With so many diet trends flitting in and out of popularity, it can be hard to keep track of what’s “bad” and “good” for you. Today, ph360 looks at the Alkaline Diet, and shows you why—as always—the most effective diet will be the one that’s right for you, and you alone.
The Alkaline Diet is based on the principle that many processed and high glycemic foods (foods that contain a high content of simple sugars) will alter the body’s pH, some making it more acidic. But how much truth is there to the smattering of foods that have been dubbed “alkaline” or “alkalizing”?
When foods are processed in the body, they leave behind a residue that is either acid or alkaline. Acid “ash”, or residue, can lead to the body resisting any additional acid load by breaking down bone, which may lead to osteoporosis. Yet alkaline producing food may effectively increase bone health.
Not what you expected? That’s because the data above, proponed by the American Dietetic Association, is the only reliable data available about the Alkaline Diet.
While many alternative health sources have touted the Alkaline Diet as a cure-all for cancer, weight loss, fatigue, and heart disease, there is no evidence to support these claims. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research has said that the diet’s supposed lowering of the blood’s pH by dietary changes is contrary to “everything we know about the chemistry of the human body…a myth.”
The truth is that different parts of the body need different pH levels to perform properly. While the blood thrives with a balanced pH, the stomach must be acidic in order to digest food, and the intestines must be alkaline for nutritive absorption. These levels are not directly influenced by the ingestion of “alkaline” foods.
So what’s a diehard health foodie to do with your stocks of “alkaline-forming” quinoa and broccoli?
While you may not be directly affecting your blood pH in the way the Alkaline Diet proponents would like you to believe, you will be providing your body with plenty of healthy nutrients and enzymes. Most importantly, remember that the foods that will be best for your body are those that are uniquely suited to your body profile.
Some bodies may be naturally more alkaline than others, and vice versa. The important thing is to find the foods that work to bring your body to balance on a day-to-day basis, rather than in phases of extreme dieting.
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