Alkaline Foods: Fact vs. Fiction

What are Alkaline Foods?

You may be wondering this: “Alkaline Foods. What are you talking about?”

Well, in case you did not know, we are referring ourselves to a special diet, which is getting more and more popular by celebrities, influencers and people around the internet.

It took off on the media back in 2003, when Victoria Beckham, recommended it via twitter and according to some “scientific” sources, it is highly not only highly effective for weight loss but also brings great benefits to your health and wellbeing.

Still, what does the diet consist of?

Well, this meal plan promotes the consumption of food that makes your body more alkaline and tries to avoid meals and products that produce acid in the body once they are processed and digested by our gastrointestinal system.

Reasons behind an alkaline diet

Next question: Why would you try it?

The main principle is basic physiology. In our body, there is a reference scale to measure acidity levels in the blood, we call this scale pH and it is nothing more than a logarithm based on the number of hydrogen ions in the blood. The lower is the value in the pH scale is, the higher is the concentration of acids in blood and vice versa. 

pH values go from 0 to 14. The normal value is between 7.35-7.45 –in average, of course, some areas are more acid than others- and this holds a delicate balance in body functions. Our organism may work with different amounts of energy and nutrients but it cannot resist big variations in the general pH.

So, why is this important to us?

The answer is basic metabolism.

In an acid environment, proteins lose their basic functions and several metabolic processes start to fail one by one. In addition, a huge systemic response –with inflammation- activates itself as a mechanism of defense against cellular stress –because the cell considers these changes in the internal medium as stress since it has to try to work in a toxic/hostile environment without the optimal conditions to perform all its functions-

Cellular respiration in the mitochondria is one of the most affected processes with these alterations since oxygen becomes less available to use in an acid medium.  Without cell respiration, we cannot produce energy to maintain our body functions. In summary, we die if we do not keep the acid-base balance correctly.

Therefore, that is probably the fundamentals of this diet, to achieve equilibrium making our body more alkaline instead of acid to improve metabolic activity and prevent diseases caused by high acidity levels in blood such as cancer and arthritis.

Small List of Alkaline Foods vs. Acid Foods

Here we will present you a list of a few foods you normally eat in a diet. We will classify those in alkaline, neutral or acid foods, in order. You need to have in mind that those allowed in high quantities are alkaline meals while acid foods are contraindicated or should be consumed in very small quantities in this diet.

         Alkaline: Most vegetables and fruits.

         Neutral: Starches, fructose, natural fats, and oils.

         Acid: Meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, alcohol, processed foods (all junk food)

Benefits of Alkaline Food

1)      Anti-cancer properties

Some scientists have theorized that one of the many factors involved in the production of tumors and cancer cells is pH change that causes chronic inflammatory reactions. Those processes result in an alteration of the natural cellular cycle, mutating cells from healthy regular cells to malign cells.

An alkaline diet would help to reduce the likelihood of cancer, by maintaining a better balance in the acidic-basic patterns and ensuring a less acidic medium.

2)      pH Regulator

Alkaline foods help to maintain a more efficient balance in our general pH

3)      Natural Detox

Lowering the consumption of processed foods with high amounts of protein may reduce stress in extremely important lungs such as the liver and kidneys. 

In case you did not know yet, residual compounds from the metabolism of proteins are very toxic to the organism once they accumulate in the blood torrent in something called uremia.

The kidneys are the guardians that protect us from that problem. Kidneys filter the blood and eliminate these residues through urine. Problem is, in case of patients with renal insufficiency that mechanism is not available because their kidneys are not functioning.

These people will find this diet extremely useful since it incentives us to eat more vegetables and fruits instead of fats and proteins from animal sources that produce nitrogen-based toxic compounds.

Nevertheless, anyone is welcomed to try the diet in order to feel better. Lowering fats and carbohydrates in diet will make them lose weight very quickly and feel detox from all these heavy foods.

4)      NO exercise included

The diet does not need an exercise plan to work as effectively as it does. By simply following the diet plan, you will lose weight significantly and burn plenty of fats. Success is 100% guaranteed!

Does it work? Fact vs Fiction

Based only on facts and our most pragmatic and practical point of view, we will start by saying that the diet probably works but just NOT as great as it is sold to the public.

Why? Simple. It is too good to be true and excessively strict to be followed in a healthy way.

Eliminating meat and dairy products is a great concept for many people, especially for vegetarians and vegans, however for some people is no more than a dream or nightmare. A number of patients DO need animal proteins for their daily routines –and they are forbidden in this plan- and this diet is not dynamic, it’s the same for everyone.

That is not great to achieve results.

It seems that you have to sacrifice a lot, to achieve a promise that can be accomplished with other diets that are better reviewed, scientifically proven (since the alkaline foods diet is NOT entirely proven by science, no matter what they say) and more dynamic for the public.

Not everything is negative, though. This diet promotes healthy habits like eating more vegetables and fruits, foods that are very healthy and prevent several health problems like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.

In short, the diet is great for anyone who wishes to try something new but it’s no magic cure. Try it with caution, if you get tired of it try to mix things up with other diet plans.

Excesses are not good and you deserve to enjoy eating as well.

That said, what do you think?

 Is it really worth to try this diet?

The final decision remains as entirely yours.