Alkaline diet : What are the benefits ?
What is alkaline diet?
The alkaline diet is based on the mistaken belief that various food groups might affect the body’s pH balance. It is also called as the Acid alkaline diet, the Acid ash diet, Alkaline Ash Diet, and the Alkaline Acid Diet. It is believed that eating a lot of acidic meals will harm our bodies, but eating a lot of alkaline or neutral foods will benefit our health. This article explains the alkaline diet’s theory, some acidic and alkaline food, and the alkaline diet’s benefits and drawbacks.
What is the theory behind alkaline diet ?
Understanding pH and alkalinity is crucial when talking about an alkaline diet. A material or solution’s pH value indicates its acidity or alkalinity.
The normal pH ranges from 0 to 14.
- If pH is less than 7 – indicates acidity.
- If pH is 7 – it is said to be neutral.
- If pH is more than 7 – it is alkaline.
The theory behind it:
- The acid-ash hypothesis is the underlying theory behind the alkaline diet. According to this, like ash is the byproduct of burning substances, the food we consume is metabolized and leaves behind a waste.
- The supporters of this diet argue that this metabolic waste could be neutral, acidic, or alkaline in nature and can directly alter how acidic our bodies are.
- In simpler words, consuming foods that produce acidic ash causes their blood to become more acidic, while their blood becomes more alkaline when they consume items that make alkaline ash.
- The acid-ash hypothesis states that alkaline ash is protective, while acidic ash makes people more susceptible to illness and disease.
Some facts against the theory:
- The alkaline diet spreads the myth that dietary changes can alter blood pH.
- Our body contains certain naturally acidic and alkaline regions, and it is brilliant and does a great job of self-regulating pH.
- One cannot, nor would one want to, modify that fact in any way, as any significant variations in blood pH can be fatal.
- However, the pH of urine and saliva could be altered by diet.
Some typical acidic food may include
- Sugar and other processed food
- Herbs and spices like salt, mustard, and nutmeg
- Dairy products like cheese and milk
- Fish, fresh or processed meat – turkey and beef
- High protein supplements and foods.
- Beverages like sodas, coffee, alcohol, and other sugary drinks.
- Fruits – lime and oranges, blue plums, grapes, pomegranates, blueberries, pineapples, apples, oranges, tomatoes, peaches.
May include the following
- Most fruits and fresh vegetables.
- Certain herbs and spices.
- Soy products like soybeans, miso, tempeh, and tofu.
- Grains like quinoa, millet, and oats.
- Unsweetened yogurt.
- Fats from avocados, seeds, olive oil and nuts.
- Legumes and lentils.
- Herbal teas
Health benefits of alkaline food
There are various health benefits and may include
Prevents muscle loss
- Increased consumption of potassium-rich foods like fruit and vegetables may help older men and women maintain their muscular mass.
Promotes weight loss
- As the diet advises consuming more fruits, vegetables, and water while limiting the intake of sweets, alcohol, red meat, and processed foods.
Improves back pain
- Alkaline diet and mineral supplements reduce persistent low back pain
- A high protein diet from animals raises uric acid levels in the urine, which raises the possibility of stone formation. Acidic meals can also lower urinary citrate levels, a keystone-inhibiting substance.
- Large-scale research suggests that alkaline diets or diets with lower acid loads may be protective, particularly for breast cancer.
- Alkaline diets have minimal fat and calorie content, also, cut back or avoid red and processed meats, which naturally encourages an appropriate body weight and reduces a significant dietary risk factor for heart disease.
What are the limitations?
- The central claim of an alkaline diet isn’t supported by scientific research since, regardless of what a person eats, it won’t alter the pH of their body.
- Some studies claim beneficial benefits for a tiny portion of the population. For instance – people with chronic kidney disease.
- Similar to a vegan diet, it is a plant-based diet that strictly prohibits the eating of any kind of animal protein, including dairy, eggs, and meat.
- It will be challenging to consume sufficient nutrients like iron, calcium, and protein when people adhere to a strict alkaline diet.
- Very low-protein, alkaline diets may aid in weight loss but also raise the possibility of other problems, such as weak muscles and bones.
- It can be more challenging to maintain good health if they cut out a specific food group or food type from their diet.
- But many popular protein sources are forbidden when strictly following an alkaline diet.
- Loss of Muscle mass loss can result from low protein intake, as protein is crucial for supporting muscle growth and repair.
- Anemia may result from low iron.
- Additionally, low calcium levels might harm a person’s bone health.
Those who firmly follow an alkaline diet should make sure they acquire their protein from plant sources like :
- Soy milk.
An alkaline diet is a healthy option that might be more effective because it focuses more on eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding refined sugar and processed foods than altering the body’s pH. It may lessen day-to-day problems and minimize the likelihood of some long-term health hazards. An alkaline diet is feasible if people can properly organize it and ensure they get all the necessary nutrients. People should always discuss with their clinical dietitian or a doctor before trying any new diet, as they can suggest evidence-based techniques to achieve their goals.