Most people are familiar with the term "acid" but less familiar with "alkaline". Alkaline materials are essentially the opposite of acidic materials. Mixing baking soda and vinegar is a common childhood experiment, and we've all seen the bubbles of carbon dioxide that result when the acidic vinegar meets the alkaline backing soda. Proponents of the alkaline diet suggest that a similar reaction is taking place in our bodies. Reaching a balance between alkaline and acidic foods is the ultimate goal of the diet.
The alkaline diet recommends that Alkaline foods should be three quarters of your diet. This would include fresh vegetables, nuts that are typically unsalted (like almonds or sunflower) and oils, roots, legumes, and citrus and other fruits low in sugar. The remaining quarter of your diet is from acidic foods, such as meats, dairy, most popular beverages (alcohol, sodas, coffee, tea, fruit juices) and salted nuts. This quarter of your diet would also include most processed foods and food made with processed sugar. The diet also recommends drinking lots of pure water. Water, being neither acidic nor alkaline, is a great buffering agent between the two camps.
Proponents of the alkaline diet point to medical studies that showed positive results when using this diet for treating chronic acidosis, a disease where the acid/alkaline balance in the body is perpetually wrong. This disease is correlated with calcium loss in the bones, a potentially crippling situation. Holistic medicine practitioners also blame blood pH abnormalities for arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure. This type of diet could address these imbalances.
Critics of the alkaline diet say that the body regulates the pH level of the blood through intricate metabolic processes that are negligibly affected by the acid/alkaline content of our food. They also point to the rather colorful background of the alkaline diet's chief promoter, Robert Young as another reason to be skeptical.
Could this diet be right for you? People who suffer from acid reflux or other digestive disorders characterized by excess stomach acid may find relief through modifying their meal plans to better conform to the alkaline diet. As always, your mileage may vary.
Have your tried the alkaline diet? Click on the Comment button and let us know how it went for you!