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The Alkaline Diet Explained E-mail
Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA   

About the Alkaline Diet

Eating alkaline foods or starting an alkaline diet refer to consuming thalkaline_dietose foods and drink which have an alkaline effect on the body. This effect is based upon the ash residue that remains after our foods are consumed. 

 

Some foods leave an acid ash, whereas others leave an alkaline ash. Conveniently for us, our bodies have been designed to categorize which foods leave which kind of ash into the body.

The Alkaline diet (also known as the alkaline acid diet and the acid alkaline diet) is a controversial dietary protocol based on the consumption of mainly fresh fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts, and legumes and avoiding grains, dairy, meat and excess salt, in order to balance the acidity and alkalinity (the "pH balance") of one's body.

 

In recent years it has been a popular topic among authors of diet and nutrition.

 

How the Alkaline Diet Works 

 

The alkaline diet offers a simple, basic understanding of what causes the body to become ‘out of balance’. Through what has become the typical Western diet largely based around meat, dairy, sugars, alcohol, saturated fats and caffeine, millions of us have created a hostile, acidic environment within our bodies.

The pH level of our internal fluids affects every living cell in our bodies and the effect that over-acidification can have upon the health of our bodies is immense, with a chronically over acidic pH creating an extremely negative environment which affects all cellular functions from the beatings of the heart to the neural workings of the brain.

 

When our pH level is unbalanced, almost any area of our bodies can be negatively affected creating results such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature aging as well as problems with our nervous system, cardiovascular system and muscles.

 

Goals

 

The nature of body varies but most of us should aim to eat 75-80% alkaline foods and a maximum of 20-25% acid forming foods. 


What Food is Allowed 

To begin to alkaline diet it is important to start consuming alkaline foods and drinks while eliminating acidifying foods and drinks from your diet. As a rough guide you should try to remember:

  • Vegetables (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber, lettuce, courgette, cabbage, greens, swede, squash (summer, butternut, yellow etc)
  • Salads
  • Essential Fats (such as Udo's Choice, Flax/Linseed, Evening Primrose, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil etc)
  • Fruits (ONLY - Lemons, Lime, Grapefruit, Watermelon, Tomato, Avocado)
  • Soy, Grasses and Sprouts

What Food is Not Allowed 

Sugar, dairy, meat (apart from fish occasionally or when transitioning), caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, wheat, yeast, fruit (apart from those mentioned above), bad fats (saturated, trans-fatty acids, hydrogenated) and salt.

The most effective way to reverse the trend of over-acidification is to ‘cleanse’ the body of toxins and rapidly create an alkaline environment in which the body can heal itself. Cleansing is a natural, holistic method of healing in which the body detoxifies itself and regenerates healthy vibrant cells, effectively becoming more alkalized. 

 

Known Benefits  

USDA Study has shown Alkaline foods prevent muscle and bone loss. Alkaline diet is similar to a practice in the traditional Chinese medicinal diet, in which patients with minor illness is made to eat vegetables or fruits and forgo nuts and meat, a practice called "quench the fire". 

Additional Suggested Health Benefits 

According to some alternative medicine practitioners, the shift to an acid-producing diet is the cause of a number of chronic diseases. Some practitioners recommend the alkaline diet if a person has the following symptoms and other illnesses have been ruled out.

  • Lack of energy
  • Excessive mucous production
  • Nasal congestion
  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Anxiety, nervousness, irritability
  • Ovarian cysts, polycystic ovaries, benign breast cysts
  • Headache 

Potential Risks of the Alkaline Diet 


An alkaline diet is a diet that emphasizes, to a varying degree, fresh fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts, and legumes. Because Alkaline Diets promote the exclusion of many foods, thos can be harmful to the body.

The alkaline diet should not be used by people with acute or chronic kidney failure unless under a doctor's supervision. People with pre-existing heart disease and those on medications that affect potassium levels in the body should check with their doctor first.

What the Experts Say About the Alkaline Diet 

Advocates of alkaline diets claim that they help you lose weight, increase your energy, and even reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Although conventional doctors do believe that increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables and reducing one's intake of meat, salt, and refined grains is beneficial to health, most conventional doctors do not believe that an acid-producing diet is the foundation of chronic illness. In conventional medicine, there is evidence, however, that alkaline diets may help prevent the formation of calcium kidney stones, osteoporosis, and age-related muscle wasting.

The common belief among most medical practitioners, however, is that the blood alkalinity (pH) is not significantly affected by diet, except for pathological cases (e.g., of ketoacodos produced by diabetes).

Bottom Line

Studies of alkaline diets are limited to animal and test tube trials. There's no scientific evidence at this time that alkaline diets are beneficial to humans.

 


 

 

 
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