When you see a name like The Alkaline Diet, you might think that it involves breaking open batteries, but thankfully that isn’t the case. This diet focuses on foods and their ability to change the pH level of your bodily fluids. If you’re wondering how pH levels could help you, it has been said that having a higher pH could prevent urinary problems such as infections and kidney stones. We’ve reviewed a lot of diets so far that were developed by dietitians or doctors, but that’s not the case for this one.
The Alkaline Diet is one of those that’s a little bit “out there” and not wholly accepted by those in the dietician circle, but it’s always good to give each diet a fair shake and take a look at the aspects. With promises of preventing diseases, the Alkaline Diet sounds good on paper, but we have to see what it entails. Here is our breakdown of the Alkaline Diet, and how it might work for you.
Understanding the Alkaline Diet
This is normally the part where we tell you about the background of a diet and tell you something about the person that invented it. So who invented the Alkaline Diet? Good question, because it doesn’t seem that anybody actually knows. The diet started to pick up popularity back in 2010, and has been one of the biggest fad diets around ever since.
Not much research has been done on the Alkaline Diet, and the research that has been done hasn’t really concluded that the Alkaline Diet has actual benefits, but people still aren’t turning away. The diet says that some aspects of your body’s acidity level can benefit from being lower, while other aspects can benefit from having higher acidity.
There are two types of “ash” according to the diet, including alkaline ash and acid ash. According to a couple of minor studies, having too much acid ash in your body can lead to bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis and other bone diseases. On the other side of the coin, alkaline ash helps to build bones while also being heart healthy.
So what foods should you be eating and avoiding if you want to build up your alkaline ash without building up your acid ash? Foods that are said to be high in alkaline ash include fruits and most vegetables, while acid ash can be found in dairy, meat and grains. The focus of the Alkaline Diet is that 80 percent of the foods you eat are made up of alkaline-based foods and only 20 percent on acid.
Unfortunately, the claims that high alkaline foods are beneficial in the long term and acidic foods are bad for you haven’t been supported by most research. One researcher told Shape magazine that “All food is acidic in the stomach and alkaline in the intestine,” so that it doesn’t quite matter due to your digestive tract, adding that “your diet does not affect your blood pH at all.”
However, researchers have also said that the Alkaline Diet isn’t the worst thing in the world, as there is a focus on healthy foods despite the claims on how acidity affects you. As long as you are getting enough vitamins in your diet while adding amino acids, then the Alkaline Diet can certainly have benefits.
Celebrities on the Alkaline Diet
A lot of diets have become popular thanks to celebrities talking about how they are using it and how much it has worked for them. Let’s meet a few celebrities that have been following the Alkaline Diet since it has become popular.
Kate Hudson – The actress that has starred in films such as “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Almost Famous” has been following the Alkaline Diet, which she credits for giving her a flat stomach and a lot of energy, saying that “Our bodies are one large chemistry experiment” when it comes to acid and alkaline.
Gwyneth Paltrow – Another blonde actress that has been nominated (and won) an Academy Award that follows the Alkaline Diet is Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow has said that while she tries to keep her body’s pH level balanced, how closely she follows the program has been a bit overblown. Paltrow says that she has a balanced diet low in pH while avoiding most glutens.
Gisele Bundchen – Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen has gotten herself and NFL quarterback husband Tom Brady on the Alkaline Diet. Needless to say, seeing a supermodel and an NFL quarterback get on the program has inspired a lot of people to give the diet a try.
Jennifer Aniston – The star of the show “Friends” and movies like “Just Go with It” and “Horrible Bosses” was one of the first stars that was said to be on the Alkaline Diet. At 47 years old, there’s no doubt that Aniston looks terrific, and she’s another big inspiration for people that want to try and stop aging.
What’s on the Menu?
One thing about the Alkaline Diet is that you can eat as much as you want (though doing so probably won’t lead to any weight loss). You just need to make sure that you are focusing on eating 80 percent of your foods from those that are high in alkaline. There is a big focus on avoiding processed foods while on the diet, and fast food is pretty much off limits. It’s easy in the fact that you don’t have to measure food weights and calories, but it can hinder your weight loss. Let’s look at what you might be eating on the Alkaline Diet:
- ½ Cup of Raw Cashews
- ½ Teaspoon of Vanilla
- 1 Chopped Apple
- ½ Cup of Almond Milk
- 1 Tablespoon of Hemp Seeds
- ⅓ Cup of Rolled Oats
- 2 Teaspoons of Tamari
- 2 Tablespoons of Tahini
- ½ Teaspoon of Lemon
- ½ Teaspoon of Coconut Nectar
- 1 Bunch of Kale
- 2 Squeezed Limes
- 2 Cups of Fresh Basil
- ½ Cup of Walnuts
- ¼ Cup of EVOO
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Zucchini
As you can see, there isn’t a lot of meat involved, and you don’t have to worry about getting too many calories from foods like kale or apples. However, there isn’t a lot of protein to be found outside of the nuts included in the diet, which can be high in calories. There is a lot of guesswork involved without a set plan, which can be bother for some people.
Things to Know
In addition to avoiding most meats, processed foods, dairy and eating out, there are plenty more cutbacks that you have to make on the Alkaline Diet. According to those that have been working on the plan, your body’s blood pH levels can be affected by a lot of different factors that you have to focus on. Here are some things you need to control if you want to follow the Alkaline Diet to the letter:
No Smoking – Any form of tobacco is said to increase your acidity, so you will have to quit smoking as well as quitting meat for the most part, which can be tough.
Skip the Bar – Alcohol is very acidic, so you might have to kick the booze altogether while following the Alkaline Diet. With social gatherings, that can be easier said than done.
Skip the Soft Drinks, Too – If you thought cutting out the booze would be difficult, just try cutting out all caffeine altogether. It’s suggested that you don’t consume any caffeine on the Alkaline Diet. That means no coffee or soda or even tea. That will definitely affect your morning routine.
Exercise (Sort of) – Sitting around the couch or at your office chair all day can increase your acid levels. However, working out too much can have the same effect according to the Alkaline Diet. So how much should you be working out? There really is no guideline, which is a bit odd.
Drink Water – Well you can’t drink coffee, soda, tea or alcohol while on the Alkaline Diet, so what can you drink? It’s pretty much just water on the beverage menu, and the new craze is drinking Alkaline Water. You can purchase this type of water at stores, and it contains increased levels of calcium, magnesium and other elements that are beneficial for bone health.
Summing it Up
Focusing on a diet that is high in fruit and vegetable consumption while avoiding sugar, fast food and other processed foods is obviously a healthy call. However, focusing too much on the alkaline and acidic aspects of foods is probably too much for people to follow, especially with all of the other strings attached. Without much scientific evidence on what the Alkaline Diet can do, as well, it’s not something that most dieticians or doctors would suggest.
The only aspect of the diet that has received high marks from experts is in the category of how safe the diet is. It’s not a crash diet plan like some of the other latest fads, but it’s weight loss aspects aren’t too great. It’s also not user-friendly for everyone, as those with diabetes will struggle with the diet. It has also been rated as one of the hardest diets to stick to in the long-term, meaning that any weight loss could easily be regained on the Alkaline Diet.