The trendy alkaline diet, which has gained popularity amongst A-list celebs, encourages the balance between acid-producing foods and alkalizing foods to help promote a stable pH. Proponents of the plan believe that a diet rich in less acidic foods can prevent aging, aid weight loss, and even fight serious diseases like cancer. It may sound impressive, but not all the information floating around is legit. Here’s everything you need to know before giving it a go.
Details About the Alkaline Diet before You Try It
Can changing my diet affect my pH levels?
It’s All About Maintaining a Healthy pH. According to the diet, maintaining a healthy pH is the key to living a healthy life. Since they’re acidic, things like sugar, caffeine, animal and proteins food can cause the body’s pH to drop below 7.0. It is one of the state of acidosis. In a state of acidosis, the body cannot absorb nutrients or minerals as effectively, leaving you more susceptible to fatigue and illnesses.
Is the alkaline diet healthy?
Processed meats rank high on the list of foods cancer doctors would never eat and are also frowned upon in an alkaline diet because of their high acidity. “An alkaline diet is one that tries to balance the pH level of the body by increasing consumption of alkalizing foods, such as fruits and veggies, and reducing/eliminating most acidic foods, such as processed meats and refined grains,” explains says Josh Axe, DNM, author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition.
Will I lose weight on an alkaline diet?
Yes, but it's not magic, says Diekman. “An alkaline diet can lead to weight loss since it limits many higher calorie foods and focuses on lots of fruits and vegetables,” she says. There's a catch. “The problem is that it is extreme in what you must avoid making it hard to follow the diet in the real world and it can lead to nutrient gaps due to the elimination of foods that it classifies as too acidic.”
Is it good for teeth?
Smile-friendly alkaline foods raise the pH level in your mouth via saliva and may improve your oral health as a result. Smile-challenging foods are acidic can erode your teeth. Live with acid reflux? If so, this may also affect the health of your smile. That's the main message of a study in General Dentistry, which linked acid reflux to the erosion of tooth enamel. See a dentist if you are concerned.
Can this diet improve heart health?
There are many habits that can make for a heart-healthy day, and eating a diet that is largely plant-based (like the alkaline diet) is known to be good for the heart. The alkaline diet is also low in animal protein and processed meats which are loaded with sodium and can increase blood pressure in some people. The alkaline also eliminates such waistline saboteurs as processed foods and sweets. High blood pressure and obesity are major risk factors for heart disease. Interested, but intimidated?
Can an alkaline diet lower cancer risk?
There are cancer-fighting foods and many of them are also alkaline diet foods, but at this point, there is no evidence for or against the role that an alkaline diet can play in cancer prevention. A plant-based diet, however, is believed to help lower risk for cancer and is even recommended for cancer survivors, according to the American Cancer Research Institute. New research out the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that a plant-based diet may make it easier to treat one of the more the most lethal breast cancers. Though the evidence is a bit conflicting: Certain chemotherapy drugs kill more cancer cells in an alkaline environment and others work better in an acidic one, according to a review study in the Journal of Environmental Public Health.
Will an alkaline diet improve back pain?
There are many surprising causes of back pain, and an acid-rich diet may be one of them. In fact, a study of 82 people with chronic low back pain showed that those who took an alkaline supplement that contained magnesium had less pain than their counterparts who didn't. This alkaline mineral neutralizes the acid and helps muscles relax and may relieve pain as a result.