Paleo-Shopping

Paleo/Whole30® Shopping Lists: Autoimmune, FODMAP, and Low-Histamine

Doing our Whole30® program can be hard enough for a first-timer. Doing the Whole30 with a health condition that requires you to rule out even more food than the program calls for can be downright mind-boggling. So today, in preparation for our next official Whole30 starting August 1st, we’ve created some special It Starts With Food Paleo and Whole30 shopping lists for those of you with an autoimmune condition, histamine intolerance, or who are on a low-FODMAP diet.

Autoimmune Whole30

autoimmune-whole30

We outlined our complete Whole30 autoimmune protocol in Chapter 21 of It Starts With FoodThose with multiple sclerosis, PCOS, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions should already be following a general Paleo diet for optimal health, but also have to take additional precautions during a program like the Whole30, as there are foods that may continue to promote inflammation in this population–foods that are considered “healthy” for the rest of us.

Our autoimmune shopping list includes appropriate animal protein sources, vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats for your Whole30, but excludes foods off-limits for our general Whole30 program, and those specific to our autoimmune protocol. We’ve left the foods that you’ll be excluding on the list in a light grey, so you can see exactly what you’ll be purposefully leaving out. This is important, because some “off-limit” foods on this list will extend to others–for example, no tomatoes means no tomato sauce or salsa.

We’ve also included some helpful hints at the bottom of the list–additional foods and other ingestibles that you’ll want to eliminate during your autoimmune Whole30. For a complete explanation of why these specific items are out, refer to Chapter 21 of It Starts With Food.

Low-FODMAP Whole30

low-fodmap

We briefly mentioned FODMAPs in Chapter 10 of It Starts With Food. FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols”—a collection of fermentable carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in various foods, like grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. FODMAPs are poorly absorbed, thereby “feeding” gut bacteria and causing a host of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)-related symptoms, including abdominal bloating and distension, excess gas, abdominal pain, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both), and other gastro-intestinal symptoms.

For those who know or suspect they have a sensitivity to FODMAPs, crafting a healthy Paleo diet or Whole30 program can be tricky. Even reputable sources report conflicting information on what foods are safe for those on a low-FODMAP diet. We’ve crafted our list based on two of the most highly respected FODMAP programs in the world, but you should still practice awareness during your Whole30. If symptoms continue even on this low-FODMAP plan, consider keeping a food journal to help you identify other foods that may be contributing to your digestive distress, or consult with a qualified functional medicine practitioner.

Our low-FODMAP shopping list rules out those items normally off-limits for your Whole30 (like milk and beans), and those specifically excluded for their higher FODMAP content. We’ve grayed out those higher FODMAP foods, so you can see specifically what you’ll be leaving out.

For more information on FODMAPs, see Shepherd Works, or the Stanford University Medical Center. (Ignore their recommendation to eat gluten-free waffles, however.)

Low-Histamine Whole30

histamine

Histamine is a chemical which occurs naturally in certain foods.* It’s also one of the chemicals that is released in the body as part of an allergic reaction, causing the typical allergy symptoms, like ‘itching, sneezing, wheezing, and swelling. (Many over-the-counter allergy medications contain an antihistamine.) We have an enzyme which breaks down the histamines found in food, but some people have a low level of this enzyme. When these people eat too many histamine-rich foods, they may suffer ‘allergy-like’ symptoms such as headaches, rashes, urticaria (hives), itching, gastro-intestinal upset, asthma, or eczema. This is called histamine intolerance.

*Certain foods are also able to stimulate the body’s own natural release of histamine. These are called “histamine liberators.”

If you are one of the 1% of people with a histamine intolerance, your best recourse is to follow a Paleo + low-histamine diet. Our low-histamine shopping list eliminates all histamine-rich foods not allowed on the Whole30 (like cheese), and excludes additional histamine-rich “Paleo” foods. Pay special attention to the notes at the bottom of the list, as some specific types of foods (such as cured or smoked meats, canned foods like salmon or tuna, and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha) should also be avoided.

For more information on histamine intolerance, see this incredibly detailed article from Jamie Scott, of Whole9 South Pacific.

Get Ready, Get Set, Whole30!

We hope these additional resources help you prepare for your Whole30, whether you’re starting today or joining us for the next official site-wide program.  And as always, leave questions or feedback below in comments.

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Comments

  1. Brooke Carmichael says

    On the shopping lists, the foods in black lettering are allowed just not considered the best choices…correct?

  2. says

    @Brooke,

    The things in black are all really good, really healthy choices. We highlight things in green because those are your “powerhouse” foods – extra nutrient-dense. We encourage people to chose those on a regular basis to get as much nutrient bang-for-your-buck as possible.

    Best,
    Melissa

  3. says

    Just an FYI for anyone who is FODMAP sensitive – beware of coconut! I personally cannot tolerate coconut butter, coconut flakes, or coconut milk. Coconut oil is ok. There are some internet sites regarding this. See how it works (or not) for you.

  4. azule says

    I applaud you for recognising many of the immune and food issues faced by prospective Whole 30 participants! However the histamine list does need a second look, spinach and avocado are some of the highest-histamine foods. Regarding meats it should be noted that histamine builds up in food over time and therefore leftovers can be a problem particularly in meats (it was for me) both before and after cooking. In addition certain popular condiments such as vinegar and soy sauce are out.

    http://www.allergyuk.org/common-food-intolerances/histamine-intolerance

    Clearly everyone has to do what works best for them. I discovered this while doing a Whole30 and came to conclude that to manage this issue effectively I had to resume eating some beans and gluten free grains.

  5. says

    @Danielle: While coconut is not traditionally listed as a high-FODMAP food, different foods affect people differently. Thanks for sharing this with our readers.

    @Azule: Thank you for your feedback. We do caution against vinegar in the small print at the bottom of the list, and soy in all forms is a food we recommend everyone avoid. I did some further research and agree with you on your other points. I’ve adjusted spinach, and added “leftover” to the meat caution in the footnote. I’m not ready to gray out avocado yet – it doesn’t appear on the vast majority of the high histamine lists I’ve researched. However, as some have reported reactions with avocado (and the list you referenced does say there is potential), I’ve also added that in the footnote.

    Best,
    Melissa

  6. says

    Thank you so much for these lists! I have been doing whole 30 and autoimmune protocol for a little while now. I’ve decided a few days ago to also do the low fodmap diet and these lists help tremendously. Thank you!

  7. Sonja says

    I’m going to be starting the 30 day autoimmune protocol and have a concern. I have reynards and take an baby aspirin everyday as per doctors orders. I noticed that it is suggested to stop taking NSAIDS under which aspirin fall with my condition in mind would you still make this suggestion and if so should I be concern?

  8. mlowery says

    Isn’t there another spot on this site regarding foods/drinks to avoid while doing whole30 with IBS? I can’t find it anywhere! Thanks!!

  9. Chloe says

    Hi! Your book literally changed my life. Ive been whole30 strong for a year now, but still suffer from PCOS and keratosis pillars. I have no idea PCOS was autoimmune related. It is?! Same with KP?

  10. says

    Nicole, good luck to you!

    Sonja, you should absolutely follow your doctor’s orders – those trump our recommendations every time. However, perhaps you could have a talk with your doctor about your concern with NSAIDs provoking intestinal permeability, and see if he/she could offer an alternative treatment?

    Mlowery: We cover this information briefly in our book, It Starts With Food (http://bit.ly/whole9iswf), but not here on the site. Our Whole30 forum may have posts related to IBS, however (http://forum.whole9life.com).

    Chloe: PCOS is absolutely an autoimmune disorder. The jury is still out on KP, however.

    Melissa

  11. Melissa says

    I always struggled with KP Chloe, until one of my oldest friends, a brilliant naturopath who I hadn’t seen for years, told me “fish oils” – to increase my omega 3′s. She prescribed fish oils, high potency, ultra-clean, 2 in morn & 2 at night, and my skin cleared and I have not had any trouble since. It’s been about 8 years and I no longer even take the supplements regularly (if at all now). Maybe by increasing your intake of fish high in omega 3′s, or taking supplements, if you we’re not averse to them, this could help you too? I think you almost need to give your body a big booster of it to begin with (I.e. supplements), to kick start it along. But this is only my opinion.

  12. Melissa says

    I always struggled with KP, Chloe, until one of my oldest friends, a brilliant naturopath who I hadn’t seen for years, told me “fish oils” – to increase my omega 3′s. She prescribed fish oils, high potency, ultra-clean, 2 in morn & 2 at night, and my skin cleared and I have not had any trouble since. It’s been about 8 years and I no longer even take the supplements regularly (if at all now). Maybe by increasing your intake of fish high in omega 3′s, or taking supplements, if you were not averse to them, this could help you too? I think you almost need to give your body a big booster of it to begin with (I.e. supplements), to kick start it along. But this is only my opinion.

  13. Chloe says

    Thanks Melissa! And Melissa! (hehehe)

    Melissa – Fermented Cod Liver Oil (without butter – since AIP) is helping a lot – but i will look into
    adding some more high potency fish oils to the mix – Do you have any you recommend?

    Melissa@Whole9 – Ive been on the AIP for a solid 2 weeks and holy moly does it help!
    I have however, kept pastured egg YOLKS in the mix, (noticing health improvements with more cholesterol and vitamin A in diet)

    just one question with eggs:

    If the yolks are pastured and tolerated can those be included on the AIP?

    ThankS! (BTW i have now mailed out 2 copies of ISWF as gifts – like a good whole30 elf helper ;)

  14. says

    Chloe, the whites tend to be the most problematic, so if you know you tolerate yolks well, go ahead and keep them in. If, however, you start getting some funky stuff (or if you don’t see all the improvements you want to see), consider popping them out for a week or two.

    We love the Stronger Faster Healthier brand of S03 fish oil. It’s super high potency, so you only need a teaspoon or so a day. http://strongerfasterhealthier.com/ref/whole9/

    Thanks for your support!

    Melissa

  15. Chloe says

    Melissa@Whole9

    Thanks!!! I’ve avoided eggs,nuts,and seeds for a solid 3 months now …. now eliminating nightshades as well. Already KP has improved! But i will say i feel tremendously better with egg yolks – strangely my vision has improved and skin is healing finally… so ill continue, unless anything goes awry ;)

    Will defiantly check this fish oil out in addition to straight FCL

    Thanks again for responding! I really appreciate it :)

  16. Grant says

    Gaahhhh, I really wanna know if one of these will help me. Being a “bodybuilder” (in my free time, of course) trying to gain weight, I’ve probably shoved a large amount of histamine-related foods down my throat (thanks to making meals in advance, albeit freezing some, and basically eating anything as long as it fit my macros) so I think I’ll try the low histamine one, religiously freezing any unused cooked meat, and keep a journal. I think I’ll buy the book too, since you guys really seem to know whazzup.

    Thanks for the helpful information and lists xx

    Grant

  17. Yolanda says

    What plan would you advise for severe rocea. I have a rash all over my face its very red and at times hot. I have been told its Rocea. Help please (right now I am doing the auto immune protocol)

  18. says

    Yolanda, the consensus is that rosacea isn’t a true autoimmune disorder. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re not still sensitive to foods like nuts, seeds, or eggs. If you’re doing an AIP right now, I’d continue with that for the full 30 days. When you reintroduce some of the AIP-specific foods, you’ll be able to evaluate whether those foods affect your skin or not. Then, you can make a decision as to whether to include those foods as part of your everyday diet.

    Best,
    Melissa

  19. Aventurine says

    I just started a Whole30, with some trepidation, as I’m pescetarian.

    I was vegan for many, many years, and the only Whole30 (e.g., non-dairy) animal products I eat at present are some seafood and eggs. The only fish I eat are fillets or shrimp. Pretty much anything other than that freaks me out. I have eaten chicken on a few occasions, but I’m not sure I could bring myself to cook it and it’s hard to find pre-cooked organic where I live. Red meat disgusts me.

    Here’s the thing…I have pretty bad PCOS, and I just came across this post.

    If I cut out eggs (I only buy pastured, organic) and nuts…how am I going to survive with fish as my only satisfying (e.g., non-vegetable) protein? Is that even possible? Fish for every meal? If one is a pescetarian and PCOS, is it better to include eggs and nuts, or to include legumes? I’m so confused…

  20. says

    Aventurine, you’re kind of leaving me between a rock and a hard place. I respect your animal protein limitations, but you can’t eliminate most animal proteins and then try to do an autoimmune Whole30. Fish at every meal seems unsustainable.

    Your best option is to do a straight Whole30, leaving in eggs as a protein source for variety, and eliminating all grains, legumes, and dairy as prescribed. If you can manage that for 30 days, you’ll have a better idea of whether this kind of elimination program is going to be helpful for your symptoms. If you see good results, then you’ll have to decide whether it’s more important to get over your aversion to other forms of animal protein, or to live with some symptoms and maintain your mostly-vegetarian diet.

    Have you read this post? It might help, if you decide to try to include more animal protein in your diet: http://www.whole9life.com/2013/02/eating-meat-a-primer-for-the-meat-challenged-2/

    Best,
    Melissa

  21. Janet says

    Melissa:

    Been Paleo/Primal with some dairy (Kerrygold butter and cream, etc. but not alot–except the butter) for almost 2 years. 65 YO woman with no real health issues–no thyroid symptoms–good energy, normal weight, blah, blah.

    For the first time in my life I have some patches of eczema (I believe). I think It started after I began drinking and brewing my own Kombucha, drinking about 16 oz. per day. I see that KT is on your low-histamine shopping sheet. It subsided during the summer and now it’s back this fall. Should I suspect the KT? I stopped a week ago and it isn’t any worse but not itching so much. Just want your feedback on this. LOVE your book(s).

  22. says

    Janet,

    Fermented foods like kombucha are known histamine triggers. I highly suspect, as you’ve noticed, that KT is not okay for you. Cut it out for 30 days, see what happens. Reintroduce it, see what happens. That’s the best way to know for sure.

    Melissa

  23. Melissa says

    I really appreciate you getting back to me. I think the shopping lists are SOOOO helpful and succinct. I don’t have much time to wade through lots of pages and graphs. This makes it easy. I am going to give this KT removal a month or 2 and see what happens. I did enjoy the process of brewing, and enjoyed the taste, but I don’t like itching and red bumpy oozing patches either.

  24. Connie says

    Hi Melissa!! Your book is brillant, thank you! I have an
    underactive thyroid and am on .25 of synthroid. I am following
    your autoimmune plan and I am having great success. Thank you. I am assuming that I should
    be following this plan vs. the regular plan, is that correct? I am still eating eggs and feel
    great. How would I determine if things like eggs, nuts, etc are not good for me? By the way I feel
    after eating? Thank you. Connie

    • says

      Connie, you’d want to follow the AIP if your thyroid condition was caused by an autoimmune condition, like Hashimoto’s. If your thyroid was sluggish for other reasons (meaning you tested negative for Hashimoto’s antibodies), you may not need to restrict eggs, nuts and seeds, and the rest of the AIP foods during your Whole30.

      If you don’t have an autoimmune condition, I’d say just follow the regular Whole30 as written and see how things go. If after 30-60 days you are still experiencing some negative digestive, pain, or other symptoms, then you might want to consider adding the AIP on top of the Whole30 for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference.

      Best,
      Melissa

  25. Connie says

    Hi Melissa!! Thank you for the quick response.
    My thyroid was just sluggish, no autoimmune reason. I will
    try the regular menu and notice how I feel. You guys are great!! Thank you,
    Connie

  26. Janet says

    Been 2 weeks since I have eliminated kombucha. My patches of rash have begun to disappear or become less red and itchy and no new areas have appeared. Will give this a month and maybe reintroduce. Maybe.

  27. says

    Hi Melissa,

    Thank you so much for the shopping list for low histamine.
    Another item that should be approached with caution on your list is Kale, Kale is very similar to spinach and last night I had Kale for the first time and my reaction to it was much worse than spinach.

    Thanks,
    Zelda

  28. says

    Janet–sounds like you are on the right track! Reintroduce carefully, as that will give you the best information about whether you are sensitive to the histamines in fermented kombucha.

    Zelda–thank you for that information! I’ll do some research into kale.

    Best,
    Melissa

  29. Kathy says

    Melissa,
    What is okay to drink on the Whole30? I have the book and understand the restrictions on coffee and milk, and have read to drink plenty of water, but not with your meal. What is okay to drink– water only?

    What about after the first 30 days? Is unsweetened ice tea ever okay? I am assuming your protocol frowns on soda, diet or regular, but I just haven’t been able to find the topic of non-alcoholic beverages in the book. Maybe I am just missing it.

  30. Liz says

    I just wanted to say thank you, so much. These lists are immensely helpful and offer some ease and relief in the challenges of sorting through the “what’s good” and “what’s not so good” to eat. I’ve suffered from IBS, eczema, non-allergic rhinitis and other related issues on and off for the past 3+ years. I have only been following a Paleo + FODMAPS diet for about two months now, but it has already done more to improve my symptoms than anything else in the past. Your resources like these lists are tremendously helpful. Thanks!

  31. Donna says

    I have fibromyalgia, allergies, asthma, and eczema. So I started on Paleo, and now am trying to do AIP. I just read the histamine list… and I have known reactions to shellfish, bananas, walnuts, melons, cucumbers and many other foods, that I have always thought were allergies based on reactions and allergy testing over the years. I wonder if I need to be trying to follow both the AIP and the histamine list. If so, what do I use for salad dressing? I see that you say to avoid vinegar and lemons and limes. Is there a “safe” acid to use?

  32. Cara says

    Hi! New to y’all and to HI, thank you for the shopping list, I am off to start an elimination experiment, what can you say about salad dressings since most all contain citrus or vinegar, mayo, buttermilk, etc.?

  33. Becca says

    Melissa do you think the autoimmune protocol would be helpful for lichen sclerosis? I have done a whole 30 in the past but am trying to figure out if the AIP will help LS? Have you ever heard of people seeing success from it?

  34. Jah says

    I can’t seem to open the shopping lists anymore. I get a 404 message. Any help would be very much appreciated.

  35. Heather says

    I am on the depo proverb shot. I have gained a great deal of weight from it. Will the whole9/Paleo plan help me shed the unwanted pounds? I also workout at a crossfit affiliate 5times a week

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