A strict Autoimmune Paleo Diet isn’t necessary for many people with an autoimmune disease. Find out why.
This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a Registered Dietitian with a Masters Degree in Public Health, and staff nutritionist for ChrisKresser.com. Click here to learn more about her nutrition consulting services.
The Autoimmune Paleo Diet has been getting a lot of attention lately, even in the mainstream media. Some question if the diet is a legitimate way to manage autoimmune disease, asserting that “a lot of it doesn’t make much biological sense.”
Advocates of the diet, particularly Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (known as The Paleo Mom) and Dr. Terry Wahls, have provided heaps of evidence, both peer-reviewed and anecdotal, that the diet does indeed help those with autoimmune disease not only manage their symptoms but even begin to reverse the disease, or at least halt its progression.
As a dietitian, I’ve seen incredible results with patients who were able to successfully implement the autoimmune protocol and eliminate many of their symptoms, whether they were suffering from Hashimoto’s disease, Sjogrens, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), and more. It’s amazing to see a person’s health turn around after implementing the diet change, especially when the disease they’re dealing with had been taking so much of their quality of life away from them.
While the Autoimmune Paleo Diet is a fantastic way to start seeing a vast improvement of symptoms, the major issue I see frequently is that once someone has seen success on a strict autoimmune Paleo protocol, they’re often afraid to try adding back in any foods that are eliminated from the diet.
One thing that many people don’t understand about the Autoimmune Paleo Diet is that not everyone with an autoimmune disease will need to be on this diet indefinitely.
In fact, there are few people with autoimmune diseases that would need to strictly and permanently avoid all the foods eliminated from the diet, as not everyone with autoimmunity is intolerant to all of these foods.
My goal when I work with clients is to get them on the least restrictive diet that provides the most amount of health and vitality. While those with an autoimmune disease generally have less wiggle room than the average healthy person, it’s important to remember that the Autoimmune Paleo Diet need not be followed strictly for the rest of one’s life.