It seems like every time you open the internet there’s some new diet promising the world as long as you eat these certain foods and avoid others.
How many times have you tried a new diet only to have it completely fail?
You may have blamed yourself, but it’s definitely not your fault.
Fad diets don’t work because they aren’t designed to create long-term solutions: they’re designed to make money.
Sure, every diet probably has some great basic concepts, but that doesn’t mean it will deliver the results it promises.
You’ve heard of Atkin’s, South Beach, and juicing, but what is an alkaline diet?
The name sounds pretty science-y right? So, can it promote weight loss?
What is an alkaline diet?
A few years ago, celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow swore by it, but what is an alkaline diet?
Is it really worth the hype?
Alkaline diets focus on the idea that everything you eat is either acidic, alkaline, or neutral.
If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is.
According to the alkaline diet plan, when food breaks down in your body, it leaves ash – just like when you burn wood.
Proponents of the diet believe that this ash from acidic foods has a negative effect on the body. Ash from alkaline foods, on the other hand, keep the body balanced and healthy.
It has a direct impact on your body’s pH levels. It’s impossible to change your blood pH level (and you wouldn’t want to, trust me). You can, however, monitor the pH level of your urine.
- Acidic: 0-7
- Neutral: 7
- Alkaline: 7-14
Typical urine is usually slightly acidic at about 6, but different parts of the body have different pH levels. Your stomach is very acidic (about 2) because it has to break down food. The human body is overall slightly alkaline at about 7.40.
The alkaline diet plan
In a general sense, the alkaline diet plan is pretty healthy because it focuses heavily on vegetables while cutting out sweets and fats.
Acidic foods to avoid:
- Alcohol, beer, coffee, green tea, and carbonated drinks
- All meat (except freshwater fish)
- All dairy
- All conventional bread
- Most condiments
- All sweeteners including sugars, honey, molasses, and artificial sweeteners
- Canned, frozen, or otherwise processed food
- Cashews, peanuts, and pistachios
- Fermented foods
- Fruits like apples, berries, pineapple, oranges, and melon
Alkaline foods to make your diet staples:
- All vegetables and sprouts
- Almond milk
- Olive, coconut, or avocado oil
- Sprouted bread
- Fruits like grapefruit, avocado, lemon, lime, pomegranate, and coconut
Do alkaline diets work?
That depends on your definition of the word “work.”
Like mentioned above, you can find different pH levels throughout various areas of the body. Alkaline diets require you to test your urine to ensure it’s below 7 on the pH scale.
There isn’t really any evidence to suggest that maintaining alkaline urine is a solid indicator of overall health. Highly acidic urine could indicate a kidney problem or other abundance of acid in the body, but this would likely be caused by serious conditions like acidosis.
The creator of the alkaline diet, Robert Young, PhD, currently faces prison for allegedly practicing medicine without a license and defrauding terminally ill cancer patients – so that’s something to keep in mind.
What about for weight loss?
Alkaline diets focus on consuming lots of vegetables and plant-based proteins while avoiding generally unhealthy substances like sugar, salts, meat, and dairy.
As you can see, there’s no reason an alkaline diet plan couldn’t help you lose weight – just probably not for the reason proponents claim.
Keep in mind, however, foods with antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamin C are on the acidic chart such as eggs, berries, and other fruit. In some respects, alkaline diets could be dangerous to overall health without proper planning.
It’s important to create a nutrition plan before eliminating any foods from your diet. The only proteins listed as alkaline are tofu and beans, so if you typically eat eggs or meat this could pose a challenge. Make sure to find alternative sources of crucial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
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