23 Jan THE PROPER pH
THE PROPER pH
Is An Alkaline Diet The
Holy Grail Of Health?
Have you ever heard of the Alkaline Diet?
Well, til just recently, we really hadn’t, and to be honest we were seriously confused to begin with. Hell, we had never even thought about what kind of pH our bodies have. Sure, we learned about acids and alkalis in chemistry at secondary school but after that we’d pretty much filed the knowledge on a dusty shelf at the backs of our minds to be forgotten along with 1001 other things.
So when we came across this diet which has been loved by celebs including Victoria Beckham, (and being skeptical suckers for anything that claims to be a holy grail for healthy living), we were curious to find out more about this fad diet, and we were pretty darn surprised with what we found.
In case you’re not familiar, the Alkaline diet, also known as the alkaline-ash diet or alkaline/acid diet, promises not only to help people lose weight but also to actively avoid common problems such as arthritis and even cancer. The idea behind the diet is that certain foods alter the acidity of alkalinity (the pH) in the body, and that level can either mess up or improve your overall health.
Most practitioners file foods into two boxes. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, tofu and legumes are alkaline, whereas most grains, dairy, meat and processed foods are more acidic and not allowed. Caffeine and alcohol are also off the menu which means that in the end, it’s a fairly restrictive diet.
// SO THE BIG QUESTION IS: DOES IT WORK? //
Well, the thing is, it actually does, but definitely not for the reasons it says it will.
Our search into the facts reminded us that a pH of 0 is totally acidic, while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline, and a pH of 7 is neutral. But the thing that you really need to know is that those levels vary hugely in the body. For example, your blood is slightly alkaline but your stomach is acidic, specifically so that it can break down food. Your pee changes, depending on what you eat, which is how your body keeps the level in your blood steady.
This means that actually, and most importantly, nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. In fact, your body works super hard to keep that level consistent because it’s critical for our health. Fortunately for us, clever mechanisms in our bodies make it pretty damn impossible for any outside influences to change the pH value of the blood.
// AND THAT’S A GOOD THING. //
That’s not to say the alkaline diet is all bullcrap.
It’s obvious that the foods you’re supposed to eat on the alkaline diet are good for you and are likely to support healthy weight loss: eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water, avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods are all text-book pieces of health and dieting advice. Eating so healthily will also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and go towards preventing diabetes. So in that way, the alkaline diet is a great idea. And if you’re already a vegan for example, you’re pretty much already there.
In the end though, the alkaline diet is a winner because its based on unprocessed foods, not because it has anything to do with being acidic or alkaline. And it’s well worth noting that once again, it’s the simplest of diet advice that really comes out on top.