The philosophy behind the alkaline diet is that Western diets are too acidic and lead to acidic waste build-up in the body, wreaking havoc on our organs and leading to chronic disease.
In chemistry, a pH scale assigns values on a scale between 1 and 14 to substances based on their acidity or alkalinity. Values above seven are alkaline; those below seven are acidic.
Advocates claim that by eating 70 per cent alkaline foods and 30 per cent acidic foods, you'll create an environment in your body that is optimal for health and physical exercise.
They say this will result in a reduced risk of health problems such as obesity, cancer, arthritis and osteoporosis.
For most versions of the diet, 70 to 80 per cent of the daily intake includes foods that are claimed to produce an 'alkaline ash' when they break down in your body.
These include foods such as:
We've examined seven popular diets to find out what you can eat and whether they work.
The remaining 20 to 30 per cent of the diet include foods that are claimed to be 'acid-producing', such as:
Some versions also advise using 'alkaline' or 'ionised' water.
Some bottled water from springs is naturally slightly alkaline because it contains certain minerals; other water can be made alkaline by a process called ionisation.
To check you are consuming the right balance of foods, you are advised to measure the acidity of your urine to check it falls into the alkaline level.
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Breakfast: Tofu scramble with kale and mushrooms or millet cooked in unsweetened almond milk topped with ripe banana, dried figs, and almonds.
Snack: Cherries, watermelon, or a ripe banana.
Lunch: Lentil soup, with added leafy greens
Dinner: 100g of fish, chicken, or salmon, one sweet potato, and a garden salad.
The diet is not all bad and it might lead to weight loss, but not for the reasons claimed.
It could also be harmful and its principles are not supported by evidence.
Thinking about trying a new diet? Before you do, read this advice from Dr Sandro Demaio.
In particular, experts point out that:
Remember to consult your doctor before starting any new eating plan if you have an underlying health condition or history of an eating disorder.
This is general information only. For detailed personal advice, you should see a qualified medical practitioner who knows your medical history.
This story, which was originally written by Pamela Wilson and published by ABC Health and Wellbeing, has been reviewed by Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, nutritionist and visiting fellow, School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW, and updated in 2019.
Read the original here:
What is the alkaline diet and can it lead to weight loss? - ABC News
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