Alkaline Diet – a plan that centers on the idea that certain foods cause acid to form in the body. This formation of acid causes an imbalance in the acid/alkaline pH level, or so the diet claims, and that causes a wealth of health problems, including weight gain.
What is alkalinity, and how does your diet affect the body’s pH balance? You may be surprised to find out. Let’s start with the history behind it all.
The History of Alkalinity and the Alkaline Diet
The study of the acidity of urine is a subject that has been studied for decades. From early on in medical understanding, doctors have kept a close eye on the kidneys and examined how they are the organ responsible for regulating the amount of acid found in body fluids.
The first observation was seen in rabbits by Claude Bernard, a French biologist. He saw that when he changed the animals from their usual herbivorous diet of plants to a diet that consisted of mostly meat, the drop in the pH scale from the alkaline end of the range to more acidic occurred.
The observation led to some interest, and a more advanced experiment began. Foods would be burned in a device known as a bomb calorimeter and tested the remaining ash for pH levels. The tests lead to the “dietary ash hypothesis,” which suggested that, like in the calorimeter, there is a residue of “alkaline ash” or “acid ash” within the human body.
The original purpose of the diet was to aid with urinary tract issues such as infections and even kidney stones. The food does, in fact, make a difference when it comes to that, at least somewhat because urine is the one bodily fluid that is entirely sure to change acidity based on the foods you have eaten.
There is no evidence, however, that the diet fundamentally reduces a person’s pH in any other way. The blood itself barely ever varies at all. The blood-acid level is strictly regulated by the kidneys and not directly affected by the diet.
Over the past few years, there have been a few reservations concerning the legitimacy of the diet. Robert O. Young, the primary supporter of the diet, has recently found himself in the media spotlight for seeing patients without a medical license. (BBC)
The actual results that are achieved vary depending on which exact version of the diet a person uses and how strictly they stick to it. When grains and animal products such as meat and dairy are taken out of the diet altogether, they can create deficiencies if not properly replaced.
Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, B12, and D are sometimes missing from these sorts of foods, not to mention a lack of protein and carbs.
The Difference Between Noom and Other Plans and Programs
When it comes to learning how to eat and how to live for weight loss, Noom works from a psychological perspective. According to the Chief of Psychology for Noom, Dr. Andreas Michaelides, “By understanding the past behaviors and attitudes of all types of users, we know the best way to meet our users where they are in their journey to help them maximize their change of long-term weight-loss success.”
Noom, as a weight-loss platform, uses the power of food logging, among other advanced technologies, to teach simple, key behaviors for lasting change. Behavior changes that include self-efficacy, motivation, and knowledge are just the start of how psychology can interact with food, so you lose more weight in a way that lasts a lifetime.
Noom works with tech-based tools partnered with support from real-life coaches in a structured program that connects the user with the social support and positive reinforcement needed to change behavior in a way that increases the likelihood of success.
Not all dietary changes are for everyone, and no two weight-loss plans should be the same, which is precisely how Noom works. By identifying specific areas where changes can be made to reach goals of weight loss and health improvement successfully, users realize where their best changes are to be made and how those changes are incorporated into a lifestyle they can adopt for the long-term.
Following an Alkaline Diet
Individuals who decide to try the alkaline diet must do so with the knowledge that there are some conditions attached.
The diet is designed to transform your pH level from acidic to alkaline. This means a program somewhat strict with items that must be chosen from the alkaline diet food list.
- The programs restrict certain foods such as sugars, most fruit, flour, grains, and alcohol.
- Vegetables are the core of the alkaline diet.
- There is no limit to what you can eat, so this makes the diet easy to manage.
- The only drawback is having the discipline to stick to it due to the food restrictions.
Summed up, the majority of the diet should be low-acid foods with only about twenty percent high-acid foods such as proteins and carbohydrates.
People who support the alkalizing diet base it on the claim that limiting the diet to certain foods will help to keep the overall acid-base homeostasis of the body balanced with consistent pH levels.
For proper function, there is a tight pH range the body needs to stay within. The blood is what generally maintains that steady 7.45-7.35 when coursing through the body with even tighter individual regulations when running through all of the tissues in the body.
Some of the fluids may vary depending on the purpose. The stomach, for instance, is much more acidic than almost any other body part because it is one of the first stages of digestion and needs acid to break down food.
Just as it is possible to have too much acid in the body, it is also possible to have the body’s pH become too high.
High alkalinity is known as alkalosis. This can occur as a result of low oxygen levels or a drop in electrolytes.
In more severe cases, alkalosis can be caused by lung or liver disease. Some symptoms are varying in severity that can indicate the issue, including tingling in the face and digits, twitching, and muscle spasms even to the point of seizure, confusion, lightheadedness, and respiratory distress.
No matter what the particular diet, any food list promoting healthy foods will be a better option than one that is lacking. The catch is, however, that no matter how many healthy foods a person consumes, there is a good chance that it will have little to no effect on the overall internal acid level of a body. That, of course, is the entire basis and purpose of the alkalizing diet.
This diet promotes healthy foods and can be used to maintain a healthy weight and even encourage weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions.
However, this is not the only diet that can help with that particular task. Any balanced diet full of healthy foods is a great way to obtain those kinds of results.
Benefits of an Alkaline Diet
Though the Alkaline Diet may not work to change the alkalinity of the body, the foods adopted on the program still carry some positive effects.
Protects Bone Density and Muscle Mass
A low-acid diet can be great for building bones, as all of the essential minerals for bones, such as calcium and magnesium, are alkaline. The problem that can arise is trying to maintain both bone and muscular density at the same time, especially in the elderly.
It’s been found that a primarily vegetarian diet high in potassium is better in the later years of life. The protein that is necessary for building a muscular structure is high in acid.
Even in the peak of life, the best solution to the bone and muscle paradox is to keep protein consumption to the necessary level and nothing more. To maintain these healthy cells, it is better to keep the balance more toward the alkaline side. (Journal of Environmental and Public Health)
Lowers Risk for Hypertension and Stroke
When it comes to pH differences in the body, the blood has the least variance. It remains, in a healthy body, at 7.35 as it travels into the body from the heart and lungs to at a more depleted 7.4. When the acidity gets to be too high, acidosis can begin to occur in any tissue blood passes through.
That makes the heart, lungs, and the cells of the blood the first parts of the body to show signs of such an increase in acid. Healthy blood, with an alkaline-neutral pH, is essential for preventing stroke and heart disease. (Journal of Environmental and Public Health)
Lowers Chronic Pain and Inflammation
Pain and inflammation are inherently related. When there is a pain, the human body reflex is to rush blood, which is full of healing agents, to the affected area, which can cause it to swell. This inflammation process can also happen in inverse. Often infection or other physical irritations will cause tissues to begin to swell, and it is this swelling that leads to the experience of pain.
With chronic issues such as arthritis, this pain and inflammation can become a never-ending cycle of misery. Fortunately, the severity of these issues can be, at least, slightly eased by reducing acid levels in the body.
A low pH diet can eliminate the pain of inflammation and reduce swelling in some minor cases. A comfortable body is one that has the right nutritional balance maintained, even when no underlying issues are causing excess stress and pain.
Especially in cases where there is preexisting chronic pain, however, it is essential to take care not to worsen any preexisting conditions. Living with pain like that is a constant game of walking on eggshells as it is any small amount of relief can amount to being a big change. (The Journal of Neuroscience, Pain)
Boosts Vitamin Absorption and Prevents Magnesium Deficiency
The pH level of the body can also affect the essential nutrients that the body absorbs. Likewise, many of the mineral nutrients needed for good health change the pH balance themselves.
Most of those minerals are alkaline or, at least, increase alkalinity when metabolized by the body.
Many essential vitamins, including vitamin D, have been found to have a lower absorption rate in those suffering from acidosis, exacerbating the problem.
Many of the essential vitamins in the human diet are water-soluble. The human body is more absorptive of water, even vitamin saturated water, when the digestive tract is in a more alkalized state. This phenomenon is partially due to a reflex. The body recognizes food to be sufficiently digested when the digestive acids become partially neutralized and prepare to absorb the necessities out of the digestive fluid.
The digestive system needs to be acidic enough to break down foods, of course, but any acidity in excess can cause good nutrients to be wasted by delayed absorption response time. Fortunately, when there are no autoimmune issues to get in the way, absorption enhancement can still be beneficial, providing the same sort of boost in energy and mood. A healthy body is energetic, and an energetic body helps lead to a happy, content mind.
Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight loss and maintenance are two of the things that the alkaline diet claims to assuredly guarantee. It is important to remember that no diet will ever be adequate unless you avoid overeating.
Fats and fat-causing sugar, as well as most grains, are more on the acidic side of the scale. For that matter, pretty much everything that is harmful to the human body in a dietary sense either contains or causes the human body to create acid.
Recreational alcohol, spirits and other adult beverages are a nightmare for body acid levels and are also known to encourage fat development and weight gain. Overall, a lot of the same foods that are known to be useful for maintaining weight in conjunction with other diets are readily found on the list of alkaline and low-acid foods.
In the short term, an alkaline diet can reduce swelling weight by helping to expel excess liquids. Exercise also plays a significant role in maintaining body weight and levels of acid. Inactivity can cause pH to drop with rising levels of repelled fatty acids within the tissues. It is essential to keep a body active and in shape but also not become obsessed with the idea of fitness. Exercise is critical, but overexertion can cause a buildup of fatty acids in the body.
Noom stands behind eating the right foods for you, not the right foods based on what someone else is eating. Success is a personal journey, and the Noom weight-loss app supports you along the way.
Alkaline Diet Food List
Alkaline diet foods are the foods that change the body’s pH balance to alkaline. There are some mildly alkaline, moderately alkaline, and heavily alkaline foods to choose from. Foods include vegetables, nuts, oils, legumes, and a handful of fruits.
Individuals wanting to do the alkaline diet need to know which foods are the best.
There are some healthy alkaline foods, including:
- Mildly Alkaline: almond milk, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, coconut, olive oil, almonds, pumpkin.
- Moderate Alkaline: cabbage, carrots, green beans, okra, soybeans, zucchini, quinoa.
- Heavily Alkaline: avocado, broccoli, celery, cucumber, tomato, spinach.
Some of the best Alkaline Diet foods include:
All raw foods: In the low-acid diet, it is ideal to consume as many of the vegetables and fruits as possible in a raw and fresh state. The term biogenic, meaning life-giving, is often used for uncooked produce. When cooked, many vitamins can begin to degrade, and minerals can be depleted by dissolving into the cooking medium.
In some cases, even the cooking media itself can increase acidity in the food. Raw food should be consumed whenever possible, juicing is an excellent way to make them easier to digest. If necessary, a light steaming keeps the majority of the nutrients intact. Learning to love raw foods is a significant part of learning how to eat right as much as choosing alkalizing foods.
Plant proteins: Protein is essential for proper nutrition but only in carefully metered amounts. Excess protein that is not applied by the body to the muscle or other tissues must be extracted. While it remains within the body, it lowers the pH until it passes through the urine.
For options higher in alkalinity, it is best to avoid meat, as it is the most acidic. Beans make an excellent source of natural plant protein, especially in combination with wild rice or quinoa. Lima and navy beans are some of the highest in alkalinity.
Raw tree nuts are high in alkaline, particularly chestnuts and almonds. Roasting nuts degrades their nutrition and brings down their pH, so roasting should be avoided when possible. Raw foods are always much more potent when left uncooked.
List of Highly-Alkaline Foods
There are a lot of foods that are great for body alkaline levels. Many high-alkaline foods are green vegetables, and there are so many of those; it’s impossible to mention each one. Even a food list of all of the acceptable items that are not green vegetables would be a very long one. This is just some of the highest pH items across the food groups to demonstrate the variety available.
- Ginger root
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sea salt
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squashes
Alkaline Diet Shopping List
This is everything you need to build a food chart of options that are high alkalinity and low acidity. This is a great place to start putting together meal ideas for foods to balance pH. While this is some of the most alkalizing foods, it is by no means a complete list of non-acidic foods.
- Fresh Coconut
- Green Beans
- String Beans
- Runner Beans
- Sweet Potato
- Brussels Sprouts
- Broad Beans
- New Potato
- Barley Grass
- Dog Grass
- Kamut Grass
- Oat Grass
- Shave Grass
- Soy Sprouts
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Amaranth Sprouts
- Broccoli Sprouts
- Fenugreek Sprouts
- Kamut Sprouts
- Mung Bean Sprouts
- Quinoa Sprouts
- Radish Sprouts
- Spelt Sprouts
- Lima Beans
- Mung Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Red Beans
- Soy Beans
- White Beans
- Flax Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Goat Milk
- Almond Milk
- Sprouted Bread
- Sprouted Wraps
- Gluten/Yeast Free Breads & Wraps
- Buckwheat Pasta
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Flax Oil
- Udo’s Oil
- Olive Oil
Alkaline Diet Sample Menu
- Goats Milk
- Herbal Tea
- Sprouted Bread
- Sprouted Wraps
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Buckwheat Pasta
Non-acidic fruits make a great dessert idea to help knock off those pesky cravings for sweets without breaking down and consuming acid-forming foods.
The acidity of foods is measured using the PRAL scale.
You can eat the foods you love and still lose weight, you just have to learn how to make small changes that last. Noom is clinically-proven to help you lose weight in just 10 minutes a day.
What is the PRAL Scale?
It is one thing to decide whether the content of food merely is acidic or alkali, but in the context of the exact effect, what effect on the acidity and alkalinity of the human body as it is metabolized. The Potential Renal Acid Load or PRAL scale does just that.
The range judges the acidity and alkalinity by what is expected to be left behind after digestion based on its contents. The concentration of proteins, as well as phosphorus and other minerals, are used to determine the exact pH affect the food item has on the body.
There are, however, some issues with the PRAL scale, which make it marginal, at best, at being able to determine overall body acidity. They determine foods that alkalize the body by the effect that they have on the pH of urine in particular.
The thing with urine is that it has the broadest healthy variance of balance in the body’s pH. There are some factors other than diet that can contribute to the balance in urine, and changes can come and pass quite quickly.
Overall, the dynamic nature of urine is not the best way to pinpoint an acidic body. Some foods even interact with each other giving them a different rating on the PRAL scale together than they would alone. In the larger picture, the PRAL scale is nearly irrelevant.
Potential Long-Term Risks of Being Too Acidic
Recent studies have shown that there are benefits to keeping a body in an alkaline state. It seems that cancer, as well as some viruses and other microbes, have a hard time reproducing when introduced to a controlled alkaline environment. While further research is still in progress and diet alone seems to bear little influence on the acidity of the blood, keeping the body high on the pH scale should prove to be beneficial.
The balance of the blood is well regulated and stays at about a slightly alkali 7.4. Should it drop below 7.35, that is a condition that is known as acidosis. The long-term effects of high blood acidity can be severe. They include:
- Bone disease
- Kidney stones
- Other chronic kidney problems
- Outright kidney failure
In younger, undeveloped patients it can also cause delays in growth.
Some warning signs lead up to that dangerous level of acidity, but the symptoms tend to overlap with so many other health concerns that it can be hard to pinpoint the cause.
These symptoms include:
- Low energy
- Brain fog or confusion
- Anxiety and depression
- Frequent headaches
- Frequent colds
- Joint pain
- Muscle weakness
- Digestive issues such as bloating
Steps to Fight Acidity
Exercise alone is enough to deal with the majority of the acid the human body makes. About 70% of the acidic material that passes through the body is carbon dioxide. Active motion and deep breathing are all it takes for a healthy body to expel toxins.
It takes a lot of fluid to keep a body up and running the way it should. The kidneys need plenty of clean water to be able to flush acid out of the body and recycle essential compounds. It is also important to understand that ionized water is not the same thing. Water electrolysis has been a favorite fad diet, but it does more to enhance the intensity of the stomach acid instead of the opposite, desired effect.
The best food to eat should be as packed full of nutrients and minerals as possible. The wealthiest plant foods are grown organically in mineral-rich soil. The best animal protein options are from animals that have a rich diet of similar plant matter, preferably caught in the wild. Magnesium, calcium, and minerals are great sources for alkalizing supplements.
While much of the body is better off with a neutral to slightly alkaline state, the acidity of the stomach is crucial. Without high enough stomach acid levels, absorption of essential nutrients may suffer, especially when the diet isn’t healthy and mineral-rich. Studies have shown that there is a significant decrease in stomach acid between the ages of 25 and 50, so aging people should be especially aware. It is important to have a sufficient concentration of stomach acid for proper nutrition.
Healthy Liver and Bile
Once the acid has successfully managed to break down all of the essential nutrients, the role of the acid is over, and it is the liver’s job to bring the pH back up to a more neutral level. When the gallbladder or liver is malfunctioning, it can result in changes in health. Symptoms that appear when the liver needs support are as follows:
- High liver enzymes
- High cholesterol
- Pain behind the right shoulder blade
- Bad skin
- Weighed down feeling in the gut
- Irregular belching
- Fat-soluble Vitamins
The minerals that are absorbed through the water digestion process are not all that the body needs to run on. A body can actually starve for water-soluble minerals that are readily available because it does not have the activators to use them, the vitamins that are found in fat. The best way to consume such fatty vitamins is through wild-caught and wild-fed meat and dairy products. Unfortunately, some of those are often considered unhealthy such as organ meats, natural butter, and egg yolks. The key, of course, is moderation. It is the lack of these essential fat-soluble vitamins that is one of the factors that make it especially difficult to achieve body alkalinity on a strictly vegetarian diet.
Alkaline Diet Uses
During puberty, acne is just a thing that almost everybody has to deal with, but when it does not go away when adulthood arrives, there could be a problem. At times stubborn adult acne is a matter of a hormone imbalance. Stress can even cause occasional temporary breakouts, but sometimes it can be more than that. One of the defense mechanisms a body has is to attempt to push excess minor toxins out through the skin, causing acne.
Fats and sugars, and other dietary factors, are sometimes the culprits that the body is trying to reject, so the lack of those things in the alkaline ash diet can help to clear up acne, but only if food was the original cause. (Dermato-endocrinology)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as GERD, is an overproduction of stomach acid that ends up washing back up the esophagus, causing a significant amount of suffering. Although the alkaline ash diet is not necessarily the exact model every patient follows, a carefully planned diet of gentle foods was, until recently, pretty much the only solution that there was for the condition at all. (Journal of Thoracic Disease)
Acid reducers have begun to become available over the counter, but recent concerns have left officials and the public wondering just how safe they actually are. That brings patients back to the old but good method of diet adjustment.
As it is a condition that is a result of overactive acid production in the stomach, the best that a person could do is try their best to consume foods that make the best use of that excess acid.
Acid reflux is an incorrect term many people use to describe minor heartburn. Often, there is confusion with the term acid reflux, which is another name for GERD. People who actually have the condition diagnosed will rarely use this misnomer. As it is likely just run of the mill heartburn, there would be almost nothing more effective for it than the Alkaline diet. (Acta Gastroenterologica Belgica)
Not eating acidic foods in the first place is the best way not to end up having them come back up on you. Alkalized water is amazing for minor heartburn episodes. It is almost the same as taking an antacid tablet but without half of it getting stuck in your teeth.
The efficiency of the Alkaline diet for cancer and influence on acid-base homeostasis in the body is a matter of some debate. There have certainly never been any clinical trials that show the diet effective against cancer in people. (BMJ Open, Nutrition & Metabolism)
There are no grounds to call it a cure or even a stand-alone treatment and it does not begin to hold a candle to the efficiency of current treatments, but nonetheless may boost the immune system.
The change in dietary pH does not even significantly change the overall pH in the blood and body tissues. There need to be more alkaline diet cancer studies.
What experiments have shown is that, in a controlled lab environment, cancer cells that were placed in an alkaline environment came to a reproductive stop. While there is no way to get a body to that low of an acidity level, perhaps an amount of the net alkaline effect in the body would slow the process down even slightly.
Everything that could help is worth a try when fighting cancer and makes at least trying the alkaline diet for cancer worth it.
Gout is a buildup of acid. Uric acid is improperly metabolized and ends up pooling in the feet, knees, and other lower joints. This pooling causes swelling that pushes against the skin and the joints. The condition can be quite painful for those who experience it.
The alkaline nature allows the kidneys to process more of the uric acid, which may relieve and can certainly help prevent gout attacks from happening. This is one of the few current examples of the net alkaline effect working in real-time due to just non-acidic foods. (Nutrition Journal)
Diabetes is the inability of the body to process sugars correctly or not at all. It is important for the diet to consist of low-glycemic index (GI) foods. There is only one solution to type one diabetes, which is insulin shots to manage the condition.
Type two is more of an imbalance of chemicals than a complete lack and can often be fixed by diet with a low GI index. The Alkaline diet and the optimal diet for diabetes share a major common factor, it is important to avoid sugars and even grains in excess, because they break down into sugars which influence acid-base homeostasis in the body. (Nutrients)
It is for different reasons, but the two diets generally avoid and consume the same items, making the Alkaline ash diet a reasonable option for a diabetic with special consideration to the GI index of the food items.
Crohn’s disease is a form of IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. It causes the inner lining of the digestive system to become inflamed. They have yet to discover an exact cause for the disease, but it is likely to have genetic factors involved. (Nutrition Journal)
There are more than half a million people in the United States alone who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s and many more with other forms of IBS.
The primary manifestation of the affliction is pretty much exclusively inflammation. The disease can quickly turn into a paradox loop. The inflammation causes poor absorption, which in turn can deprive the body of vital nutrients essential to fighting that very same inflammation.
There is no evidence that dietary choices are the cause of Crohn’s, and neither are they going to cure it entirely, but careful decisions can be used to reduce the suffering some, at least. The low-acid diet is an especially useful option to provide optimal comfort and boost the immune system, especially with a few extra restrictions added on.
In addition to the usual alkaline diet restrictions, an IBS patient should take extra care to stay away from dairy entirely. A problematic stipulation is avoiding foods that are likely to cause gas. That eliminates a lot of the bean and green staples that the diet is built around, but the loss of a few more ingredients is worth the extra pain relief to many patients.
One of the best workarounds for those who suffer from IBS, including Crohn’s, are juices. They allow the patient the opportunity to absorb the nutrients of fruits and vegetables without the extra work of needing to break them down.
It provides some of the same healthy produce without the need for the body to create a significant amount of acid to ensure it breaks down correctly.
Organic fig juice, especially, is a great and delicious option to bring down the overall pH of an irritated digestive tract.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most uncomfortable. In many cases, frightening experiences a woman can go through, other than childbirth.
Imagine, if you will period cramps, that never go away. Severe cases end in surgery that often puts an end to the ability to have children. The pain is intense, but often the idea of permanent infertility and the risks associated with surgery outweigh the reward.
The obvious benefits are the same as those that the diet has on other inflamed organs. Many of the natural foods with a high pH are naturally anti-inflammatory. There is one more secret that the alkaline diet can provide for PCOS specifically.
With ovarian cysts, it can be nearly impossible to become pregnant. Fortunately, alkalinity is good for fertility. The more alkaline that the cervical mucus is, the more sperm are allowed to pass through. The acid in cervical mucus kills off sperm that is on the way to the egg. (Medical Hypotheses)
There are many reasons why a thyroid may become under-active, and some are directly related to poor life decisions. The use of drugs and alcohol, stress, and bad dietary habits can contribute to the issue.
When the disease takes over, the body is unable to create the hormones that are crucial for normal body operations, and uncomfortable symptoms begin to take root. The disease really takes its toll on human psychology by causing mood swings, depression, and fatigue. There are a significant number of physical symptoms that come along as well. The skin will begin to get dry and brittle along with hair and nails too.
A person may find themselves with cold sensitivity, gaining weight, and constipated, particularly with a diet high on the GI index. (Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity)
Overall chronic diseases are not a fun experience but can be managed, at times, and in part, with healthy diet choices. Avoiding acid-forming foods in favor of base foods is an important part of managing some chronic diseases.
Alkaline Diet Test Kits
As far as home testing is concerned, there are only a few options available, and they may not even provide an obvious picture of what is going on. Saliva or urine can be collected and tested for pH with the hopes of determining the overall health risks depending on the results. The problem is that the overall body balance of acids and alkalis is not necessarily clearly represented by either of those tests.
The problem with urine tests is the acid reading is only for what has already been excreted from the body. One of the purposes of urine is to remove excess chemical compounds from the body, so the waste is not necessarily a great indicator of the pH balance internally.
There are many different body fluids that each have a different purpose of serving, and each has an appropriate pH range to serve that purpose as efficiently as possible. The urine can safely range from about 4.6 all the way up to 8. Blood, on the other hand, starts to cause major issues if it varies from 7.4 nearly at all. In all reality, no matter what a person eats, it should not affect their blood pH.
Alkaline Diet Vs.
Here we will explore several different diets that are rather similar to each other to see how they compare as weight-loss techniques versus overall body health.
The Keto diet is pretty much the opposite of the alkaline diet, for that matter, it is pretty much the opposite of most diets that are designed for health. That is because this is not a diet that was created for health, at least not general health for a normal person.
The diet, rather than nutrition, was designed for a very specific medical purpose. Although the treatment has been mostly phased out by the invention of modern anticonvulsants, the Keto diet was created to help control epileptic seizures.
The diet triggers a state of pseudo-starvation known as ketosis. In 1921 it was reported that the ketosis state, induced by fasting, eliminated seizures. This, of course, would not be a good long-term solution. A person can only go so long without eating, so the Keto diet was created. The diet is very high in fat and very low in carbohydrates but focuses on good fats rather than trans fat foods.
Usually, the human body makes energy by breaking carbs down into sugars, but with no carbs, it has to go into a sort of survival mode. Instead of the carb energy, the liver makes chemicals called ketone bodies, which are acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Fat stores are picked up as the main source of energy. These chemicals head to the brain to keep a person pushing on. It is not entirely understood why, but this survival state prevents epileptic seizures. In rare cases where medications cannot be used or will not work, the ketone diet technique is still applied.
The vegan diet has a fairly simple premise, if it comes from an animal, do not eat it. There are some reasons that people choose to observe a vegan diet, but they usually seem to fall into one of two major camps.
For some, it is a life decision based on the health of the diet. Others choose to eat vegan for the sake of showing compassion and dignity to the other creatures who live on this earth. Fundamentally the alkali diet is not very much different than veganism. While eating vegan makes more allowances as far as grains, fruits, and natural plant sugars go, with the base ingredients, the acid is balanced out by the occasional dairy and meat that the low-acid diet allows.
Overall the ratio of acid foods to alkali is about the same. Roughly eighty percent of the food eaten will be on the high end of the pH scale. In contrast, about twenty percent should be somewhat acidic.
It can be a struggle, at times, to get enough dietary protein when eating vegan. It is not impossible by any means, but it takes a lot more work than simply frying an egg.
The Whole30 diet is a short-term cleansing diet meant to boost whole-body health. It is designed to be a month-long reset to get a body back into shape, and it has some rather strict rules. In this diet, meat of all sorts is fine as long as it is just the meat, it does require a fair amount of carbohydrate counting.
There is no good carbs bad carbs debate here; they are just to be avoided. There is no limit on which or how many vegetables. As far as fruits go, there are apples and avocados daily. That combination is actually a rather refreshing combination of good fat and just the right amount of sugar.
The diet also comes with a few other perks as well, including black coffee, which acts as one of the diuretic foods to promote flushing and a selection of approved sauces and dressings. The list of things that are not allowed is the longer one.
- No sweeteners of any kind, natural or artificial.
- No alcohol.
- No smoking, tobacco, or otherwise.
- No grains, beans, or legumes, including peanuts.
- No unapproved processed foods, including processed seasoning additives such as MSG.
- No dairy, including cheese and eggs.
- No tofu or other soy products.
Many of the foods allowed on the alkaline diet are also allowed with the Whole30 diet.
The concept behind the low-carb diet is pretty self-explanatory, fundamentally there are healthy carbohydrates that must be consumed in limited quantities.
Overall, the goal is to stay away from carbs as much as possible. Most low-carb diet options also expect sugars to be avoided as well.
Carbs left out entirely, or extremely limited, cause the body to enter a ketogenic state. Reducing carbohydrate intake to only what the body can burn helps prevent the collection of excess body fat. It can also be a useful diet for shedding extra pounds.
The overall design makes it a great medium-length diet for achieving a goal. The healthy carbs allowed on a low-carb diet are often the same as the vegetables approved for the alkaline diet.
Alkaline Diet Tips
One of the major concepts behind the alkaline diet is avoiding acidic foods, at least in excess. Unfortunately, when metabolized by the body, proteins become highly acidic. Especially when the proteins come from animals.
It would not be impossible to rework the diet to have a larger amount of acceptable acid than the standard twenty percent for training purposes. Bodybuilders are not the people to go to in search of weight-loss resources as the sport has huge calorie requirements. The goal of the diet is not necessarily to be overly restricting but to provide a healthy balance of nutrients to achieve a set goal.
Even so, there are probably better diet options to get large and defined muscles. Achieving that classic bodybuilder look requires a greater protein budget than the alkaline diet allows.
Weight training is a concept that, while difficult, would be more attainable than a bodybuilding routine when on a low-acid diet. Training with weights does require more protein than average but not nearly as much as it does for bodybuilding because it is more about weight lifted than physique.
Training with weights can include a variety of goals, everything from a light workout to intense training for other, more involved sports. The efficiency of the alkaline diet as it pertains to weight training is dependent on the overall goal of the activity. If the goal is intense and lofty, just like with bodybuilding, a higher protein diet may be preferable.
Of all of the intense exercise programs and training regimens that would make an excellent match for the alkaline diet, cardio is the one. Running is sometimes considered the go-to in terms of cardio. While it does take a certain amount of nutrients to train to run, the ratio of the alkaline diet may be just right for some.
Once the training begins to use up all of the energy the food provides and gain higher calorie requirements, it is simple enough just to have an extra meal. There is no need to change up the plan to include any extra acidic foods or even weight-loss foods, just eat as according to the plan and run. It is also a good sport to avoid diuretic foods to help retain hydration.
Celebrities and the Alkaline Diet
The Alkaline diet regained popularity following a tweet by Victoria Beckham in 2013. She claimed that her favorite cookbook was Honestly Healthy: Eat With Your Body in Mind, the Alkaline Way, a collaboration between Vicki Edgson, a nutritionist, and Natasha Corrett, a vegetarian chef.
ABC News and the Huffington Post both report that the basic diet is a favorite of well-known stars Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow. They have both sworn by alkali-rich diets with foods to balance pH for quite some time.
Jared Leto, who is now in his mid-forties, easily appears half of his age. He attributes his healthy appearance to his long-term habits. Along with adequate exercise, he has adhered to a strict alkali-rich vegan diet for decades. It goes to show that a healthy diet for good looks is not just for women anymore.
Studies on the Alkaline Diet
The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? (Journal of Environmental and Public Health)
Is there any proof that the alkaline diet is worth researching at all?
A 2012 review of current research on the alkaline diet showed that further research was needed to ascertain whether or not the diet helped reduce “morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases.”
A systematic review of the association between dietary acid load, alkaline water and cancer (BMJ Open)
Is there any connection between the alkaline diet and cancer?
A 2016 review of research that covered more than 8200 citations found the alkaline diet played no part in reducing the instance of or treating cancer. This is despite some proponents who claim otherwise.
Alkaline Diet and Metabolic Acidosis: Practical Approaches to the Nutritional Management of Chronic Kidney Disease (Journal of Renal Nutrition)
In patients predisposed to acidosis, does an alkaline diet prevent the condition?
Research completed in 2018 showed that, in patients with chronic kidney disease, lowering the intake of acidic foods reduces acidosis associated with the disease. However, along with reducing acidic foods, proteins were reduced, and fruits and vegetables increased.
Alkaline Diet: A Novel Nutritional Strategy in Chronic Kidney Disease (Iranian Journal of Kidney Disease)
Can nutrition affect the impact of chronic kidney disease on health?
Additional research, also published in 2018, claimed consuming fewer acidic foods could impact the instance of metabolic acidosis in patients with kidney disease. However, the foods suggested are fruits and vegetables – not specific alkaline foods.
Final Take on the Alkaline Diet
Despite the push made by followers of the alkaline diet, no research shows it will help with weight loss, or directly help with any health condition. The body regulates pH levels naturally and, the levels that diet may change, like urine acid level, have no impact on weight or the disease process. This is especially true in people with cancer and chronic kidney disease, where the alkaline diet has been extensively researched.
If eating the alkaline diet for weight loss, or improved health, the benefit you’re likely getting from the diet is based on leaving behind processed foods and increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to be following a specific diet of any kind to change up the foods you eat, and your diet won’t change your body’s pH.
All-in-all, we suggest making lifestyle changes that work for the long-haul with foods you enjoy from all food colors of the rainbow for nutritional balance and overall health.
Whether you’re trying to improve overall health or lose weight, Noom works with you, stands beside you, and offers support through the journey to health. No other app is as comprehensive or has the clinical support of Noom.
Alkaline Diet QA
What do you eat on an alkaline diet?
On an alkaline diet, you eat foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. These foods are considered naturally alkaline. Neutral foods include sugars, natural fats, and starches.
Is an alkaline diet good for you?
According to proponents of the alkaline diet, eating acidic foods affects the body’s pH levels causing health problems. Science shows that the blood’s pH is consistently between 7.35 and 7.45 and cannot be changed by diet.
How do you keep your body alkaline?
There’s no way to keep your body alkaline. The blood’s pH is always between 7.35 and 7.45. Any deviation can cause severe health problems.
What exactly is alkaline?
pH levels, which is the measure of extremely acid to extremely alkaline, ranging from 0 to 14. 0 is the most acidic, and 14 is the most alkaline. Alkaline is sometimes referred to as basic. Anything above 7 increases in alkalinity gradually.
Can you drink alkaline water every day?
Alkaline water has not been shown in clinical research to change the alkalinity or acidity of the blood. There’s currently no suggestion as to the safety of long-term use.
What foods do you avoid on an alkaline diet?
On an alkaline diet, you cannot eat dairy, meat, eggs, grains, canned, and packaged foods or convenience foods of any kind.