The Alkaline Diet – Everything You Need To Know
When the weather starts to get better we often begin to start thinking about how we look. The though of wearing less clothes and relaxing in the sun definitely leads many of us to start thinking about how comfortable we are with our bodies.
The lead up to summer definitely drives a surge of people looking to get healthy and also looking to lose weight. This means that diet and fitness plans start to become big business and people look to find the most effective guides for them.
Within the world of diets there are certain diets that are based around a core set of rules and then these will be interrupted into different varieties of the diet.
One of these diet groups is called the Alkaline. This diet is based around the idea that foods have an effect on the pH balance of the body. Under the umbrella of this idea is a number of other similar diets including the alkaline ash diet, acid ash diet, alkaline acid diet, and acid alkaline diet.
We have delved into the beliefs of the alkaline diet and set out to find out what the diet can do for your health and how effective it will be for your weight loss. We will also detail how you can start the diet yourself and what possible side affects you might feel along the way.
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What is the alkaline diet?
The alkaline diet originated from research into osteoporosis where it was believed that foods could have an effect on the acidity (pH) of the body. The diet therefore is used to change the acidity levels in the body and help prevent or treat disease.
The claims and benefits of the diet have been far reaching and people have claimed that the diet can help prevent the onset of problems and diseases like arthritis and cancer.
The main theory of the diet is that some foods, including meat, processed foods, and wheat cause the body to produce acid, which is bad for you. To counter this effect on your body, the diet tackles this by getting more foods that contain alkaline into you system. This is then thought to help protect you against these diseases, and also help you lose weight.
In 2013 the diet was brought to the public’s attention by Victoria Beckham when she posted a picture of the alkaline diet cookbook on Twitter. This is also why the alkaline diet has a close relationship to celebrities too.
Why is the alkaline diet so effective for weight loss?
Any diet that promotes the reduction of processed foods is going to be beneficial for you in some way or another. Processed foods are responsible for many people’s weight problems and packaged foods have become the scourge of modern obesity.
Because the diet removes processed foods it enables weight loss to come easier. It also replaces ‘bad foods’ with natural products like fruit, nuts, and vegetable. The alkaline diet is also a low fat diet and this is great for losing weight too.
With minimal amounts of fat in the diet and a reduced amount of protein, the diet is low in calories and in some ways similar to other very low calorie diets that we have discussed before.
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How do I begin an alkaline diet?
The alkaline diet mostly consists of eating fresh fruit and vegetables whilst removing the consumption of meat, cheese, eggs, and grains.
Food is classified and divided into 3 different groups, which are as follows:
Acidic – poultry, fish, meat, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol
Neutral – starches, sugars, and natural fats
Alkaline – nuts, fruits, legumes, and vegetables
The aim is to increase the alkaline level in the body, whilst lowering the acidity levels. This is why the acidic foods will be essentially removed, whilst alkaline foods will be taken on instead.
The alkaline is a diet that requires commitment and a strong degree of control. The difficulty of the diet comes from the amount of restricted foods and the strength of will it takes to not stray from the allowed foods.
Both alcohol and caffeine are also off limits for the diet, which will make it even more difficult for many dieters.
One positive aspect of the diet is that it is mostly vegetarian and very well suited to people who already eat little to no meat in their diet. It is also a diet well suited to people that have coeliac, as most of the allowed foods are gluten-free.
How long should I be on an alkaline diet for?
Some diets can become lifestyle choices but the alkaline diet is not one of these. The restrictive nature of the diet means that it would be a difficult diet to carry on with for long periods of time. It could also lead to some complications if you were to stay on the diet for a longer period of time.
It is still going to be effective with your weight loss so the best way to predict the amount of time would be to set a target weight you want to hit and then stop with the diet when you get to your target.
Supplements to take with the alkaline diet
The alkaline diet limits some foods so this will leave you being nutritionally deficient. To fill these gaps it is advised that you consider taking some supplements.
The main supplements to consider if you are on the alkaline diet are vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, and calcium.
Side effects of the alkaline diet
Despite the alkaline diet promoting the intake of healthy food there are some parts to the diet that might cause problems. The removal of dairy is one such issues and this could lead to being deficient in some nutrients.
The diet has been aimed at people suffering with certain diseases, such as cancer, but in some cases it can actually be detrimental.
One other aim of the diet is to improve bone health and uses a lower protein intake to do this. However, in old people a lack of protein might actually be a greater problem towards the health of their bones, so elderly people are best to avoid the alkaline diet too.
The truth behind the alkaline diet
The alkaline has been studied and there has been a fair amount of research into its effectiveness. Almost all of the evidence produced has concluded that food cannot effect the alkaline in the body. This also means the diet will not be recommended by health professionals or dietitians.
However, this doesn’t mean that the diet is not effective for weight loss. In fact, the alkaline diet has been shown to be very good at helping people lose weight and the promotion of healthy eating is commendable.
The alkaline diet is certainly a diet that stands out as being more extreme or outlandish. It is almost universally accepted that it is incorrect to believe that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) in the body and this has made a number of people wary of the diet.
Despite the diet not actually being able to adjust the body’s acidity levels, it can still offer a good way to lose weight. It certainly has similarities to a vegetarian diet and will limit your intake of fat, which is key to losing weight.
Having delivered you all the details of the alkaline diet you can now decide whether you want to start the diet. Make sure that you consider taking supplements to fill any nutrient deficiencies and keep a close watch on your health.