example Day with AIP
So what does a day of eating look like with this diet? Having an AIP meal plan in place is a good place to start.
A typical day might start with a fruit salad and unsweetened tea. For lunch, you could have salmon over greens lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Dinner might look like chicken breast with mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed mushrooms.
As you can see, there are still a lot of delicious meals that you can eat even with food sensitivities.
AIP Meal Plan for Hashimoto’s
There’s no getting around it. Elimination diets are tough, especially when they involve eliminating foods that you’ve been eating every day for your entire life.
AIP for Hashimoto’s requires a commitment of six to twelve weeks, including both the elimination and reintroduction phases. This isn’t a typical type of diet where if you slip up or have a cheat day, you just brush yourself off and recover.
With AIP, it means you hake to start from scratch.
Meal planning is the best way to keep yourself on track, and avoid those accidental slip ups and setbacks.
To help you achieve success and reduce thyroid symptoms, we’ve created a completely free seven-day AIP meal plan. There are no strings attached. This is just an introduction to help you through the first week of AIP and help you plan for the rest.
You can download it right here.
AIP Diet for Hashimoto’s Weight Loss
The autoimmune diet can also contribute to weight loss in those with Hashimoto’s. Thyroiditis Because you are refraining from inflammation-inducing foods and improving your quality of life with this diet, participants in many studies have reported weight loss even without focusing on restricting calories.
If you have Hashimoto’s or other autoimmune conditions, you may want to consider an AIP program for weight loss, with approval from your doctor, of course.
AIP Meal Delivery
Meal delivery can make sticking to a diet much easier as the meals are delivered directly to your door. You don’t have to plan what to eat, figure out the ingredients, go grocery shopping, or even spend the time cooking it.
Four total AIP meal delivery companies deliver nationwide and meet our high expectations in quality, choices, taste, and compliance.
Paleo on the Go is the best overall in AIP meal delivery for its wide range of compliant meals, ordering options such as bundles or a-la-carte, high-quality ingredients, and affordable pricing.
To learn more, check out our full review of the top four AIP meal delivery services, complete with key benefits, rankings, and a buyer’s guide to help you choose the best for your lifestyle.
Here are the most frequently asked questions when it comes to the AIP diet and Hashimoto’s disease.
Is the AIP diet good for Hashimoto’s?
The AIP diet has helped many of those who have Hashimoto’s achieve a higher quality of life due to the diet reducing inflammation.
What not to eat if you have Hashimoto’s?
If you have Hashimoto’s disease, you should not eat foods that can lead to inflammation, such as dairy, grains, refined sugars, nightshades, legumes, and more.
Does the AIP diet work for hypothyroidism?
There has been limited research on the AIP diet regarding hypothyroidism, but many people report that it helps their hypothyroid symptoms, and the research that is out there does show promise.
Feel Good with the AIP Lifestyle for Hashimoto’s
Hashimoto’s is one of the most common thyroid disorders. If you have an autoimmune disease, like Hashimoto’s, which specifically affects your thyroid functions, dietary and lifestyle changes that focus on nutrient-dense foods and eliminate those that increase inflammatory markers can help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms.
The autoimmune paleo diet is one way of eating that helps those with Hashimoto’s disease and other autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.