Acid-Alkaline Diet

It may not be as pretty-sounding as some diet fads like, say, "Body by God," but Acid-Alkaline Diet is arguably one of the most controversial diet plans developed. It is simply based on how the foods’ pH level affects our body.

The gist

Most foods we eat have a specific pH level, which measures their acidity or alkalinity. The pH level of foods has effects on our blood and eventually the whole body. A body that is too acidic is usually prone to hyperventilation as well as a variety of diseases, while an overly alkaline body is prone to bacterial infections especially in the urine as well as an imbalance in our body’s calcium level.

As humans began to invent modern conveniences such as agriculture and the introduction of fast food, our eating habits have changed from the so-called hunting-gathering tradition. Men tend to eat more grains, fish, meat, dairy, and salt, all of which produce acid. Proponents of the Acid-Alkaline Diet claim that if we consume more acidic foods such as protein, sugar, caffeine, and other highly-processed foods, we are putting our pH levels at risk.

Naturally, our blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH level between 7.35 and 7.45. In theory, a diet high in acid-producing foods disrupts the balance and promotes the loss of essential minerals like potassium magnesium, calcium, and sodium. This mineral imbalance is believed to cause illness to certain people.

To solve that problem, proponents say that you need to consume a diet that is 70 to 80 percent rich in alkaline such as fresh fruits (including citrus fruits), vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts, and legumes. Meanwhile, acid-producing foods should be eaten minimally.

Advantages and disadvantages

If the proponents are correct, following a diet plan that is high in alkaline content would protect your body against chronic illnesses such as colds and flu, lack of energy, anxiety. And since the recommended foods are considered healthful, you are more likely to lose weight as well.

However, there is little scientific evidence that links pH levels of food with the alkalinity of blood except in pathological causes, such as the development ketoacidosis while being diabetic.