Also called the Acid-Alkaline Diet or the Acid-Ash Diet, the Alkaline Diet operates on the principle of replacing acid-forming foods with alkaline foods as a way of improving your overall health. As this was a new one to me, and I try to take in as much health-related information that I can to bring to you readers, I took a deeper dive on this book to see what this diet is all about.
What is the Alkaline Diet?
This diet is all about restoring balance. Particularly, it aims to bring harmony to your acid-alkaline balance, in other terms, your pH balance. The premise of this diet is that you can restore a proper equilibrium to these levels through the food that you consume.
When your body’s metabolism is working – burning fat and calories – it produces waste. This waste can come in two forms: acidic ash, which makes your blood more acidic, and alkaline ash, which makes your blood more (for lack of a better term) alkaline or basic. Having too high of a level of acidic ash in your body can lead to a number of illnesses and diseases.
The theory is that you can restore your bloodstream back to a more alkaline level by eating foods that are high in alkaline. You are, in effect, “alkalizing” your body and improving your health by following this diet.
Examples of Acidic, Alkaline, and “Neutral” foods can be found below:
What pH Level is Healthy?
Before you start on this diet, it is best to understand the range of alkaline levels in the body and what they mean. The pH scale is measured in the range of 0 to 14, and as a general rule, you fit into one of the three categories below:
Checking your pH is kind of like how you used to test the pH level of a solution back in the science lab in school with a piece of litmus paper. There are many kits, like this one, available on Amazon where you can test your saliva or urine to determine where you fall on the scale above. It is best to take multiple readings over the course of a few days so that it isn’t swayed by your most recent meal. If you are too acidic, then the Alkaline Diet may be a good course of action for you. That particular kit I linked to comes with 100 strips so you can continue to track your levels and see how it changes with your diet.
Risks of Acidic pH
So why do you want to have more alkaline and avoid being acidic? The health risks are many. Being too far on the acidic side can lead to osteoporosis, leading to brittle bones and a decrease in bone mineral content. Others believe that cancer can develop easier in acidic environments, though research has not been found to support this.
Having checked my pH with the kit here, I found that I was right around neutral, so this diet wasn’t particularly catered to me. However, looking at it objectively, beyond just the pH balancing effect, I can see a lot of benefits to it. It promotes making healthy diet choices, such as eating lots of fruits and vegetables and other plant-based foods. That’s never a bad thing, regardless of your pH. It also warns against highly processed junk foods which, again, is always good advice.
To be honest, after reading more about this diet, there isn’t a lot of research that supports that food consumption can affect your pH levels. There are positive effects because of the unprocessed, whole foods you eat, but it has nothing to do with pH. It more has to do with the nutrients you are getting. Again, those are all good things, even if the theory behind this diet doesn’t exactly hold up.
If you want to read more about the Alkaline Diet, this book comes highly recommended.