Auto-immune Diet Summary

Diet Summary (AKA: No Starch Diet)

Here is a summary of the types of foods that I can and cannot eat. The basis of the diet is to strictly avoid the following: all amylose starch, dairy (except butter and perhaps yoghurt). 

Following this diet clears over 95% of the inflammation in my body, bringing relief to the following inflammatory conditions which I have suffered: Ankylosing Spondylitis (no more pain, can run & dance again), eczema (100% cleared), iritis (100% cleared), rhinitis / sinusitis (improved by roughly 60-80%).

Dandruff also cleared completely, and the yeast infections which I experienced continually before the diet improved significantly too (actually the dandruff was caused by yeast too, as I was using an anti fungal shampoo to control it).

==== The foods I react to are: ====
  • starchy roots (potato, yam, sweet potato)
  • grains (with a caveat: I am able to tolerate glutinous rice as it contains no amylose starch)
  • most legumes / beans (soy, navy bean, kidney bean, etc)
  • dairy products
  • caramel - actually this is more of an issue for iritis & proctitis tan for AS (sugar cooked with butter, dairy, or even coconut)
  • some nuts & seeds (sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews)
  • some types of vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar is OK).
  • I suspect certain types of yeast derivatives to be a mild problem for me, for example: alcohol, vinegar (ACV is fine.. foods containing vinegar include tomato sauce, salad dressings, pickles, mustard, etc), cheese, etc. 

==== Foods that are safe are: ====

  • all leafy greens (cabbage, spinach, kale, etc), 
  • most vegetables (zucchini, capsicum [red/green/yellow peppers], tomato, brocoli, cauliflower), 
  • long green beans (but not other beans), 
  • all meats, fish, etc
  • eggs, 
  • dried fruits - sultanas, currants, figs, dried apricots, pawpaw, etc, 
  • most fresh fruits - especially grapes, pears, apples, frozen berries, 
  • tofu - starch is removed when traditionally prepared, 
  • coconut cream, 
  • coconut fibre - although the preservative that is often added makes me feel a bit unwell 
  • oils, 
  • some nuts - hazelnuts, pine nuts, almonds (blanched almonds are safer), walnuts, pecans,
  • some seeds - sesame, pumpkin seed, 
  • tahini, 
  • olives, 
  • baba ganouj - if made traditionally, 
  • yogurt - but my prostate seems to dislike this (avoid products with additives/thickeners/gums/inulin!).
  • All stone fruits - nectarine, apricot, peach, plum, and also avocado.
  • Foods containing FOS / Inulin - garlic, onion, asparagus, artichoke.
  • Pumpkin - these can be starchy as they are often picked at the wrong time.
  • In the case of inulin and FOS (Fructo-oligosacharides) I was able to build tolerance by adding it to my diet first in very tiny amounts, then gradually increasing the mount over a number of days.
  • Miso - I can eat it safely now, and in fact it makes me feel very healthy, but initially I did react. Fortunately I was able to build tolerance to this too. 
  • Cheese - at first this would cause moderate inflammation. It was definitely handled better than starch though.

==== Be careful with these: ====
There are some foods that you need to be careful with for various reasons, especially when starting the diet. You may well be able to tolerate this later when your inflammation levels drop, the gut heals, and your gut flora improves:
  • All stone fruits - nectarine, apricot, peach, plum, and also avocado.
  • FOS / Inulin - Foods containing this include: garlic, onion, asparagus, artichoke. I found it was quite easy to build tolerance to this. Items with added powdered inulin were however too much for me to adapt to and this includes certain yoghurt and also some probiotic supplements - so check the labels.
  • Pumpkin - these can be starchy as they are often picked at the wrong time. I find the starch level varies quite a great deal. Always use the iodine test.
  • Almonds with skin on - can provoke AS moderately due to small amount of starch in the skin
  • Dairy - some people tolerate this well. Usually yoghurt is the safest. Mixtures of dairy and sugar provoke my iritis quite strongly.
Some people can tolerate rice in moderation, however this should not be tried until all inflammation has cleared. I tolerate glutinous rice very well as it contains no Amylose starch, but please wait until your pain subsides before trying that.

==== Further Reading ====
I have written a book chapter with some more detailed info on how to follow this diet. Here is the link:


  1. Thanks for posting this specific list. How did you go about narrowing things down? Did you do an elimination diet?

  2. Hi Morgan,
    The biggest help in formulating my diet came from where they had already seen improvements in cutting out starch. The first step was recognising food as the root cause. This was something I had initially declared as being an impossibility, but later found to be true (details of that are in the "My Story" page). After that I first tried reducing starch intake, in particular by avoiding wheat, and gradually felt improvement.

    I also would sometimes do a "fruit fast" for about 3 days and gain complete relief (mostly I ate apples, pears and grapes - and avoided bananas and stone fruit as these are problematic). That helped me to understand the relationship between food and my health better. Those periods when I was in no pain were useful in proving to me that amylose starch was indeed the cause of my inflammation, as the reaction at those times was very stark. I would go from no pain at all to full AS inflammation in a matter of hours after eating starchy foods. Not all people react so quickly, so in some ways I am lucky there. The pain would last about 3 days in my case - in other words 3 days of careful starch restriction was what it took to clear the inflammation from my body. Again, some people take longer for the inflammation to die down.

    Some food reactions were indeed a matter of trial and error, eg: FOS/Inulin and amylopectin. I make regular notes in order to track my health and how food, and medicine, interact with my health. In some of my posts you may even find bits of these personal notes that, currently, I keep track of using my smartphone.

  3. Hi! Very useful blog! Do you do a test for klebsiella, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein before and after the diet? What are your results?