Tough Diet: Switching from Acidic to Alkaline for a Healthier Life

You’ve probably heard of the alkaline diet.

Though it might sound a bit complicated, not to mention pretentious, it’s actually very simple.

The alkaline diet focuses on eating foods that are alkaline (basic, with a pH greater than 7) and avoiding those that are acidic. 

Simple as that!

Promoted by numerous celebrities, this diet encourages consumption of foods that theoretically reduce acidity in the body to improve health.

The idea is rooted in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment.

But to know how it works, and what alkaline or acidic even means, let’s first cover some basics so you can talk to your friends and family about the new diet you’re on!

The Basics of pH

The acid level in your body is measured by pH, on a scale from 0 to 14:

  • A pH of 0-6 is acidic.
  • A pH of 7 is neutral.
  • A pH of 8 or higher is basic (alkaline).

Foods with a high pH level are considered alkaline, while those with a lower pH are acidic. 

Common alkaline foods include non-starchy vegetables, fruits, nuts like chestnuts and pumpkin seeds, and legumes such as kidney beans or white beans. 

On the other hand, meat, cheese, eggs, and grains are considered acidic.

So if you’re a meat lover, this diet definitely isn’t for you.

But what about cheese and milk lovers? 

Well, milk and natural fats are neutral, and you should definitely stay away from neutral as well…

Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about what alkaline foods do to your body.

Understanding the Mechanism of the Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet became popular when Victoria Beckham tweeted about an alkaline diet cookbook in 2013. 

Advocates claim that this diet can help with weight loss and prevent conditions like arthritis and cancer. 

However, scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited, but in all honesty, most diets, even the most popular ones, aren’t that well covered by scientific research.

The diet includes nutritious, unprocessed foods, often leading to positive health outcomes simply by promoting healthier eating habits. 

For example, those who follow the diet might measure the pH of their urine to track their progress, although this only reflects the pH of urine, not the entire body.

So this diet does require more work than your usual, first-page google diet.

Of course, you don’t need to go full on it, and you might wanna gradually introduce this type of diet to your lifestyle.

Alkaline Diet Menu

Foods allowed on the alkaline diet include most fruits and vegetables, soybeans, tofu, nuts, seeds, and legumes. 

Dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine are typically restricted.

So much of your coffee… 

However, skipping coffee and a hefty egg-bacon breakfast might come with a lot of benefits for you. 

Benefits of the Alkaline Diet

Despite its shaky scientific foundation, the alkaline diet promotes a higher intake of fresh, nutrient-dense foods and cuts out added sugars and other unhealthy foods.

The alkaline diet is mostly vegetarian, making it a great option for vegans as it excludes dairy. 

For those needing to follow a gluten-free lifestyle, the diet inherently avoids wheat but demands careful label-checking to ensure complete gluten avoidance. 

And by label-checking we mean that you will have to spend a lot more time to actually read everything on the back when grocery shopping.

Get ready to juggle a product in one hand while you scrutinize the label, and in the other hand, your phone as you frantically Google, “Is this acidic?”

Additionally, the diet’s focus on reducing sugar, saturated fat, and sodium can be particularly beneficial for individuals managing heart disease or diabetes.

However, it comes with a few challenges as well…

Challenges of the Alkaline Diet

While the alkaline diet promotes healthy eating, it can be restrictive and challenging to maintain.

Following the alkaline diet can be demanding, as it requires cutting out many common foods like meat and dairy. 

Dining out becomes challenging, as you probably don’t want your server to think you’re demanding of him to be an expert on nutrition…

Additionally, the diet might lack essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamin B12, leading to potential nutrient gaps.