This popular eating pattern claims to improve health and prevent chronic diseases by balancing the body’s pH level. While the idea may seem promising, it is important to approach it with a critical eye and consider all pros and cons of going alkaline.
|Our editorial team has checked this article to make sure it was accurate at the time of publishing this article.|
- What is an alkaline diet?
- Foods to eat
- Foods to avoid
- Fill your diet with missing nutrients
- Alkaline diet vs acidic diet
- Consider the risks
- Alkaline diet foods list
What is an alkaline diet
The alkaline diet suggests certain foods can affect body acidity and impact health. Advocates claim it prevents disease and improves health. Some experts warn of risks from overly restrictive diets.
The alkaline diet is based on the pH scale, which measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance on a scale of 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while a pH below 7 is considered acidic and a pH above 7 is considered alkaline.
The theory behind the alkaline diet is that certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, have an alkalizing effect on the body, while other foods, such as meat and dairy, have an acidifying effect.
Proponents of the alkaline diet argue that by eating a diet high in alkaline foods, you can help your body maintain a more alkaline pH level, which can improve your health. They claim that an alkaline diet can help prevent chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, as well as improve bone health and reduce inflammation.
|✅ SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE|
|There may be some value in considering an alkaline diet in reducing morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and further studies are warranted in this area of medicine.|
However, while some studies have suggested that an alkaline diet may have some health benefits, such as improving bone health and reducing inflammation, other studies have found no significant benefits.
Furthermore, the alkaline diet can be very restrictive, and some health experts have expressed concerns about the potential risks of following an overly restrictive diet.
If you are interested in trying an alkaline diet, it is important to consult with a registered dietitian to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need. A healthy diet should include a variety of foods from all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It is also important to be aware of the potential risks associated with following an overly restrictive diet, such as nutrient deficiencies and disordered eating behaviors.
Foods to eat on an alkaline diet
An alkaline diet emphasizes the consumption of foods that are believed to reduce the acidity levels in the body. The idea is to eat foods that promote an alkaline state in the body, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Here are some of the best foods to eat on an alkaline diet.
Leafy greens are some of the best foods to eat on an alkaline diet. These include spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, and arugula. Leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also low in calories and help to maintain a healthy weight.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are excellent sources of nutrients and have been linked to a lower risk of cancer. They are also alkaline-forming, making them a great addition to an alkaline diet.
Fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges are acidic in nature, but they have an alkalizing effect on the body. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are also low in calories. Other alkaline fruits include avocado, tomatoes, and watermelon.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also great foods to eat on an alkaline diet. Almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds are all alkaline-forming and rich in nutrients. They are also a great source of healthy fats, which are important for maintaining good health.
Healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado are essential for an alkaline diet. They are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote heart health.
Foods to avoid on an alkaline diet
Foods that are known to be acidic-forming should be limited or avoided on an alkaline diet, because they can disrupt the body’s natural pH balance and lead to an acidic state in the body.
They tend to be high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. These foods can contribute to chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and also cause inflammation in the body due to their high acidity. It is recommended to choose whole foods that are minimally processed, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
Ice-cream, cakes and other sweets should also stay off your grocery list for the exact same reasons.
Both of these substances can disrupt the body’s natural pH balance, leading to acidity in the body. Additionally, they can contribute to dehydration, which further disrupts the body’s natural processes. As a result, it is recommended to minimize or avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption in an alkaline diet.
These products are often high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease and other chronic diseases. Instead, plant-based sources of protein like beans, lentils, and quinoa can be consumed on an alkaline diet. These plant-based protein sources are not only alkaline-forming but are also typically low in fat and cholesterol, making them a healthier choice overall.
Can I eat bread?
Bread is often considered an acidic food due to its high content of refined carbohydrates, which can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels and contribute to an acidic environment in the body.
However, not all bread is created equal.
Whole grain breads, particularly those made with sprouted grains or sourdough, are often considered more alkaline-forming due to their higher fiber content and slower digestion. These breads can also be a good source of alkaline minerals, such as magnesium and potassium.
When choosing bread on an alkaline diet, it’s important to look for options that are made with whole grains, such as wheat, rye, or spelt, and avoid those that contain added sugars or artificial preservatives.
Additionally, bread should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced alkaline diet, as excessive consumption can contribute to an acidic environment in the body.
It’s also worth noting that some people following an alkaline diet choose to avoid gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, as they can be more difficult to digest and may contribute to inflammation in some individuals. In this case, there are alternative grain-free bread options available, such as those made with almond or coconut flour, that may be more suitable.
Can I eat eggs?
Yes, eggs can be included in an alkaline diet.
While eggs are considered to be slightly acidic, they are still a nutritious and healthy food that can be part of a balanced alkaline diet.
In fact, eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin D, which is important for bone health.
It is important to note, however, that the way in which eggs are prepared can affect their overall alkaline-acidic balance. For example, boiled or poached eggs are more alkaline than fried eggs, which can be more acidic due to the added oils or fats.
Additionally, the types of foods that eggs are combined with can also affect their overall impact on the body’s pH balance.
In general, it is important to approach an alkaline diet in a balanced and moderate way, and to focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Eggs can be a healthy part of an alkaline diet, but should be consumed in moderation and in combination with a range of other alkaline-forming foods such as leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Can I eat meat?
Meat, particularly red meat, is considered an acidic food and is not typically recommended as part of an alkaline diet.
This is because animal proteins, including those found in meat, tend to produce acids when metabolized in the body.
However, if you choose to consume meat as part of your diet, there are some ways to make it more alkaline-forming. For example, choosing lean cuts of meat and cooking them using alkaline-forming methods, such as baking, grilling, or roasting, can help to reduce the acidity of the dish.
Additionally, it’s important to balance meat consumption with other alkaline-forming foods, such as leafy greens, vegetables, and low-sugar fruits. This can help to maintain a more neutral pH level in the body.
It’s worth noting that many plant-based sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds, are alkaline-forming and may be a better choice for those following an alkaline diet. These foods are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy and sustainable source of nutrition.
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What snacks can I eat?
There are many healthy and delicious snacks that you can enjoy as part of an alkaline diet. Here are some options to consider:
- Fresh fruits: Fruits are naturally alkaline-forming and are a great snack option. Some good choices include berries, melons, citrus fruits, and apples.
- Raw vegetables: Raw vegetables are also alkaline-forming and make a great snack option. You can enjoy them on their own or with a healthy dip, such as hummus or guacamole. Some good options include carrots, cucumber, celery, and bell peppers.
- Nuts and seeds: Many nuts and seeds are alkaline-forming and make a great snack. Some good choices include almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Nut butter: Nut butter, such as almond or cashew butter, can be a delicious and satisfying snack when paired with fruits or vegetables.
- Rice cakes: Rice cakes are a good option for a crunchy snack. Look for options made with whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa.
- Smoothies: Smoothies made with alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and berries, can be a great snack option. You can also add alkaline-forming ingredients like chia seeds or coconut water to boost their alkalinity.
- Herbal tea: Herbal tea is naturally alkaline-forming and can be a good option for a calming and soothing snack. Look for options like chamomile, peppermint, or ginger tea.
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Fill your diet with missing nutrients
How to add more fiber to an alkaline diet?
Adding more fiber to an alkaline diet is important for maintaining optimal digestive health and supporting overall wellness.
Here are some tips for increasing your fiber intake on an alkaline diet:
Start off by including more vegetables in your diet. Vegetables are an excellent source of fiber and should make up a large part of your alkaline diet.
Aim to eat a variety of colorful vegetables, such as leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and root vegetables.
Whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats, are a good source of fiber and can be included in an alkaline diet. Look for whole grain options that are minimally processed and free of added sugars or artificial preservatives.
Also, eat more legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas. They are high in fiber and can be a great addition to an alkaline diet. They are also a good source of plant-based protein and can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Bonus tip: drink plenty of water. It’s important for supporting healthy digestion and ensuring that fiber moves through the digestive tract smoothly. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, and consider adding alkaline-forming ingredients like lemon or cucumber to your water for added flavor and benefits.
How to add more protein to an alkaline diet?
Adding more protein to an alkaline diet is important for supporting muscle growth and repair, maintaining healthy bones, and supporting overall wellness. Here are some tips for increasing your protein intake on an alkaline diet:
Incorporate plant-based protein sources: While meat and dairy products are often high in protein, they can also be acidic-forming in the body. To support an alkaline diet, consider incorporating more plant-based protein sources, such as legumes, nuts and seeds, tofu, and tempeh. These options are not only alkaline-forming but are also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and collard greens, are a good source of plant-based protein and can be included in salads, smoothies, or sautéed as a side dish. They are also rich in alkaline-forming minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats are a good source of protein and can be included in meals throughout the day. They are also high in fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
You may also want to consider adding a plant-based protein powder to your smoothies or meals. Look for options made from pea, hemp, or brown rice protein.
Don’t forget about eggs! While eggs are acidic-forming, they are also a good source of protein and can be included in an alkaline diet in moderation. Consider adding boiled eggs to salads or enjoying an omelet made with alkaline-forming vegetables like spinach and mushrooms.
Alkaline diet vs Acidic diet
Both diets focus on similar things, but aim for different effects and include different foods.
Both diets focus on the pH balance in the body. However, the Alkaline diet emphasizes the importance of promoting alkalinity, while the Acidic diet promotes the consumption of acidic foods.
Both promote the consumption of whole foods and discourage processed foods.
However, the Alkaline diet takes this one step further by encouraging the consumption of plant-based foods over animal products.
The main difference between the two diets is the effect they have on bone health. The Alkaline diet is thought to promote bone health by reducing the excretion of calcium in the urine, while the Acidic diet is thought to have the opposite effect.
Also, while both diets focus on the pH balance in the body, they differ in the types of foods that are promoted. The Alkaline diet emphasizes the consumption of plant-based, whole foods that promote alkalinity, while the Acidic diet promotes the consumption of acidic foods for weight loss and improved digestion.
Consider the risks
One of the risks of the alkaline diet is that it often restricts or eliminates important food groups, such as dairy, meat, and grains. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially if the diet is followed long-term. For example, eliminating dairy can lead to a lack of calcium and vitamin D, which are important for bone health. Cutting out whole grains can result in insufficient fiber and B vitamins.
Another risk is that the alkaline diet may promote an unhealthy focus on certain foods over others.
For example, the diet often emphasizes consuming large amounts of fruits and vegetables, which is generally a good thing. However, it can also lead to excessive consumption of foods such as spinach and kale, which contain high levels of oxalates. Consuming too many oxalates can lead to kidney stones and other health issues.
In addition, the alkaline diet may be difficult to follow and maintain over the long term, especially for those with limited food choices or access to fresh produce. It may also be expensive, as alkaline foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables can be more costly than processed or packaged foods.
Overall, while the alkaline diet may have some potential benefits, it is important to approach it with caution and to ensure that it does not lead to nutrient deficiencies or other health risks. A balanced, varied diet that includes a wide range of nutrient-dense foods is key to maintaining good health.
Alkaline diet food list
Now that you read all of the above, you’re more than prepared to kick off your new great diet. Below, you will find your grocery list.
Dairy & Eggs
Feel free to use the PDF version if you prefer to use the old-fashioned way. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and get this list straight to your phone so you can add, remove & edit all the items easily.