The Alakaline Diet
The alkaline diet, also known as the alkaline ash or alkaline acid diet, is based on the premise that if you eat a diet that is full of alkaline-promoting foods you can shed pounds and improve your health. The theory is that foods such as meat, wheat, refined sugar, caffeine, and processed foods cause your body’s pH to shift to one that is more acidic. An acid pH is in turn thought to make a person more prone to developing chronic diseases and to gain weight. According to the Wolfe Clinic website which promotes the diet, when the body is acidic, it leaches minerals from vitals organs.
While there is little clinical evidence to support the claims, the alkaline diet does have the advantage that it supports the consumption of whole unprocessed foods. If you are thinking about trying the diet, just be aware that it also excludes some healthy foods including beans, legumes, and essential fats.
If you want to give the alkaline diet a try, follow these general principles
Foods to include
Increase your consumption of vegetables and fruits to at least nine servings per day. A focus should be placed on root vegetables and tubers like beets, carrots, and turnips. When choosing fruits, go easy but do include them. Good choices include avocados, tomatoes, grapefruit, lime, coconut and bananas. You should also include whole grains but not wheat. Instead choose quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.
Most nuts, seeds, and tofu are also allowed on the diet, along with some alkaline producing legumes such as lima beans and lentils. When choosing oils, reach for olive, flax, sesame, pumpkin and coconut.
Foods to avoid
Meat is highly acidic and should be consumed moderately or not at all. If you are a meat eater, switch to fish and lamb over beef and chicken. Dairy and eggs fall on the acidic side, so should be avoided. The same goes for all processed foods, refined sugar, canned, packaged, snack and convenience foods. If you want to go all the way, then cut out caffeine and alcohol too.
Testing your pH
If you want to find out if your body is alkaline or acidic, you can use pH strips at home to test your saliva and urine. Both tests should be done first thing in the morning and for at least a week to ten days so that you can get an average. Once you have the number you can compare it to a pH chart and then make dietary adjustments as needed.
Overall the diet promotes the consumption of whole unprocessed foods, which may take some time getting used to. As with all diets, do your research first and decide if it is for you.