You might not be aware of the Alkaline diet but it’s worth getting up to speed with this style of eating and to get a better understanding of the difference between an acidic and alkaline state in your body.
In this podcast, it’s going to give you a good overview of why you need to be aware of following a lifestyle that keeps you away from being acidic.
In This Episode On The Alkaline Diet You Will Learn:
- The danger of diets and following a healthy eating approach
- Understanding your bodies pH scale
- What foods promote an acidic state in your body
- The difference between pastured and factory meats
- Foods that can make your more alkaline
- The osteoporosis issue
- The difference between blood and urine pH
- The problems with your body being acidic
- Who should be following an alkaline diet
What is an Alkaline Diet
The alkaline diet is not exactly a keto diet, but many of you must have heard of it. It helps to balance your acidity problems. In this article, we will discuss the differences between a keto and an alkaline diet, and all the other factors which go along with it. It revolves around the idea of what people should eat, and which food may cause acidity.
A Run Down on the Alkaline Diet
There are many different kinds of diets that people follow. The word diet, in most cases, is misunderstood. People think diet means eating less or reduce calorie intake, restrictions of various food; but all these actions are not conducive for a healthy lifestyle. For instance, if we talk about the Mediterranean diet, people who follow the Mediterranean lifestyle eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other plant-based meals. But in the process the word diet gets twisted, and people start cutting on food.
Diet is more like an approach where you eat balanced food, including as many beneficial nutrients as possible, and in the case of the alkaline diet that is exactly what it is. In terms of the definition, it would mean that if you are eating food, it puts your body more in an alkaline state than in an acidic state. Whenever you are in an acidic state, it makes your body more vulnerable to diseases and weaknesses and making the body more susceptible.
Benefits of Alkaline Diet
In high school, many of you have learned about the pH scale. From 0 to 6 on the pH scale indicates acidity and from 8 to 14, it indicates alkalinity and 7 is considered neutral. So, this alkaline diet essentially works when you replace acidic food with alkaline ones that can really help you achieve a transformation.
Elimination of food which increases acidity:
The First step in an alkaline diet would be eliminating all the food which puts your body in an acidic state. Those things would include processed food, grains, sugar and alcohol. And also, according to the supportera and promoters of the alkaline diet, they would prohibit meat, poultry, and fish. The quality of those meat, poultry and fish would be a big issue. The ones available in grocery stores would come from animals that have high levels of hormones and protein.
High levels of these things are completely unnatural to them; these animals are inactive and are locked in confinement and raised. These animals themselves are quite acidic, and they are consuming food which increases acidity in their body and causes inflammation and other problems. Their meat would be different from pastured, free-roaming, grass-fed animals.
Secondly, eggs and dairy products are a big problem. A lot of people have problems with dairy products. They suffer from various allergies, and many people cannot tolerate dairy products. Almost 80% of the people are lactose intolerant.
Fresh vegetables vs processed food
So, what’s included in the alkaline diet would consist of most fruits and vegetables. Starchy, dark leafy green vegetables, soybean and tofu, different kinds of seeds and legumes. This is more like a vegetarian lifestyle. Normally many people include these in their diet and those who do not; they should include them. The alkaline diet is very much like the Mediterranean diet or like the vegans. You should look for food which have protein and are highly organic.
The more organic they are, the more amount of nutrition they would carry. Other processed food would contain pesticides, chemicals and herbicides, which would put the body in distress. You can try growing tomatoes, bell peppers and garlic, also onions spices and herbs. These are alkaline promoting and are very easy to grow.
Blood pH regulation:
Your blood pH levels are always around 7.34 to 7.45, a bit more on the alkaline side. But your stomach is highly acidic, which is for a good reason. Stomach pH levels are always 2 to 3.5. This is due to the presence of hydrochloric acid needed for the breakdown, processing and absorption of food. So, your body has various levels of acidity and alkalinity, but the problem which arises is that many people think their urine pH levels are the same as their blood pH levels, which is not. Your urine pH may change, but there is nothing you can do to change your blood pH as your body is going to regulate that itself. Just as the body regulates the amount of blood glucose levels, it does all the other things by itself too.
The Drawback of the Alkaline Diet Plan
Disadvantages of the alkaline diet may result in getting a lack of micro, macro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals. You might miss these out while you are only relying on an alkaline diet. Cutting of meat and poultry could mean less protein is present in your body. You might feel a bit tired or sluggish, or you may have a lack of iron. But it is possible to replenish them with other food sources.
Another con of having an alkaline diet would be cutting out too much meat. If you are not a vegetarian and if the previous diet was filled with meat, bacon, etc. This may be harder on your body than you think. You can also have a little portion of meat, but the majority of your plate should be filled with vegetables, seeds, nuts, olive oil and other vegan food. But if you still want to include animal protein on your diet, make sure they are from the cleanest sources available.
Osteoporosis, the Kidneys and Blood Acid Levels
There is a misconception about osteoporosis. People say it happens due to having acidity in the stomach, which is absolutely wrong. Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease and is characterized by decreasing bone mineral content which mainly occurs in post-menopausal women. In order to keep your blood pH normal, the body uses alkaline minerals, especially calcium. The body takes calcium from your bones to buffer the acid which you get from consuming acid-forming food.
So consuming food which increases the acid level in blood can result in a decrease in bone mineral density, and this condition is commonly known as acid ash hypothesis of osteoporosis. But there is a problem with this theory; the function of the kidneys is completed ignored. Kidneys help to remove acid by filtering blood and helps to regulate blood pH levels. The kidneys play a major role; they form bicarbonate ions which helps to neutralize the blood.
The respiratory system is also involved in controlling our blood ph. The bicarbonate ions that form in the kidneys bind the acid in the blood and forms carbon dioxide, which is breathed out. Weight loss is basically losing plenty of water from the body. Body fat loss of muscle protein loss is quite different. When we exhale the carbon dioxide which contains carbon, we reduce some of your body fat in the process which helps us to lose weight. This is how we get rid of acid through our breath, and our bones are not a part of this process.
Another problem with the hypothesis is that it does not consider the loss of protein collagen from the bones. This collagen is used for making ascorbic acid which is vitamin C. According to several types of research and studies that have been conducted, there are zero relationships between dietary acid and bone mineral density. That means one does not affect the other. So, urine pH and bone health are not related in any way. It also helps release IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor-1, which helps in muscle building, growth and many other functions in the body.
In ancient times half of the population relied on vegetables and an alkaline-based diet while the other half relied on animals as their primary source. Their consumption of a large amount of protein from animals would be considered highly acidic in modern times, but the environment they lived in is very different from ours.
Nutrient-dense and natural food consumption is a healthy way of eating. When you get rid of all the acid increasing food, you will soon start seeing the changes developing in your body. If you have been eating alkaline based food before, you will not have trouble dealing with it. Soon your body will run at its optimum level, and you will start feeling your best. If you combine an alkaline diet with strength exercise, cardio and good sleep, reduce stress by meditation, that is when you will feel the real wellness in health and mind.
So that’s the alkaline diet in a nutshell, and yes nuts are allowed in it. This style of eating can work for everyone and is doable for vegetarians and vegans. As I mentioned in the show it’s not just what’s included in this diet that makes it good but what is NOT included. There isn’t any high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners etc. So it’s not that you have to follow this diet but you want to be including alkaline foods every day and trying to avoid those things that may make you more acidic as those acid wash jeans you wore in high school.
So ultimately it’s not about a “diet” it’s more about following a healthy eating approach to keep you in the best health possible.