Following an alkaline diet is a great way to safeguard your health and live longer. This diet promotes good health by turning the body’s pH balance(acid-base balance) to alkaline.
This post takes a deep dive into the health-promoting and life-saving diet, defining it, highlighting the types of foods it embraces and those that it shuns, together with great examples, as well as the health benefits that it provides. Without further ado, let’s get started with what’s the alkaline diet.
Remember that most viruses and bacteria will thrive best in a neutral or slightly acidic environment except for certain microorganisms known as “Acidophiles,” which can withstand high acidity environments. Yet, a good number of the foods we eat are either neutral or slightly acidic, providing the right atmosphere for these disease-causing organisms to thrive.
Contrary to acidity or neutrality, alkalinity doesn’t support the thrive of viruses and bacteria. It is on this pH balance that the alkaline diet is supposedly based.
What Is The Alkaline Diet? | What Do You Eat on an Alkaline Diet?
The alkaline diet is one, which is designed to make the body alkaline. The diet seeks to achieve that by focusing more on alkaline foods and less on neutral foods alongside acidic foods. This is what the 70/30 basic rule followed in this diet is all about. Don’t worry, I’ll explain the rule in detail in a bit.
For now, here’s what you need to know: there are basically three types of foods in this world that we eat, according to classifications by acidity, neutrality, and alkalinity;
These are foods that are acidic in nature, and therefore when eaten, they will leave behind an acidic residue, which ends up in the blood, increasing the body’s acidity levels. This is not good for your health.
These are foods that are neither acidic nor alkaline in nature. When ingested into the blood, they leave behind a residue that is neither acidic nor alkaline. The substance causes no harm when it eventually finds its way into the blood.
Contrary to acidic foods, alkaline foods are high in alkaline content. The residue they leave behind is similarly alkaline. When absorbed into the blood in larger quantities, this residue will alter the blood’s acid-alkaline balance turning it more alkaline than basic or neutral.
The Alkaline Diet and 70/30 Rule | 70/30 Alkaline Diet
The 70/30 rule in the alkaline diet stipulates that at least 70% of the foods you eat should be alkaline while the remaining 30%; either acidic or alkaline. Abiding by this rule is simple if you understand the different classifications of foods according to acidity, neutrality, and alkalinity. To help you get started, I’m going to be listing a few examples of foods belonging to each classification below:
A. Examples of Alkaline Foods
- Fruits like apricot and avocados
- Leafy greens like kale, spinach
- Root vegetables, e.g., beets, radishes, turnips, carrots, squash, and yams.
- Avocado oil.
- Nuts, e.g., almonds and chestnuts
- Dandelion greens.
- Swiss Chard.
B. Examples of Acidic Foods
- Red meat like beef, lamb, pork, mutton, goat, veal (meat from a young calf), and venison (deer meat)
- Soft drinks, e.g., soda, fruit juice, store-bought juice, and caffeinated beverages
- Tomatoes and foods containing tomatoes
- Alcoholic drinks, e.g., whiskey and rum
- Dairy products like all forms of milk (except raw milk), yoghurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, casein, and whey
- Citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit, bitter orange, pomelo, mandarin, key lime, and clementine
- Processed grains, e.g., white rice, wheat flour, degermed cornflower, white bread
- High-fat foods and fried foods like French fries, onion rings, and sausages
- Garlic alongside foods that contain it as an ingredient
- Onion plus foods that contain it as an ingredient.
C. Examples of Neutral Foods
- Natural fats, e.g., pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed
- Fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, tuna, and herring
- Fish oil
- Soy milk
- Safflower oil and soybean
- Starch-rich foods such as potatoes, corn, peas, lima beans, lentils, dried beans, black-eyed peas, and pinto beans
- Foods that are rich in sugar, e.g., honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, and corn sugar
Health Advantages of an Alkaline Diet | Alkaline Diet Pros
Ever since its invention in the 1990s, the alkaline diet has always been known by people who are enthusiastic about diet and health. However, 2013 was the tipping point of this life-saving diet when it was prompted to fame by Victoria Beckam, who tweeted about a cookbook based on it. Ever since then, it has continued to grow in popularity, with many people switching to it.
It comes as no surprise that the alkaline diet remains extremely popular. That’s because this diet which concentrates more on alkaline-forming foods and less on neutral foods or acid-forming foods, offers several amazing health benefits. Some benefits are discussed below:
1. Prevents Weight Gain and Obesity
Excessive fat and calories are the major culprits for weight gain and obesity. The good news is that the alkaline diet is generally made up of foods that are low in these weight-gain-promoting substances. As such, following this diet will prevent a pile-up of fat and calories in the body, keeping weight problems at bay.
2. May Help Prevent Diabetes
A study published in a German journal titled “Diabetologia” in 2014 suggested that the alkaline diet may help keep diabetes at bay. In the study, 66,485 participants were divided into two groups according to different types of acid-forming diets to which they were subjected for 14 years.
In that time, Group A, which was put on the highest acid-forming diets, resulted in 1372 new diabetes cases. On the contrary, group B, which was subjected to the lowest acid-forming diets, never recorded any new cases of diabetes. The outcome indicated the existence of a link between diabetes and acid diets.
3. May Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol are some of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Therefore, since the alkaline diet is likely to prevent some of the risk factors, e.g., diabetes, weight gain, or obesity, it’s safe to say that the diet may help keep the disease at bay.
4. Preserves Muscle Mass
As you already know, the alkaline diet emphasizes the intake of alkaline foods, some of which are fruits and vegetables. At the same time, fruits and vegetables are loaded with potassium, which may help older adults maintain muscle mass as they continue to age. Therefore, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that following the alkaline diet may be a great way to preserve muscle mass, which is crucial for metabolism and the prevention of falls as well as fractures.
5. May Help Prevent Kidney Problems
According to a 2015 study, diets loaded with acidic foods may increase metabolic acidosis together with the risk of kidney disease progression. The 15,055 participants who were over 21 years old and without kidney problems were divided into two groups and monitored for a particular period.
Surprisingly, group A, which was subjected to acid-forming diets, showed a stronger likelihood to develop chronic kidney diseases. On the contrary, Group B, which was put on alkaline-forming diets, demonstrated strong protection against the disease.
6. May Help Prevent Cancer
Though no research has been done on the potential of the alkaline diet in curing cancer, the outcomes of many studies suggest that the diet could help protect against the killer disease. For example, groundbreaking evidence from a 2010 study published in a scientific journal suggested that cutting back on meat consumption and consuming more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, all of which generally form the alkaline diet, might help reduce the chances of getting cancer.
A Sample 5-Day Alkaline Diet Plan – How do I Start an Alkaline Diet?
- Breakfast: Avocado lime breakfast smoothie with super seed spelt pancakes(optional). This breakfast is absolutely delicious and comforting, to say the least.
- Lunch: Brown rice with kidney bean stew made with various alkaline-diet-supporting ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, and carrots. This is purely alkaline and good for your health.
- Dinner: Fatty fish like salmon with roasted sweet potatoes. Though the dinner is acidic, it’s delicious, not to mention that it remains within the confines of the 70/30 rule of the alkaline diet.
- Breakfast: Quinoa porridge with roasted chestnuts(optional). This is one of the most filling and satisfying breakfasts you can have in the alkaline diet plan.
- Lunch: A vegetable soup with brown bread. The key is to have a vegetable soup made with alkaline ingredients such as kale, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, and radishes.
- Dinner: Fried oysters, pasta, and squash with kale, kimchi cabbage, and mixed peppers. This mouthwatering alkaline diet delicacy is more than 70 per cent alkaline and less than 30 per cent (acidic plus neutral). Also, it’s quite filling and very pocket-friendly.
- Breakfast: Blueberry porridge with roasted almonds(optional). This is a warming breakfast loaded with several alkaline diet health benefits.
- Lunch: Kamut spiral dish with Portabella mushrooms and a mixture of other ingredients. The ingredients in question are red onions, green onions, sweet red peppers, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, and agave, all cooked with grapeseed oil. This creamy and delectable delicacy obeys the principles of the alkaline diet, with the majority of its components being alkaline.
- Dinner: For dinner, you can take avocado corn salad. It is a bright and feel-good delicacy loaded with alkaline ingredients, including cherry tomatoes, creamy avocado, and the fresh-flavour-rich dressing. Besides alkalinity, there is also a small degree of acidity in it, which is caused by grilled corn–a known acid-forming food.
- Breakfast: Chocolate chia pudding. This is a delicious, mouthwatering, and quick breakfast you can make in no time as an alkaline diet follower.
- Lunch: Oven-baked chicken breasts marinated and seasoned with a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, parsley, garlic, salt, and black pepper. This is a luscious alkaline-diet-based dish that can serve as a perfect option for lunch.
- Dinner: Cold beet and garlic salad wouldn’t be a bad choice for dinner. After all, beets and garlic are all alkaline-forming ingredients. Plus, the fact that you consumed animal protein for lunch makes it appropriate to have vegetables for dinner to get the right nutritional balance and avoid weight gain. You can check out a recipe online if you don’t know how to make this salad. There are plenty of recipes available on the Web.
- Breakfast: Coco-lime smoothie with an accompaniment of your choice as long as it’s alkaline-diet oriented. It tastes like a regular smoothie but provides more health benefits than the former.
- Lunch: You wouldn’t go wrong with a fruit salad consisting of the appropriate fruits if you are trying to alkalinize your body through diet. A fruit salad made of apple, avocado, apricot, bananas, and cantaloupe can be a great option as each fruit is alkaline.
- Dinner: For dinner, a dish loaded with alkaline-forming ingredients plus a little bit of neutral or acid-forming ingredients can be a great way to wind up your alkaline diet plan for the day. In that case, something like mushrooms with lamb chops or lamb and mushroom ragu wouldn’t be a bad idea. After all, mushrooms are alkaline, whereas lamb chops are slightly acidic.
The alkaline diet is an incredible way to live a long healthy life. It consists of 70 per cent alkaline-forming foods like fruits and vegetables and 30 per cent acid-forming foods, e.g., red meat and dairy products, together with neutral foods such as fatty dishes and pumpkin seeds. This diet has mind-blowing capabilities to protect against many diseases. That’s because of its chemical characteristics, which adjust the body’s pH balance to alkaline, creating an unfavourable environment for disease-causing microbes. As a matter of fact, conditions such as heart problems, kidney problems, weight problems, and cancer are all thought to be preventable with this diet.
With that said, what do you think about this diet? Does it sound like one worth trying? If not, why? Please feel free to comment below and let us know your thoughts.