Alkaline Diet

The Alkaline Diet is a diet that advocates eating a slightly alkaline-based diet. The Alkaline Diet follows the theory that our body is slightly alkaline, and our eating habits should also be slightly alkaline.

Principle of the Alkaline diet

Foods are generally categorized as acidic and alkaline based on how they are metabolized. A food is determined to be acidic or alkaline based on the ph levels. A ph of 7 is neutral. Anything below that is acidic, and anything above is alkaline.

The normal range for the human body is between 7.36 to 7.44. According to the Alkaline Diet, we should also follow a slightly alkaline diet.

Eating the wrong foods – that is, eating acidic foods such as animal protein and processed foods can disrupt this balance. According to the Alkaline Diet, such foods can deplete the body of alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

The ideal alkaline diet contains 75-80% alkaline foods, and 20-25% acidic foods.

What are you allowed to eat on the Alkaline diet?

You are encouraged to eat larger amounts of foods such as:

  • Vegetables – wheat and barley grass, cucumber, parsley, sea vegetables, alfalfa and broccoli sprouts in high amounts
  • Nuts – especially pumpkin seeds
  • Whole grains – such as buckwheat, quinoa and spelt
  • Olive oil.

These foods are seen as alkaline.

What is forbidden on the Alkaline diet?

You are encouraged to limit your intake of the following, as they are moderately acidic:

  • Animal meat – such as poultry, fish and red meat
  • Eggs
  • Some fruit – such as cantaloupe, dates, and nectarines
  • Some dairy and dairy substitutes, such as cow's milk and soy milk.

The following should be eaten occasionally, as they are seen to be most acidic:

  • Cheese – all forms
  • Icecream
  • Some grains – barley, corn and rye
  • Dried fruit
  • Peanuts, cashews and pistachios.
  • Processed foods.

Pros and cons of the Alkaline diet

The Alkaline Diet is a balanced diet which shares some similarities with diets such as the Mediterranean Diet. Both diets promote the use of olive oil and occasional consumption of red meat. The Alkaline Diet generally promotes healthy eating habits, such as reducing the amount of processed foods.

The use of olive oil has been linked with lower heart disease, partly because the oil features monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats does not raise cholesterol levels like saturated fats.

Followers of the Alkaline Diet claim that it can boost the immune system and lessen the risk of development of cysts. The Alkaline Diet is said to be beneficial for those with stressful lifestyles.

The Alkaline Diet, however, is not scientifically proven. It is difficult to say whether the healthy eating habits promoted by the Alkaline Diet or the theory that the body is slightly alkaline is causing its health benefits.

The Alkaline Diet can also be difficult to follow, because of its long list of rules and restrictions. If you want to follow the Alkaline Diet, you must know whether each item of food you are eating is either alkaline or acidic. In addition, you also must know how alkaline or acidic the food is.

Daily and weekly plans for the Alkaline diet

There are no set plans for the Alkaline Diet.

Expected weight loss on the Alkaline diet

There are no reports on expected weight loss as the Alkaline Diet is intended as a lifestyle choice.

Alkaline diet rating

Ease: 3/5 – Requires some research beforehand.

Balance: 4/5 – Generally a balanced diet, although some foods on the restricted list [i.e. dried fruit] may be unnecessary.

Maintenance: 2/5 – Can be difficult to maintain due to its strict rules.

Overall: 3/5