The Alkaline Diet
The idea behind the alkaline diet is that weight and health can be improved by eating less acidic foods and changing the pH in blood. Rumor has it that Kate Hudson, Tom Brady, and the Duchess of York have been fans of this eating plan. According to this diet, eating more more alkaline and less acidic means eating more “alkaline” foods (certain vegetables, fruits, some whole grains, and beans) and ditching processed food, sugar, dairy, eggs, many grains, alcohol, fish, and meat.
The emphasis on fruits, nuts, beans and vegetables forces people to be creative in finding more ways to incorporate these foods into meals and snacks. Diets high in these “alkaline” foods are high in fiber and a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While this is positive, the premise of the diet – that food can change blood pH is simply untrue.
The food we eat does not impact blood pH. Changes in blood pH outside of the normal range of 7.35 and 7.45 is very serious, but only happens in some severe disease states. Fans of this diet measure the pH of their urine, falsely believing it reflects their body or blood pH. Urine pH is affected by more than what we eat and does not reflect body or blood pH.
The forbidden foods in this diet provide nutrients necessary for health and tissue repair and maintenance. By eliminating meat, eggs, fish, and dairy the body’s protein and calcium requirement might not be met.
The program is marketed as though it’s the intake of alkaline foods that causes weight loss, but this is false. Weight change comes down to energy in (calories consumed) versus energy out (calories used by metabolism plus daily activities).
Next Up: The Ketogenic Diet