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The Alkaline Diet

Posted by Betsy

© Olga Zielinska;

Websites and organizations promoting the alkaline diet state that this type of diet helps reduce weight, cures arthritis, diabetes and cancer and it also slows down the aging process. Read on to see if this diet is safe for you, regardless of the claims.

pH is the measure of how acidic or how alkaline a solution or a body is. A pH of 0 means that you are completely acidic and a pH of 14 means that you are completely basic. A pH of 7 is neutral. Your body does not have just one pH level. The blood pH is usually a little over 7 leaning towards alkalinity, the pH in the stomach is less than 3.5 leaning towards acidity to digest the food we eat.

The alkaline diet maintains that by eating certain foods your body can help maintain the ideal pH for the body which will improve the overall health. However, your body maintains its healthy pH level despite what you choose to eat. What you eat may affect the pH level of the urine, but not the pH level of the blood.

The alkaline diet promotes a vegetarian style of diet. It includes fresh vegetables, some fresh fruits, soy products, some nuts, grains and legumes. Acid promoting foods such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, processed foods, plain table sugar, refined flour and caffeine are discouraged. Alkaline diet does encourage fresh fruits and vegetables and recommends avoiding processed foods, caffeine and alcohol. This is the basis of general healthy diet, but eating these foods or avoiding them does not affect the pH level of the body as this diet claims.

Low pH (acidic) urine increases the risk of kidney stones. Therefore raising the pH level by eating a diet rich in vegetables, such as the alkaline diet, can reduce the risk of kidney stones. There is some speculation that an alkaline diet could slow bone loss and muscle waste, however it is not a conclusive study. There is also no concrete evidence that an alkaline diet lower the risk of cancers. Vegetarians have lower rates of cancer, especially colon cancer – but this may be due to other healthy habits along with eating fresh vegetables and fruits. There is definitely a benefit to drinking lots of water, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, but the benefit is not from the alkalinity or the acidity of the blood.

Since diet does not affect the blood pH level, any differences should be addressed immediately by a physician as it could be signs of kidney failure. Vegetarian diets are healthy as long as it is balanced and you get all your necessary nutrients. But websites and programs promoting alkaline diets that require you to subscribe and buy their products are just a marketing scheme.

Watch out for websites that require payment to look at recipes or forces you to buy their products or eliminate a whole group of food such as fats – these are fad diets and will not benefit you in the long run. Choosing a healthy, balanced diet and fresh products are good for your health. You should be able to walk into a grocery store and pick out your food.

Category : Diet Reviews

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