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The Alkaline Diet- Is It For You?

Updated on January 17, 2017

The Real Truth Behind The Alkaline Diet

You may or may not have heard about alkaline diets from all the Hollywood celebs vouching for its effectiveness. Reportedly, this diet is able to help you avoid issues like cancer and arthritis and can help you lose weight in the process. Theoretically, some food like refined sugar, wheat and meat cause the body to create acid, which is bad for the human body. The alkaline diet says that if you eat more alkaline-producing specific food, you can protect against illness and shed a few pounds in the process. When Victoria Beckham tweeted about her cookbook for alkaline diets in 2013, the alkaline diet really sky rocketed and became very popular.

Also Known As the Acid Ash Diet

Also known as the acid ash diet, the alkaline acid diet, the alkaline ash diet or the acid alkaline diet, the alkaline diet is a group of diets founded on the belief that the pH and acidity of body fluids are affected by certain food groups. This includes the blood and urine. Thus, certain diseases can be prevented by this treatment. Since there is not a lot of evidence that supports the belief that this diet is affected, generally it is not exactly recommended by health professionals and dieticians as a cure.

The way acid-based homeostasis and diets are related, or the body’s acid base status regulation, has been a project of study for years. Of course, this hypothesis has medical applications focusing largely on the way urine’s acidity changes. In older times, this diet has proclaimed that avoiding grains, cheese, poultry and meat to create more alkaline, higher pH urine should be done. This changes urine’s environment to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. On the other hand, having a hard time in being able to predict this diet’s effects effectively has led to a lot of medicine rather than changes in the diet, as the primary method of altering the pH of urine. The hypothesis of acid-ash has been thought to bring with it a risk of osteoporosis by various publications of science. In more recent years, science evidence did not support these theories. Thus, the alkaline diet is dismissed in the scientific community by experts as belonging to the group of pseudoscience.

Allowed Food on the Alkaline Diet

Many vegetables and fruits as well as legumes, seeds, nuts, tofu and soybeans are food that promotes alkalinity in the body. On the alkaline diet, these foods are extremely allowed. On the other hand, acid-producing food such as convenient fast food, packaged snacks, canned goods, processed food and most grains as well as meat, eggs and dairy are not allowed on the alkaline diet. Many publications that promote the alkaline diet also proclaim that you should not have caffeine or alcohol either. When it comes to shopping and cooking for the diet, you can get veggies and fruits at the grocery but it could take some time for you to cook and prepare your meals when you use food that is fresh. There is not necessarily any exercise the diet recommends. In other words, the diet states that just by eating the food recommended, you should be able to alter the alkalinity and acidity of your body.

PH Levels

What is a pH level? In chemistry, pH levels measure how alkaline or acid a food is. When you measure a zero pH, this means that the substance is one hundred percent acidic. On the other hand, when the measure of pH measures fourteen, this means it is totally alkaline. Neutral pH equals to seven. Throughout your body, these levels do not stay the same. For instance, your stomach should have higher acidity than your blood. While your stomach might measure three and a half or less, your blood will be more alkaline at about seven and a half or a bit less. There will be a change in your urine depending on what food you eat. This is the method in which your body keeps your blood pH regulated.

This diet is supposed to assist your physique in maintaining the level of pH in the blood. As a matter of fact, nothing that you digest is really going to alter your blood’s pH. This level is kept constant by your body, which works hard to keep it at this level. On the other hand, a healthy weight loss is supposed to be one results of the alkaline diet. When you drink lots of water and eat lots of vegetables and fruits, as well as avoid processed food, alcohol and sugar, you will be sure to reap the benefits.

Almost 100 %Vegetarian

This diet is almost one hundred per cent vegan and vegetarian. Since dairy is off-limits, it totally works for vegans as well. Since there is no wheat included in the diet, the diet is thus gluten free. To completely avoid gluten, carefully check every food label before you buy something. What most people don’t realize is that gluten is not just apparent in wheat but in other food groups as well. Double checking and reading your labels to check for gluten will help you achieve your gluten-free goals.


Food Allergy Triggers

The diet also does not allow other primary food triggers including shellfish, fish, walnuts, peanuts, eggs and milk. Also, wheat is not allowed. For people who are trying to avoid sugar and fat, this is a good diet to begin. When it comes to cost, the costs of food on the diet are somewhat manageable, particularly if you begin to learn about how to prepare food to maximise this diet. On the other hand, there are publications, books, recipes and supplements that claim to support the alkaline diet, including alkaline-infused water. For those of you who decide to purchase any of these items the costs will be sure to add up. On the other hand if you are careful and stay within a budget it is more than possible to begin an alkaline diet and successfully pursue its results without breaking the bank.

Uses of the Alkaline Diet

Throughout history, the uses of the alkaline diet have been on the prevention of kidney stones recurrence and also the prevention of UTI recurrent infections. Since the diet was supposed to correct the urinary pH of the body, there was dependence on dietary choices as a remedy. In the past, diets were used to fix the environment of urine that caused the formation of stones. Hypothetically this could help in the formation of stones or UTI development. On the other hand, other methods had to do with having to calculate the way pH of the urine affected food was not accurate. In other words, scientists and dieticians were not sure about how alkaline or acid every food group was. Thus, to convert the pH of urine more and more doctors and dieticians recommended medicine rather than food. Since, there are more studies that show which food is more alkaline and which are more acid, modern day diet supporters of the alkaline diet have become more precise in knowing which food creates more alkalinity in the body.

History

This diet and the way it affects urine’s acidity has been under study for years. The role of the kidney has been studied by physiologists in the way the body regulates the mechanisms for controlling body fluid acidity. Claude Bernard, the biologist from France has provided traditional observations of this classic effect when he saw the way a rabbit’s diet that switched from herbivore to carnivore has changed the rabbit’s urine to a more acidic rather than an alkaline state. With these observations, there was now a focus on future investigations on the properties of the chemistry and acidic constituents of when food combusts into ash or a bomb calorimeter. When metabolised, these foods would leave an alkaline or acid ash in the body, as proposed by the Dietary Ash Hypothesis. It is the same as the way combustion oxidises.

Alkaline Diets

Alkaline diets is a term that is utilized by practitioners of alternative medicine with the theory that these diets treat low energy levels, heart disease and prevent cancer, among other kinds of disease. Claims such as these have no support in terms of medical evidence and make the wrong assumption about the way that these types of diets function which go against the way modern man has understood the human body.

The Composition of Diet

According to the alkaline diet’s traditional hypothesis, acid ash in the body is produced by grains, eggs fish, cheese, poultry and meat. Vegetables and fruits except for plums, prunes and cranberries produce alkaline ash. Since alkaline or acid ash designation is founded on the remaining residue on food combustion rather than acidity. Generally, citrus fruits and other similar fruit are considered producers of alkaline in the body.


The Modern Hypothesis

Diets that produce acidic elements cause the physical body to counteract or act as buffers against extra acidic load that the body carries through breaking down bone. This leads to increase osteoporosis risk and weaker bones. On the other hand, elements that produce alkaline, also known as acid ash are elements that decrease the hypothetical risk of osteoporosis. In a USA publication of the National Academy of Science, a statement made by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has advances this statement position. The study states that food high in magnesium and potassium like vegetables and fruits might decrease osteoporosis risk through increased production of alkaline ash. Keep in mind that these publications were made largely without significant review of critics by the highest quality systematic analyses.

No Evidence

There is no evidence that supports the osteoporosis prevention by the hypothesis of acid-ash. Studies have been analysed to check the effect of phosphate in the diet in relation to the acid-ash hypothesis with regards to osteoporosis prevention. There is no evidence that taking in more acid creates an increased osteoporosis risk, according to the diet’s hypothesis.

Alternative Medicine

Practitioners of alternative that promote the alkaline diet have promoted its use as the treatment for various conditions in the medical field including cancer. Claims such as these have been promoted on books, direct mail, magazines and websites. Mainly, the news was directed at a lay rather than a scientific audience. There are theories that the alkaline diet is able to treat heart disease, cancer, lose weight and help to increase energy. However, there is no hard and fast proof to support every claim made by the diet. Aside from avoiding protein and other met, the alkaline diet also recommends avoiding caffeine, white flour, white sugar and processed food. This can also involve regimens of vitamin supplements and specific exercises.

Adverse Effects

Since certain food is not allowed in the alkaline diet, this means you may be eating a diet that is not exactly balances and deficient in nutrition. This includes phyto nutrients and acids. Many books and web pages that promote this diet sells food supplement courses.

Based on Evidence?

There is no scientific evidence that supports the benefits of an alkaline diet.

The alkaline diet propose that since the blood pH level is a bit alkaline, the diet’s objectives should support this through eating a diet that is mainly alkaline. In other words, supporters of the diet claim that acidic foods cause the body to become more acid and vice versa. An acidic physical body is thought by the advocates to foster disease and vice versa.

The belief that diet affects how acidic or alkaline the human body is happens to go against everything the scientific community knows about the human body’s chemistry. The American Institute for Cancer Research has called the alkaline diet a myth. Unlike the urine’s pH levels, a selective alkaline diet has not been revealed to show a sustained, elicit blood change in pH levels or provide any benefit. The natural mechanisms that regulate the body don’t require a specific diet for this to work. In other words, there is minimal effect on the body’s pH when you eat an alkaline diet.

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    • elle64 profile image
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      elle64 10 months ago from Scandinavia

      i think perhaps she should try yoga, sometimes it can help.All my best

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

      If you've ever personally seen someone with osteoporosis then diet becomes much more important. My husband has a dear aunt in her 80s who is nearly folded in half from it. So sad. Thank you.

    • elle64 profile image
      Author

      elle64 10 months ago from Scandinavia

      Ms Dora, you are a hard lady to convince. The best to you, and happy new year

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 10 months ago from The Caribbean

      Depending on what books we read and what doctors we listen to, we are persuaded on way or another. For me, the alkaline diet sounds reasonably good for optimum health, but eventually we have to learn to listen to our bodies and notice their reactions to what we eat.