Have you ever wondered about the alkaline diet pros and cons? The alkaline diet has been studied for many decades.
It was first proposed by Claude Bernard, a French biologist, who found feeding rabbits a carnivore diet over a plant-based herbivore diet, caused their urine to become more acidic.
The premise of the diet is foods that contain phosphate and chloride are acid-forming, and foods that contain magnesium, calcium, and potassium are alkaline-forming.
Although research has not been successful in fully backing up the benefits of alkaline diets, they have become increasingly popular over the last ten years.
From the prevention and treatment of cancer to kidney stone prevention, proponents of the alkaline diet say it offers many benefits to the human body.
Are these benefits based on fact or more on a fad?
Which Foods are Good for Alkaline Diet?
If you have been considering the alkaline diet, you are sure to wonder what foods you can eat.
As mentioned above, foods containing certain minerals are considered alkaline-forming.
When discussing the pros and cons of the alkaline diet, it is important to remember one con is the reduction of food choices.
If you choose to go on the alkaline diet, you will likely be required to cut out a large list of foods you may be accustomed to consuming.
You will want to choose foods that are higher on the pH scale, meaning they are more alkaline.
The following are some of the best foods for an alkaline diet.
- Green beans
- Whey protein powder
- Soured dairy products
- Vegetable juice
Although not always, most vegetables and many fruits are alkalizing to the body and safe for consumption with the alkaline diet.
Some people attempt to alkalize their bodies with alkaline water, but experts say this is typically not enough to gain health benefits.
Most people attempt to eat around 75% of their diet from alkalizing foods and around 25% acidic.
This ratio gives the perfect balance to help protect the health of the human body.
Including a wide array of alkalizing vegetables and fruits gives your body the nutrition it needs for the proper immune response.
Will the Alkaline Diet Help Me Lose Weight?
Although most people go on an alkaline diet to protect or improve their health, there is also an added benefit.
Because people are eating mostly vegetables, fruits, and nuts, they are automatically consuming fewer calories.
It takes a reduction of 3,500 calories for a person to lose one pound.
Cutting out meats and processed foods, along with sugary drinks, can help a person to lose weight fairly quickly, especially if they incorporate exercise into their healthy new lifestyle.
By reducing 500 calories a day, you can lose one to two pounds a week, depending on your activity level.
Eating an alkaline diet can help you reduce calories, while still enjoying large quantities of food.
In fact, some people who have tried the alkaline diet have reported they can eat more and still lose weight.
Can I Eat Meat on the Alkaline Diet?
The alkaline diet places foods in one of three categories: acidic, neutral, and alkaline.
The goal of this diet is to fill your plate with as many alkaline or neutral foods as possible.
While some people have a small portion of meat a day, the alkaline diet recommends abstaining from acid-forming foods.
Red meats, fish, chicken, pork, wheat, and chocolate are all considered acid-forming foods.
You should avoid any type of meat on the alkaline diet, especially if you are doing it to improve or protect your health.
Scientists have discovered acid-forming foods leave behind what they believe is an “acidic ash”.
Proponents of the diet believe this acidic ash can lead to diseases in the body.
Should you choose to consume meat on an alkaline diet, make sure to choose the highest quality.
Choose the leanest and best meat choices possible, and keep them in moderation.
If you are concerned about getting enough protein on the alkaline diet, try subbing lentils, tofu, and some alkaline seeds in place of meats.
Adding these foods will help to ensure you are getting the protein you need.
What Foods Should I Definitely Avoid on the Alkaline Diet?
Unfortunately, some foods are acid-forming and should be avoided on an alkaline diet. Cutting these out of your diet will result in less acidic ash and fewer calories.
If you are considering going on an alkaline diet, make sure to get rid of the following foods.
- All animal proteins
- Highly salted snacks
- Snacks high in sugar
- Caffeinated beverages
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream)
- Processed grains (white bread, cereal, and fast food)
- White rice
Whole wheat and white rice can be consumed in moderation.
These two foods can be part of an alkaline diet but should be eaten in very small amounts and infrequently.
Some people mistakenly believe acidic foods must be avoided, but it is important to note this is not always the case.
Some foods are acidic, yet alkaline-forming. These foods include citrus fruits and tomatoes, among others.
Is the Alkaline Diet Just a Fad?
Over the last few years, the market has been inundated with alkaline products, from water to supplements.
With so many products on the market, it can be confusing to determine if this diet is simply a fad or a truly healthy option.
Around a hundred years ago, research began into what we now know as the alkaline diet.
Then, scientists began to study how an acidic diet pulled calcium from the bones, causing osteoporosis.
It is important to note that research has not been successful in proving if this diet is truly effective in preventing disease.
Many people strongly stand by this diet and have made it a lifestyle.
Some scientists say an alkaline diet cannot change your health because the body has different pH zones. The blood pH can never be altered.
So, is this diet bad? Absolutely not! A big positive of the alkaline diet is it encourages people to give up fast food and unhealthy snacks and replace them with nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
That alone is a reason for encouraging this diet.
The problem comes in when people are spending large amounts of money on alkaline supplements and waters that simply do nothing to alter the pH of the body.
Many people have been misled into believing they can drink alkaline water or take a pill and continue to eat what they want, including junk food.
While the alkaline diet is undoubtedly a hot topic right now, it is difficult to say whether it is simply a fad or will last.
Because the alkaline diet is plant-based, chances are likely it will continue because more and more people are working to reduce their carbon footprints by choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet.
If you are feeding your body junk, how can you possibly expect to be healthy? The body needs at least 13 essential vitamins and minerals to function.
When we consume fast food and processed snacks, we can deplete our bodies of key nutrients, while putting on excess weight in the process.
Instead of spending your money on alkaline products, including water, pills, and books, focus on spending that money on the healthiest vegetables, fruits, and nuts you can find.
Eating a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables will fill your body with the nutrients that are necessary for fighting off disease and improving your health.
As stated earlier, you will even lose some weight if you work towards a caloric deficit and exercise.
The Alkaline Diet – Pros and Cons – Conclusion
Alkaline diets are not new, though they have been gaining a lot of publicity over the last ten years.
While these diets are not necessarily fads, they sometimes make promises they cannot keep.
Whether you are interested in the diet for health reasons, weight loss, or both, you are not putting yourself in danger, as long as you balance your diet and get enough protein from plant-based alkaline sources.
The alkaline diet is a healthy one, but there is no evidence to suggest that alkaline pills and drops do anything for the body.
You would be better off investing that money into buying healthy foods or even growing your own.
We wouldn’t say the alkaline diet is necessarily a fad. It is important to know what the diet can and cannot do.
Having realistic expectations will ensure you do not make diet mistakes that lead you down the wrong path.