The Alkaline Diet: Does It Work?

  • An alkaline diet focuses on eating vegetables and fruits without any special gear or supplements.
  • It also claims that avoiding acid-producing foods like meat, sugar and processed foods can help prevent health conditions like cancer.
  • Other foods that are also off-limits include food allergy triggers including dairy, fish and peanuts.

In 2013, Victoria Beckham revealed in a tweet about a low acidity eating plan featured in an alkaline diet cookbook as the secret to her super slim figure. Since then, the diet, also known as the alkaline ash diet or alkaline acid diet, started gaining more popularity among Hollywood celebrities who swore it helped with weight loss and prevented certain health problems.

Read on to learn more about this diet and know if it really works.

Which foods are banned and allowed?

According to theory, avoiding meat, wheat, refined sugar and processed foods, all of which can make your body more alkaline, can protect you from getting arthritis and cancer, and other health conditions. Other banned foods include sugar, fizzy drinks, pasta, white rice, condiments, alcohol and caffeine. 

Whereas, a diet high in fiber from fruit, vegetables, soybeans and tofu, some nuts, seeds and legumes, as well as drinking lots of water, which are good for you, are encouraged in the alkaline diet. 

Cooking and Shopping

You can find many free alkaline food charts online that list foods you can buy at the grocery store. You just have to learn how to prep and cook your meals when using fresh foods.

Does the diet have any preferences?

Vegetarians and vegans: This diet which is almost vegetarian works for vegans because dairy is not allowed.

Gluten-free: While the diet excludes wheat, to avoid gluten totally, you have to carefully check food labels because gluten is not just found in wheat.

Allergies:Major triggers for food allergies such as milk, eggs, peanuts, fish and shellfish are also off-limits, which are also good for people who avoid fat and sugar.

Does it Work?

Answer: Maybe, but for other reasons, says Dr. Melinda Ratini.

For starters, a pH level is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 0 as totally acidic, 7 as being neutral and 14 as completely alkaline. These levels vary in the body. The blood is slightly alkaline with a pH of 7.35 to 7.45, the stomach with a pH of 3.5 or below is very acidic to break down food, and the urine, which changes depending on what you eat.

pH scale

Although the alkaline diet claims to maintain the body’s blood pH level, what you eat doesn’t significantly change your blood pH. Your body is responsible for keeping that level steady.

However, the foods recommended in the alkaline diet as well as the prohibited ones, do support a healthy weight loss.

Additionally, some early evidence showed intake of low acid-producing foods could help hinder kidney stones, strengthen bones and muscles, promote heart health and brain function, ease back pain and minimize type 2 diabetes risks.

What good does it do for our health?

Since the alkaline diet means choosing fruits and vegetables over higher-calorie and higher-fat choices, and nixes p foods high in sodium, this is good news for heart health because they help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are contributors to heart disease.

A healthy weight is also essential in preventing and treating diabetes and osteoarthritis.

Although some studies suggested that an alkaline environment may make some chemo drugs more effective, alkaline diets were not shown to prevent cancer. If you have cancer, talk to your doctor first before attempting any diet plan.

Bottomline

Many people will surely have a tough time following the alkaline because it doesn’t allow consuming a lot of their favorite foods. Plus, protein is usually limited in plant-based sources, so make sure too that you still get enough protein and calcium.

Several alkaline diets also fail to include exercise, which is a major factor in any weight loss program. As recommended by the American Heart Association and the CDC, at least 150 minutes of exercise is required per week. 

Source: WebMD


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