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The alkaline diet is one of the most controversial and widely debated diets in the field of health and nutrition. Advocates of this health plan argue that eating alkaline diet foods can affect your body’s pH level. Alkaline-inducing foods are preferred over acid-forming foods because the former maintains the pH level maintain the pH your body needs to fight diseases. The latter, on the other hand, make your body acidic which turns it into a breeding ground for bacteria and can take down your natural defenses against sickness. Although the theory does have some merit, there is ample ground to contest it as well.
Why the diet might work
Some research does show that different foods leave different pH footprints in your body. Those that are classified as alkaline diet foods have certain properties like chlorophyll, which is believed to produce and maintain the disease-fighting alkaline level of blood by increasing oxygen in the bloodstream. Bacteria have trouble surviving in oxygenated environments and are therefore prevented from causing illnesses.
Acid-forming foods are those that interfere or change the normal 7.35 to 7.45 alkaline pH level in blood. Because they also lead to some vitamins, minerals and other substances being excreted, they can make urine slightly more acidic and prevent your body from holding on to the substances it needs to fight bacteria.
Why the diet might not work
Tests show that alkaline diet foods have little to no effect on the pH level, especially that of blood. Blood alkaline is maintained by other components of the body’s system and is not determined by the food you eat. There is however something important to note from this argument. What you eat affects your body’s overall system and functioning. Even if alkaline diet foods don’t affect blood pH level directly, it might have an effect on the components of the body that do. Therefore, the alkaline diet might yield results indirectly because of the foods’ effect on alkalizing agents.
Another factor that counts against this diet is lack of conclusive research. Without evidence, the alkaline diet remains a theory.
What are the best alkaline diet foods?
Many fruits and vegetables are thought to have alkalizing ability. Pears, nectarines, lemons, watermelons, bananas, avocados, peaches and pineapples are top fruits. Veggies include broccoli, lettuce, asparagus and cauliflower.
What are acidifying foods?
Processed foods are believed to cause an acidic environment and dieters are advised to keep away from them. Foods include pasta, white bread, white sugar, white vinegar, most cereals and artificial sweeteners. Red meat and seafood are also discouraged. Dairy like cheese and beverages like coffee and carbonated drinks are said to have acid-forming tendencies as well.
As you’ve probably noticed, favored alkaline foods are all fruits and vegetables. This is a good thing because even if the theory doesn’t hold up, other tried and tested diets verify that these foods have a positive effect on the body. It’s also true that refined food is not healthy and whether you’re trying to alkalize your body or not, they don’t belong on your menu.