Advocated by the likes of Elle Macpherson and Tony Robbins, the Alkaline diet is the hottest ticket to better health.
This is everything you need to know about the alkaline diet.
The Alkaline Diet is one of many fad diets to have spread like wildfire over the past year, claiming to produced great results for both weight loss and overall health.
An alkaline diet is said to improve the body’s functioning levels by balancing PH (PH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is).
On the PH scale, a reading of 0 is completely acidic, and a reding of 14 is completely alkaline. The body’s PH level must always be around 7.4, so slightly alkaline.
When the consumption of too many acidic foods throws this balance, the body has to take minerals from the bones and other parts of the body to compensate.
The diet consists of eating foods that have an alkalising effect on the body and cutting out foods that cause the body to produce more acid such as meat, fish, dairy and grains.
This is because the body is constantly trying to maintain a balanced PH, and most people’s current diets contain too much acid, causing the body to work overtime to sustain a healthy state.
Plus, reducing your acidic intake can lower the chances of your calcium levels deteriorating. With an alkaline diet, you can strengthen your bones — including your teeth! Healthier teeth is the first step towards better oral hygiene. Show your dentist this article on Refluxgate and we’re sure they’ll agree.
THE BENEFITS OF BEING ALKALINE:
Being in an alkaline state is healthier for the body as it helps to maintain and improve bone density, muscle mass and the immune system, according to Dr Anna Cabeca from Golden Isles Medical.
Another big claim of the alkaline diet is that it helps to prevent cancer. This is based on studies suggesting that cancer thrives in acidic environments but cannot survive in alkaline environments.
Having a diet too high in acidity means that the body must work overtime to keep a balanced PH, so eating more alkaline foods means that the body can use its energy and nutrients elsewhere in the body rather than using them to reinstate balance in the blood.
WHAT THE DIET INVOLVES:
The list of foods appropriate for an alkaline diet is very specific, as it is not about whether the food is acidic or alkaline in its natural state, but rather about whether the food has an alkalizing or acidizing effect on the body, which is dependent on how the substance metabolizes.
For example, while lemons and limes are acidic in nature, they have an alkalising effect on the body so are perfect to include in an alkaline diet.
The best alkalising foods include green leafy vegetables, acidic fruits such as lemons and limes, herbal teas and soy products.
Foods to avoid include dairy products, meats, grains and alcohol. It is best to check an online list such as this one, or to use aN alkaline meal plan set by a qualified nutritionist when embarking on an alkaline diet.
Specifically formulated alkalising products such as tea and powder supplements can also be used to help alkalise the body. One of the most famous labels of alkalising products is WelleCo – co founded by Elle Macpherson.
A CONTROVERSIAL DIET?
While many proclaim the wonderous affects of the alkaline diet – with some even claiming that the diet can help prevent cancer,* many health professionals say that the diet is not scientifically grounded.
Nutritionist and dietician Joe Leech from Healthline claims that diet cannot significantly affect blood PH, and says that the diet is simply good for health because it promotes the consumption of whole, unprocessed foods, not because of considerations around acidity and alkalinity.
*This is based on studies suggesting that cancer thrives in acidic environments, therefore reducing the acidity of the body will create an environment in which cancer cannot thrive.
Overall, regardless of whether or not the alkaline diets claims to assist the body in PH regulation have a genuine impact on health, the diet is by no means unsafe, and its encouragement of consuming fresh, unprocessed foods can only do good things for health and weight loss.
It is always best to consult an accredited dietician or nutritionist before embarking on a radical new diet.