There have been a lot of Hollywood celebrities touting the alkaline diet, also known as the alkaline acid diet or the alkaline ash diet. They say not only is it great for weight loss, it’s healthy too, and even inhibits the onset of serious conditions such as cancer and arthritis. The crux of this argument is that certain foods make the body more acidic, which in turn causes inflammation and the diseases that go with it. By keeping a certain diet, the body becomes more alkaline, less acidic. Victoria Beckham launched the craze that became this diet when she tweeted about it back in 2013, mysteriously in tandem with a cookbook written around the same philosophy. So does the alkaline diet really help you lose weight? Experts say perhaps but not for the reason it claims to. Just a little reminder, pH is how acidic or alkaline something is. A pH of 7 is neutral. 0 is total acidity and 14 is complete alkaline.
Though the stomach has an acidity of 3.5, and urine changes depending upon diet, the human body overall stays at the same pH level regardless of diet. The body itself maintains the proper pH level. Still, the food that is prescribed in this diet is healthy, which includes lots of fruits and vegetables, legumes, seeds, beans, tofu, and nuts. The alkaline diet also limits sugar, salt, and fat, processed foods and alcohol. Dairy, breads and refined grains, meat and eggs are to be limited in this view. According to WebMD, “there’s some early evidence that a diet low in acid-producing foods like animal protein (such as meat and cheese) and bread and high in fruits and veggies could help prevent kidney stones, keep bones and muscles strong, improve heart health and brain function, reduce low back pain, and lower risk for colon cancer and type 2 diabetes. But researchers aren’t sure yet.” A nuanced explanation by the alkaline crowd claims the diet can shift the blood’s pH level slightly, for a short period, and that this shift must be avoided. That remains to be seen. But overall, this diet is healthy as long as the practitioner makes sure that they get enough of all the essential nutrients. Talk to your doctor, a dietician, or a nutritionist if you are unsure and want to try the alkaline diet.