Alkaline Diet Benefits
In the modern world, we have seemingly endless food choices and it can be hard to know what is the best plan to follow. Celebrity endorsements, best-selling books, and television talk shows claim to have the latest on weight loss and disease prevention, all based on what you eat. Let’s look at one of today’s most talked about diet plans – the alkaline diet – and how it can benefit you.
Remember using litmus paper in high school science? Red paper was used to test for alkalis and blue paper tested for acids. The pH scale that these little strips of paper were testing applies to all substances, including the food we eat and our bodies. The idea behind the alkaline diet is that what we eat can affect the pH balance of our bodies and it’s best to feed it mostly alkaline fare. Human blood is slightly alkaline and, according to proponents of the alkaline diet, when we eat acid-forming foods, our bodies have to work harder to maintain its natural pH. Note the use of the term “acid-forming” here. The effects of a food are not based on their actual acidic or alkali properties but on how the body reacts to it.
Alkaline Diet and Acid Forming Foods
Acid-forming foods to avoid include meat, dairy, and wheat while alkaline-forming foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts should be eaten in abundance. The alkaline diet also emphasizes ridding your diet of processed foods and refined sugars. Website Greenopedia has a handy set of charts to help you determine where certain foods fall on the pH scale. Eating a diet that conforms to these rules is supposed to help with diseases such as arthritis, kidney stones, heart disease, and is even reported to be beneficial to those undergoing chemotherapy. By contrast, eating too many acid-forming foods purportedly forces our bodies to take buffering minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous from our bones and teeth to bring our blood back into balance.
The alkaline diet is a healthy way to plan your daily meals, but not because of its effect on your blood pH. In truth, no matter what you eat your blood pH stays pretty steady and not because you’re stealing minerals from your bones. Blood pH regulation is, instead, one of the main functions of the kidneys with excess acidity being excreted through urine. And as long as you have healthy kidneys, you don’t need to worry about the effects of acid-forming foods on them either.
With that being said, you can’t go wrong eating lots of fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods. This diet will be lower in fat, salt, and preservatives and high in essential vitamins and minerals. So following an alkaline diet plan can be helpful for weight loss as well as overall health. But forget the litmus paper.