Can AIP be unhealthy?
The answer to the above is … it depends. Any diet can be unhealthy if you eat too many processed foods, unhealthy fats, too many starchy foods, or too many sweets.
On the other hand, almost any diet can be healthy if it is nutrient dense, if you avoid sugars, processed foods and unhealthy fats and if you do not have underlying autoimmune diseases, food sensitivities or other medical conditions which can require the elimination of certain foods.
Am I still following AIP? When I last chatted with you a year and a half ago, I was adhering to a fairly strict AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet with re-introductions of black pepper, black tea, the odd glass of white wine and some cheese but some other components of the AIP lifestyle were not optimal.
Sleep — stress and more stress
We know that good sleep and stress management are also part of the AIP lifestyle. The sleep component was mostly under control but stress had skyrocketed as a result of a separation from my husband, selling our home and moving four times in three and a half months.
Where am I now?
My fourth move has me renting a basement suite in a friend’s home as I await the completion of a condo which I bought almost two years ago. For the first four months living here, I was following the AIP diet with the few re-intros identified above and lots and lots of starchy carbs like yams and sweet potatoes.
Pre-disposition to Alzheimer’s
As time went by I developed a skin tag and accumulated some abdominal fat. Both of these things can point to insulin resistance. Individuals who have insulin resistance are also more prone to developing Alzheimer’s.
Somewhere I also read or heard (all those youtube videos and podcasts) that sleep apnea is associated with an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.
I have sleep apnea and MAYBE insulin resistance. Yikes.
Wake up call.
Did I sit up and take notice? You bet.
Low carb high fat (LCHF)with an AIP twist
Asparagus gremolata on salmon is a great LCHF recipe if topped with a tablespoonful or two of olive oil.
I read David Perlmutter’s book “Grain Brain” and in it, he recommended eating a moderately low carb diet combined with high fat to possibly prevent or reverse early Alzheimer’s.
I began to implement a low carb high-fat diet. This can mean consuming anywhere from 10 to 200g of carbohydrates a day depending on whether you are adhering to a strict, moderate, or liberal LCHF diet. Carbs should be about 5% of total calories, fats 60-70%, and protein 20-30%. In order to calculate these macros I used an app called Cron-o-meter.
AIP/LCHF? I reintroduced almonds and pecans, eggs and butter but basically adhered to AIP with total carbohydrates 50 g per day or less. This meant no sugars and no starchy veggies like yams. Sigh.
What is allowed:
- leafy greens and other veggies grown above the ground
- small quantities of berries
- full fat dairy
- hard cheeses
- chicken with skin
- beef tallow
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- avocado oil
- nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia
So why did I need to fine tune LCHF? Stay tuned for the next post.
Where are you in your journey towards health and healing? Leave me a comment and let me know if you are strict AIP, AIP with reintroductions, Whole 30, LCHF, Keto, or Paleo. I would love to hear how you’re doing!