So this is pretty exciting….one of the first formal research studies that demonstrates how the paleo diet has the potential to be a highly effective intervention for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (and likely other autoimmune diseases).
The study used the autoimmune version of the Paleo diet, known as the autoimmune protocol (AIP), which avoids grains, legumes, nightshades, dairy, eggs, coffee, alcohol, nuts and seeds, refined/processed sugars, oils and food additives.
AIP also emphasises consumption and preparation of fresh, nutrient dense foods, bone broth and fermented foods.
A whopping 73% of the participants went into remission and many stayed in remission even when adapting to the maintenance version of the diet which is a big *phew* as AIP can be pretty full on.
The elimination phase was carried out for 6 weeks and followed by a 5 week maintenance phase where foods were slowly reintroduced in phases to expand the longer term nutritional protocol.
When working clients on a 1:1 basis I regularly use elimination diets as I’ve achieved great success with them as an intervention to address digestive issues, hormone imbalances, immune dysfunction and chronic inflammatory conditions.
I start with a paleo template and adapt after analysing a client’s symptoms and their response to the eliminations. Initially AIP often feels a little too much for some people but after the experiencing the benefits of some basic eliminations and increasing foods that nourish their digestive system they feel more confident and positive about trialling further dietary changes. Plus in the background I use supplements like probiotics and enzymes to support and rebuild digestive function so not all the eliminations are permanent.
We also use an elimination diet as the basis for Fitter 16, our lifestyle transformation plan, because we believe that one of the best ways to achieve sustainable results is by establishing a basis of nutrition that supports good gut health, balanced blood sugar levels and has an anti-inflammatory emphasis.
The first phase of Fitter 16 eliminates all grains, dairy, flour, refined sugar and liquid calories yet we still manage to conjure up over 50 tasty recipes, there’s also an eBook on gut health provided with recipes that offer the essential nutrients needed to restore the digestive infrastructure.
The subsequent phases of Fitter 16 reintroduce foods to make the model of nutrition sustainable and realistic.
If you know anyone struggling with an inflammatory bowel condition, autoimmune condition or digestive issues maybe send them the study published in the Journal of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and mention that a paleo or paleo-ish (as we call ourselves at Fitter Food) diet could be highly effective intervention to help decrease and possibly reverse their symptoms.