Foods to Avoid if you Have an Autoimmune Disease ~ Reducing Inflammation with Diet

There are many autoimmune conditions with more being studied daily! A few of the most common are psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Hashimotos, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chrons, Ulcerative colitis, Type I Diabetes, and many more!

People often say that Autoimmunity means our immune system is OVERACTIVE… but that is not very accurate! A better way to describe it would be to say that our immune system is DYSFUNCTIONAL (aka… exhausted).

Autoimmunity develops when your immune system gets overworked (protecting us from invaders) and becomes exhausted and dysfunctional. It can no longer differentiate between invader and self (our bodies). When you ingest foods, toxins, get stressed, get sick etc, your immune system triggers an inflammatory response and creates antibodies against certain foods and substances, usually the ones you eat and come in contact with most often. Leaky gut is often the first trigger for autoimmune since it allows undigested foods particles to enter the blood stream. Your immune system does not recognize these foreign particles and triggers an immune response. As you eat the food again and again a stronger response is triggered leading to chronic inflammation. If you get a cold, or a cut or injury, further inflammation is created by your immune system and it slowly starts to become fatigued.

Along with leaky gut is usually dysbiosis (candida and parasitic overgrowth) as well as heavy metal toxicity (makeup products, aluminum pans, smoking, etc) and mold in the body (damp homes, refrigerated food, etc). All these “invaders” cause our immune system to constantly “put out fires” in our body. This leaves our immune system completely exhausted and it starts to be unable to differentiate between all the invaders, toxins and our own body tissues. When heavy metals, parasites and undigested food proteins travel through the blood and hang out near our organs, our immune system attacks the invader and destroys our own tissues in the process, as is seen with type I diabetes (pancreas), psoriasis (skin), Hashimotos (thyroid), etc.

SO, how do we reduce inflammation and prevent our immune system from attacking our own tissues? CHANGE OUR DIETS! Of course we need to detox heavy metals, mold, parasites and drain our emunctories as well as heal our guts… but none of these can happen without changing our diet FIRST!

Below is my list for the tops foods to avoid if you have ANY type of autoimmune condition and would like to reverse it. The goal is to eat as anti-inflammatory as possible which means eating a whole foods, REAL, organic, clean, low sugar diet.

Foods to Avoid:

  • 1. GLUTEN
  • 2. Dairy
  • 3. Cane sugar
  • 4. Peanuts
  • 5. Nightshades (tomato, eggplant, potatoes)
  • 6. Corn
  • 7. Red meat (and only eat organic) and pork
  • 8. Eggs (if you have an intolerance)
  • 9. Coffee (I know, not fair!!)
  • 10. Oranges

The foods listed above NEED to be avoided (probably not for life) until our guts are healed and can handle the foods again. The foods listed are high histamine, inflammatory and will trigger strong immune responses… which we DON’T want. I do want to say that the list given is not a comprehensive list and there may be more foods which you need to avoid that you personally have a sensitivity to.

So what can we eat after eliminating all those foods!? LOTS! Our world is full of nutritious and colourful foods which we can learn to enjoy and incorporate into our daily meals! Below are some examples, however there are PLENTY more that you can incorporate and I encourage you to get creative and try to eat as much variety and colours as you can!

Nourishing Foods to eat:

  • 1. Romaine lettuce
  • 2. Brussel sprouts
  • 3. Kale & Arugula
  • 4. Spinach
  • 5. cilantro
  • 6. avocado
  • 7. Brocooli and dandelion greens
  • 8. Herbs and spices (especially ginger and turmeric)
  • 9. Cauliflower
  • 10. Sweet potaoes
  • 11. Beetroot
  • 12. Green beans
  • 13. Peas
  • 14. Squash
  • 15. Berries
  • 16. Watermelon
  • 17. Persimmons
  • 18. Dragonfruit
  • 19. Cherries
  • 20. Apples & Pears
  • 21. Pure fresh & raw Aloe
  • 22. Coconut water
  • 23. Apple cider vinegar
  • 24. Coconut vinegar
  • 25. Lemon
  • 26. Pomegranates
  • 27. Coconut
  • 28. Brazil nuts
  • 29. Walnuts
  • 30. Raw goat kefir
  • 31. Chia seeds
  • 32. Flax seeds
  • 33. Chickpeas (soaked)
  • 34. Hemp hearts
  • 35. Wild rice
  • 36. Basmati rice
  • 37. Quinoa
  • 38. Millet
  • 39. Gluten Free Oats
  • 40. Buckwheat
  • 41. Raw honey or Manuka honey
  • 42. Maple syrup
  • 43. Yacon syrup
  • 44. Matcha
  • 45. Konjac noodles
  • 46. Organic tempeh
  • 47. Olive oil
  • 48. Coconut oil
  • 49. Avocado oil
  • 50. Chicken
  • 51. Turkey
  • 52. Wild caught salmon
  • 53. Haddock
  • 54. Lamb
  • 55. Bonebroth & collagen

As mentioned above, here are just SOME of the foods you can and should eat when you have an autoimmune disease. You can delicious gluten free desserts, amazing dinners and lunches, sushi rolls, etc! The idea is to eat WHOLE foods that have not been processed and to really limit sugar consumption. Following these guidelines will go a long way to reducing inflammation

Once your diet is in check, you can begin a detoxification protocol for your elimination organs and then move onto a candida, parasite, and heavy metal cleanse. Contact me if you’d like me to create a protocol for you, or if you would like a meal plan!

Written by: Marla Pietruszko BSc RHN

Instagram: @marlashealthylife

5 Replies to “Foods to Avoid if you Have an Autoimmune Disease ~ Reducing Inflammation with Diet”

  1. Hi Marla.. I have been on a clean diet for Psoriasis for 1yrs plus. My scalp is flaky on & off but after 1 yr my face psoriasis came back. Recently I was recommended to drink red ginger tea through out the day so I did that. I was eating almonds roasted in safflower oil & salt, dried organic pears without preservatives. Is there any way I can chat with u to ask for advice? I have been juicing everyday for the past 1yr plus, go to the beach & get the sun & sea water. I have gilbert syndrome so I can’t take too much supplements.

    1. Hello!

      If you’d like to book a consult, please send me a message through the contact page and I can get you booked in 🙂

  2. It’s SO hard cutting those foods out at first and for a while, but then you really get used to it and start to enjoy whole foods more, and realize how gross the other foods make you feel!

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