Hollywood celebs are at it again–claiming the (fill in the blank) is the diet that helps keep them right and tight. Well today’s diet exploration is on the alkaline diet–also known as the alkaline ash diet or alkaline acid diet.
Alkaline diet describes a group of loosely related diets based on the belief that certain foods can affect the acidity and pH of bodily fluids, including the urine or blood and can therefore be used to treat or prevent diseases.
Why So Popular You Ask
Rumor has it that adopting a low acid diet can help you lost weight and avoid problems like arthritis and cancer. Ok, so far so good. How so? Well the theory is that some foods, like meat, wheat, refined sugar, and processed foods, cause your body to produce acid, which is bad for you. Duh to the processed foods and refined sugar, but why meat and wheat? Well apparently these foods are highly acidic and throw off our pH levels. See next tip…
First Some Chemistry 101
The only time I think about pH balance is when I double up on my deodorant before the gym, however ladies your pH levels matter beyond your daily sweat session. A pH level measures how acid or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is totally acidic, a pH of 14 is absolutely alkaline and a pH of 7 is neutral. Naturally, those levels vary throughout your body – for instance your blood is slightly alkaline (pH between 7.35 and 7.45) and your stomach is incredibly acidic so it can break down food (pH is typically 3.5 or below). However it is important to understand beauties that nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. P.S. The way your body is set up, it works to keep that level constant no matter what.
So now that you know what pH levels are all about, allow me to explain the other claim to fame associated with the alkaline diet – disease control. Of course we all know the key to optimal health relies on a healthy diet, however there’s some early evidence that a diet low in acid-producing foods like animal protein, bread and high in acid fruits and veggies could help prevent kidney stones, keep bones and muscles strong, improve heart health and brain function, reduce low back pain, and lower risk for colon cancer and type 2 diabetes. But researchers aren’t sure yet.
What To Eat And Not Eat
Interested in giving this diet a try? Well here’s what is fine to dine and what you will have to ditch. Most fruits and vegetables, soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods, so indulge in these for sure. However, dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, and processed foods, like canned and packaged snacks and convenience foods, fall on the acid side so these are not allowed. So in short, if you can ditch meat then go for it sis!
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!
Check Out This Gallery Of Food To Get At The Grocery Store!
1. Keep These In Your Fridge For Healthy Eating
If you're like me (and you need pointers in order to eat healthy), this list is going to be your saving grace! Sometimes when I go to the grocery store, I end up buying things I don't need or forgetting things that I need for the week. So I tapped George Zoitas, CEO of Westside Market NYC to give me a few tips on what to keep on your grocery list in order to eat healthy everyday. Check out what items made the list.
2. Ready-To-Eat Green Salad
Use a high-nutrient spinach as the base of a salad and top with cherry tomatoes, beans and nuts. Transform this side dish into a meal by adding grilled chicken breast, cooked shrimp or any of your faves!
3. Whole Wheat Pita Pocket Or Tortilla
These are associated with a variety of health benefits including weight control. You can pack the pita or wrap with all of your healthy faves and eat it on the go. Everything that you like on your salad--wrap it up!
4. Low-Fat Dairy Foods
The options here can be yogurt, cottage cheese or a reduced-fat cheese which provide both calcium and protein. Dairy products are also great for snacks or used within meals. These products stretch and can keep you healthy for multiple meals and multiple days.
5. Prepared Pesto Made With Olive Oil
Olive oil has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and this pesto is a great way to work it into your diet. But don't just stop at pesto; use on snacks or main dishes too!
6. Almond Butter
Almond butter is considered a “smart fat,” which helps in lowering cholesterol and enhances the immune system. While almond butter has many great properties, make sure you follow the portion size, as it's still high in fat, even though it is the healthy kind. You can use this yummy treat as a snack or you can get creative with it in your main dishes.
Hummus is an easy protein-rich snack that fights hunger and balances blood sugar levels. Yummy on it's own, with your fave veggies or on a pita, hummus is a savory snack worth keeping in your fridge.
Salsa actually low in calories, when you skip the tortilla chips. Use the healthy snack on brown rice, flax or sesame seed crackers instead of the chips and you'll find yourself snacking without the guilt. In the morning try it on your eggs or put it on your salads at lunch or dinner. It's a great condiment no matter what time of day it is!
Some believe that while dieting, eating only the egg whites is best, but it's not; you to leave out all the protein, which is found in the yolk. The yolk protein helps stimulate the release of glucagon, which aids in fat-burning specially belly fat.
10. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and iron, all which are great for weight loss. You can put these in smoothies, on your salad or use them to bread your chicken or thicken your soup.
This is a gluten-free grain, which can be savory or sweet, depending on what it is mixed with. As a complete protein source, quinoa is packed with amino acids and vitamin B. Hello health! Cook this up as a side or add some texture to your salad, either way, you're packing in a lot of benefits with one little ingredient.
12. Lean Protein
Having lean protein in your fridge is important because it helps keep you full. Excellent sources of this include skinless poultry, edamame, crab, fish fillets and pork tenderloin.
Bananas are packed with potassium and fiber and can be added to other nutritious foods that aid in dieting, like oatmeal and almond butter. This is one of the best snacks to always have on-hand.
Mushrooms are is often overlooked when dieting, but these "fun guys" help to tide you over in between meals. They also can act as a side or even the full meal, especially if you like portobello mushrooms.
Blueberries are on the top of the list for the fruits with the most health benefits. They have 40% more antioxidant capacity than strawberries, are high in vitamin C and strengthen the immune system! Keep these around to put in your yogurt, on your salad or just to have as a snack.
16. Bell Pepper
Red, yellow or green, bell peppers help in improving the looks of hair and skin, as well as eases aches and pains. Also, due to the high water content, this low-calorie food assists in weight loss. Keep these around for snacks, or cook them up in your meals.