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| Alkaline Diet
The alkaline diet (also known as the alkaline ash diet, alkaline acid diet, acid ash diet, and the acid alkaline diet) refers to a group of related diets based on the belief that certain foods can affect the acidity of bodily fluids, including the urine or blood, and can therefore be used to treat or prevent diseases.
Our pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline we are. A pH of 0 is completely acidic, and a pH of 14 completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral.
According to the theory underlying these diets, acid ash is produced by meat, poultry, cheese, fish, eggs, and grains. Alkaline ash is produced by fruits and vegetables, except cranberries, prunes and plums. Since the acid or alkaline ash designation is based on the residue left on combustion rather than the acidity of the food, foods such as citrus fruits that are generally considered acidic are actually considered alkaline producing in these diets. Unlike the pH level in the urine, a selectively alkaline diet has not been shown to elicit a sustained change in blood pH levels, nor to provide the clinical benefits claimed by its proponents. Because of the body's natural regulatory mechanisms, which do not require a special diet to work, eating an alkaline diet can, at most, change the blood pH minimally and transiently
The body does not just have one pH level. For example, the stomach has a pH ranging from 1.35-3.5. It must be acidic to aid in digestion. However, blood must
always be slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.35 to 7.45.
The theory behind alkaline diets is that eating certain foods can help maintain the body's ideal pH balance to improve overall health. But the body maintains
its pH balance regardless of diet.
In short, your diet may affect the pH level of your urine. But what you eat does not determine your blood's pH level.
A number of websites that promote the "alkaline diet" on the internet search engines have characteristics of possible diet fraud. These sites ask for a
subscription fee for information or to buy products only sold by that website. Other warning signs also include severe restriction on the diet such as
elimination of all fats or carbohydrates and claims that there is a secret which is being kept by the scientific community away from the public or a secret
or discovery known only to the owner of the website.
According to Marjorie Nolan, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman, the alkaline diet is basically healthy: "It's a diet of fresh fruits and
vegetables, plenty of water, avoiding processed foods, coffee, and alcohol, which are all recommendations for a generally healthy diet anyway,but our body
regulates our pH between 7.35 and 7.45 no matter how we eat."
However because alkaline diets promote the exclusion of certain families of foods, they could result in a less-balanced diet with resulting nutrient
deficiencies such as essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, as well as protein and calcium. It has been recommended that patients with a history of kidney
disorders or other medical conditions that require frequent physician monitoring such as severe diabetes mellitus should not attempt these diets without
physician supervision as you can run the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Alkaline diets are mostly vegetarian diets. In addition to fresh vegetables and some fresh fruits, alkaline-promoting foods include soy products and some
nuts, grains, and legumes and can be expected to produce weight loss depending on the quantities consumed.