AIP, or autoimmune protocol, is a restrictive diet designed to promote a healthy gut and treat hyperpermeability. Hyperpermeability is when your gut's pores are wider than they should be and allow in toxins and other harmful molecules into your bloodstream and is believed to cause a whole host of issues such as chronic fatigue, migraines, and skin conditions.
It's natural to get very hungry when beginning a diet, so having a few snacks around that you trust from the get-go will help you get over that initial hump. That's why we’ve created a list of 23 that you can choose from for inspiration. Find 3-5 that look the most appealing to you and stock up!
Oh sweet, sweet, avocados. I honestly don't know what I would do without you. All you need is salt, pepper, and a little lime to make these guys delicious. You can also grill them and eat them alongside meats like bacon or chicken.
And with such high concentrations of fiber and associations with a reduction of cardiovascular disease, avocados are a safe snacking bet for most diets[*].
Low in calorie but surprisingly high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, watermelons are a great snack option[*]. Just make sure you buy the right ones at the right time. An out-of-season watermelon is just okay, but if it's summer you better believe these guys are worth it. Cut one up all at once, and you'll have snacks for days!
3. Sweet Potatoes
Chock full of antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer and satiating fiber, sweet potatoes are another holy grail of AIP[*]. Bake these guys with some bacon bits, salt, and pepper for a little extra protein and flavor. You can also fry them up in the morning in some coconut oil for some AIP-approved home fries.
4. Berries (in small amounts)
The anti-inflammatory properties and potential for lowering cholesterol levels make berries a healthy choice, but be a bit careful with berries do to their sugar content[*]. I stick to blueberries since I have an easier time putting them away. If I open a box of raspberries, they will be gone in the next hour!
5. Chomps Italian Beef Sticks
Fun fact: we made our Italian beef sticks specifically for the AIP diet. Pretty cool, right? Our grass-fed beef is held to the highest quality and we never compromise on our ethics or taste. With just 90 calories per stick and the right blend of oregano, basil, onion, and garlic, this AIP-approved stick takes snacking to a whole new level.
See why AIP dieters love Chomps Italian Beef Sticks.
6. Roasted Acorn Squash
I made some acorn squash for my family in Christmas 2019, and it was a huge hit. You could argue that it was mostly the butter and brown sugar that made it so good, but using some coconut oil, a tiny bit of honey and salt and pepper would also be delectable and AIP-friendly. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!
7. Additive-free bacon
Bacon is on the menu, but remember that many companies add sugar or additives to their meat. Pork is the most susceptible to poor meat practics as well. Pay the price for premium bacon, and it will reward you in health and taste!
Bacon is a nice snack option due to its high protein content as well. Staying full longer means fewer cravings for carbs and other foods off-limits on the AIP diet.
8. Cucumbers (or cucumber salad)
I always like keeping some cucumbers around, and these fruits disguised as vegetables are good sources of phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits[*].
Use balsamic vinegar along with some salt and pepper to give these guys some flavor. A little bit of dressing up goes a long way for being more satisfied with your snacks. When in doubt, add salt, pepper, and some source of acid (e.g. lemon, lime, or vinegar).
These guys are high in fat and potassium and are among my favorite foods to snack on. Don't go eating five every single day for the duration of your diet, but you can definitely build them into a balanced AIP menu.
10. Banana chips
I tend to eat an enormous amount of these every time I buy them, so I try to resist them, but technically they are just fine! Just get the salty or plain versions and not the sugary ones. Trader Joe's has a great selection of banana chips, and you can also pick up some Chomps AIP-friendly beef sticks there!
11. Yucca fries
Yucca is so underrated in the States. It's delicious, high in calcium, and a great source of Vitamin C[*]. It's like a potato with a different (more ribbony?) texture and is popular in South America. I ate them all the time when I was living in Lima and really miss it! Do yourself a favor and try these guys out.
12. Tuna or other canned fish
If you want a protein blast of a snack, then tuna will get you there. With 22 grams of protein per 3 ounces, this fish will keep you full for hours[*]. It's also great for those of you looking to hit your protein macros. Just watch out for mercury-laden brands!
I walked into a shop in Madrid one time that was entirely prosciutto. It was just a spiraling ceiling of Siberian-smoked hams, and I've been wanting to go back ever since. Do yourself and pick some prosciutto up — these perfectly cured meats are always worth it.
14. Homemade kale chips
Cut kale, toss kale in oil, add salt and pepper, bake, profit. It's that simple, and kale chips are super good when you nail them. It doesn't hurt that they are one of the most nutrient-packed foods on the planet, either.
15. Seaweed Chips
Similar to kale chips, you can buy these in a store or easily make them at home for an AIP-friendly snack option. They are high in vitamins and minerals and have been linked to thyroid function support[*]. Kale chips and seaweed chips are easy to buy in health stores as well when you're in a pinch.
16. Carrots + paleo ranch
Arguably the most snackable of vegetables and jam-packed with Vitamin A, carrots are good to go on AIP. Pair them with a paleo ranch and you'll be all set. That paleo ranch is deadly on sweet potatoes as well.
17. Cauliflower popcorn
Hear me out. Cauliflower popcorn is almost certainly better than you think, although popcorn may be a bit of a stretch. It's really roasted cauliflower, but that doesn't make it any less delicious.
18. Celery sticks
You can't use your almond butter for celery while on AIP, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some fat-free, high-in-fiber celery either raw or cooked up in a soup[*]. I prefer celery in soup, but you could also dip them in paleo ranch or dress them up just like the cucumbers mentioned above.
19. Olives (without cheese!)
You can't have feta-stuffed olives, but kalamata and plain olives are fine. Grab a jar and keep them in the fridge for when you need them! They're a great source of good fats, antioxidants, and have nutrients linked to memory function as well[*].
20. Dried meats like salami
If you want a more substantial snack, then keeping some dried meats around is a good way to get full fast. I'm bad about eating a whole bunch in one sitting, but if you have more restraint than me then definitely pick some up.
21. Chomps Sea Salt Beef Sticks
We made another flavor just for AIP dieters: our sea salt beef sticks. These beef sticks let our 100% grass-fed & finished beef do the talking, creating craveable taste for people who love that beefy goodness. Made with just a pinch of garlic, some celery juice, and sea salt, this AIP snack is nightshade-free and made from sustainable beef.
Check out AIP-approved Chomps Sea Salt Beef Sticks.
22. Zucchini or carrot muffins
You can take these in either a savory or sweet direction, just make sure it doesn't use eggs or goes overboard on the sugar. Your best bet is to find a paleo recipe and use that as a foundation for whatever else you would like to add. Here's a recipe to get you started.
23. Coconut yogurt
Dairy is a no go, but coconut yogurt is fine! Natural coconut yogurt is rich in fats and has healthy probiotics[*]. Just avoid brands with tons of sugar.
There you go! Pick a few, write them down, grab them, double-check the labels if applicable, and then rest easy knowing your AIP journey will be easier from here on out.
And if there are any snacks you buy that are super delicious, you should flex your cooking muscles and try to make them yourself! Chances are you can do so and end up with a cheaper and healthier product.