Guess What? The AIP is NOT Sugar-Free!

Feb 19, 2021
fresh fruit smoothies, berries, lime, bananas

AIP, also known as the Autoimmune Paleo Diet or AIP, is a diet designed to reduce inflammation in the body to mitigate the symptoms of autoimmune.

Autoimmune is a state of immune confusion where the immune system attacks the cells and tissues of the body.  The most common trait of autoimmune disease is inflammation.  There are over 100 autoimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Hashimoto’s and Psoriasis.

The AIP diet is based on the belief that gut permeability (aka leaky gut) is a root-cause of many autoimmune symptoms. The AIP diet removes foods high in lectins, phytates and gluten which are known to cause intestinal permeability so the gut has a chance to heal. 

Sugars on AIP

If you are considering the AIP you are probably fretting over the thought of giving up many of the foods you love.  Here’s some good news... you don’t have to say NO to sugar.

Now, to be fair, you will need to give up refined sugar. However, there are plenty of AIP compliant sweeteners you can choose from for your sweet “indulgences”.

How to Enjoy Sweets on the AIP

The secret is to stick to 20 grams of fructose a day. If you are diabetic, you may not be able to stand as much sugar as other people. Natural sugars such as molasses, maple syrup, and honey do not cause inflammation so they are allowed on the AIP diet. These sweeteners are considered “functional” sweeteners as they offer micronutrients to the body.

  • Honey: When purchasing honey, it is important to buy only raw organic honey. It is best to buy your honey from a local farmer when possible. Honey is considered a “functional food” meaning that it has nutritional value. For this reason, honey is my favorite go-to sweetener. Honey has 6 grams of sugar per 1 tsp.
  • Maple Syrup: When purchasing maple syrup, only purchase real maple syrup. It is important to read labels. Maple syrup has 5 grams of sugar per teaspoon.
  • Date paste: I like to use date paste to sweeten my treats. Dates can be used to sweeten Protein Balls, homemade cereal, grain-free baked goods and smoothies.
  • Molasses: Purchase only blackstrap molasses, it is nutrient-dense with five times as much iron as steak and 1.5 times as much calcium as cheese!
  • Monk Fruit: A zero calorie and zero carb sweetener from sub-tropical melon.
  • Coconut Sugar: While technically AIP compliant, coconut sugar is difficult to digest for many people (due to the inulin fiber) and is technically still sugar. I suggest using only in moderation.


Sweets in Moderation

You can satisfy your sweet-tooth cravings in limited quantities or a few times in a week, in accordance with your AIP diet plan. If you eat treats moderately, they can be a part of a lifelong healthy eating pattern.

If you'd like a handy list of 30 AIP Compliant snacks to help with ideas, click here to get my guide emailed directly to your inbox!

Have a GREAT day!!

Coach Sandy


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