The alkaline diet, also going by the name alkaline ash diet or acid-alkaline diet has been subject for online chatter for years now with Hollywood celebrities claiming it can treat serious health conditions such as cancer and reproductive disorders. With all the alkaline rage going on in the health and wellness community, you’re sure to find some fake information about the alkaline diet. Here are the facts you need to know about the alkaline diet plan.
What is Alkaline Diet?
Proponents of the alkaline diet claim that the food you eat determines the level of acidity or alkalinity in your body. Eating foods with high acidity impacts your body negatively while consuming high ‘alkaline’ foods promotes a positive environment in your body.
According to those advocating this diet, certain foods can affect the pH level of your body (where pH value over seven is alkaline and pH value below seven is acidic). Normally, the pH of your body (which ranges from 0-14) varies greatly depending on which body part you’re talking about. The stomach, for instance, has a pH value of two to three and a half, which is highly acidic, but necessary for the stomach to break down food for fuel.
On the other hand, your blood pH value ranges from 7.3 to 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. Having an out-of-range pH value in your blood can be fatal to your overall health if left unchecked. The belief that it’s possible to change the pH value of blood is inaccurate and could even be fatal. Diet can only change the pH value of your saliva and urine, depending on the diet you’re eating at that particular moment, but the blood pH remains unchanged.
The premise of the alkaline diet is that when you consume acidic food, the body breaks down and burns the food to get fuel. After the burning process, an acidic ‘ash’ waste is left behind, which is said to increase the acidity level in the body. Similarly, alkaline food will form alkaline ash waste which reduces the acidity level in the body. The main aim of the alkaline diet plan is to maintain your body in a permanently alkaline state. This begs the following question …
Which foods are alkaline?
- Most fruits and vegetables, especially root vegetables, avocados, apples, lemons, and watermelon.
- Seaweed and asparagus.
- Coconut oil and olive oil.
- Herbal teas such as green tea.
- Vegetable and fruit juice.
- Some nuts and seeds
Acidic foods to avoid:
- Processed food.
- Coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
- Trans fats/hydrogenated fats.
- Grains such as wheat.
- Refined sugar and sweeteners
Alkaline Diet and Weight Loss
So, with all the hype behind alkaline diet aiding in weight loss, does it really work? Here are some facts to consider:
The Good Side of Alkaline Diet Plan
The alkaline diet plan encourages the intake of plenty of unprocessed foods, whole fruits, and vegetables. These are all healthy choices that are rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. These nutrients contribute, in a big way, to the general health and wellbeing of your heart. A healthy weight is achievable by eating these foods alone because most of them are easily digestible and don’t leave excess fats in the body. Since unhealthy fats and sugars are restricted in an alkaline diet plan, most modern health issues such as diabetes and heart problems become easily manageable. This also means fewer calories from packaged and processed foods, and ultimately weight loss.
What Alkaline Foods Have in Common
- High magnesium levels, which is vital for your heart’s optimal functioning and waste elimination.
- Low in sugar, a culprit in weight gain and health problems.
- High in fiber which aids in digestion, gut health, and weight loss.
- High chlorophyll content which is essential for healthy red blood cells and weight loss.
- Most of these fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw, thereby, supplying the body with wholesome nutrients.
The Bad Side of Alkaline Diet Plan
The alkaline diet cuts out some important nutrients that are necessary for your body. Each food group plays an important role in supplying the body with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. As you can see from the alkaline foods list, most protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, and poultry are restricted. Apart from protein, these foods also supply vital nutrients like healthy fats from fish, phosphorous, and folate. Finally, we know that losing weight is not sustainable if you can’t maintain it. While diet alone can help in weight loss, you need to incorporate regular exercises. It’s difficult to maintain a healthy weight if you’re not fulfilling the recommended 150 minutes of workout weekly.
Is the Alkaline Diet Plan Sustainable?
Well, this may vary from one individual to another. What might work for someone else might not work for you due to various aspects such as metabolism and lifestyle. It’s therefore important to identify what’s right for you and try to stick to that routine. Cutting out protein-rich foods may not go well with your body and might even have some negative effects. After all, you need to feel human even as you fight weight problems and alkaline diet doesn’t have to be a do or die situation.
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