Is Dieting A Matter of pH? The Alkaline Diet Explained

When celebrities talk, tweet or text, we listen. So when they tell us about a fantastic diet that “works,” we take their word for it and give it a try. The problem? Celebrities aren’t your doctors or dietitians! They don’t know you or your health history and they also may not have the entire “story” when it comes to the diet they’re promoting. Case-in-point, the alkaline diet. Many celebrities believe this way of eating is the gold standard, but is it? You might be surprised.

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What Is the Alkaline Diet?
The diet is based upon the idea that foods are either acid producing or alkaline producing. Acid producing foods are believed to negatively impact your body, creating an acidic environment. Proponents of the diet claim that the acidic environment is detrimental, especially over time, causing everything from kidney stones to cancer. So the diet pushes for alkaline producing foods, including many fruits and vegetables as well as legumes, nuts and seeds, soy and unrefined foods. That means you’ll need to avoid foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and grains.
Does the Alkaline Diet Work?
That depends on what you’re hoping to gain from it. In some instances, eating this way naturally pushes you towards eating more whole, less processed foods including more fruits, vegetables and vegetarian sources of protein. That’s always good. But the claims that the foods you eat effect your blood pH are erroneous. Lisa Cimperman MS, RDN, LD, Clinical Dietitian at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, confirms, “the food we eat absolutely, unequivocally does NOT alter the pH balance of our blood. Blood pH is tightly regulated by the lungs and kidneys and an abnormal blood pH is associated with severe and critical illnesses.” So an alkaline diet will not put your body in the “neutral” or “more basic” state that it claims.

What Should You Do?

If you’re looking to lose weight, speak with your doctor and a registered dietitian nutritionist. Together, they can safely help you develop a plan for eating right and feeling like your best self. Trendy diets are often just that, trendy. They’re more challenging and unsustainable then the tried and true advice of eating a variety of foods every day in moderation. As Lisa points out, “any diet pattern that eliminates entire food groups will likely lead to weight loss, but the best path towards maintained (and therefore successful!) weight loss is the one that you can stay on forever.” Agreed!

Posted by Sara Haas for luvo | November 30, 2016

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