The Alkaline Diet is based on the theory that our modern diets are causing our bodies to increase acid production causing increased fat and subsequent weight gain, but is there scientific evidence to back this up?
High acidity levels in our bodies has a suggested link to deteriorating bone health in the form of arthritis and osteoporosis. Along with kidney and liver disorders. The Alkaline Diet suggests avoiding all high acidic foods and increasing your ‘alkaline foods’. Guidelines generally advise that 80% of foods consumed should be alkaline. Animal foods tend to be acid-forming whereas plant foods are neutral or alkaline.
So what’s the idea?
The Alkaline Diet suggests increasing fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, and eliminating meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, yoghurt, grains, bread and alcohol.
And the science?
‘There is no evidence from superior quality balance studies that increasing the diet acid load promotes skeletal bone mineral loss or osteoporosis. Changes of urine calcium do not accurately represent calcium balance. Promotion of the ‘alkaline diet’ to prevent calcium loss is not justified” (Source: Fenton et al.,2009)
So in a nutshell, No.
There is no scientific evidence that you can change your body’s blood acidity (pH level) through what you eat. Weight loss seen through the Alkaline Diet is more likely observed due to reduction in refined, processed foods and increasing fruit and vegetable intake, essentially watching what you eat.
Taking a snapshot of the diet, it is simply made up of fruit and vegetables. The idea that the Alkaline Diet helps maintain your body’s acidity is not supported by evidence. But it is not all bad, the Alkaline Diet promotes cutting down on red meat consumption, avoiding refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods, and replacing them with healthier choices. But all in all your body regulates its own acidity levels, regardless of diet. Also as this diet restricts all dairy ‘alkaline foods’ there runs a risk of micronutrient deficiency if you don’t replenish from other sources. Not to mention getting your head around what you can and can’t eat.
Still confused? We are all different and finding the best choice for you to meet your goals can often be a struggle. But regaining the balance and structure of your daily nutrition and meals is a simple first step to achieving your long term wellness goals. So avoid those unsustainable fad diets and find out what work for you. If you need help, the team of expert nutritionists at GourmetFuel® is on hand.