The Alkaline Diet
Is the alkaline diet right for you? Should you be trying to eat more alkaline foods? What does that even mean?
The Alkaline diet, made famous by stars like Kelly Ripa and Gwyneth Paltrow, puts foods in two different categories. These foods have either an alkaline effect or an acidic effect on the body. Many articles discuss alkalizing your body and bringing your pH back into balance. This, in turn, is supposed to cure your ailments and restore your body to good health. The alkaline diet does suggest eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. People who follow this diet are advised to stay away from all meat, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol, coffee and sugar. Interestingly, coffee, dark beer and sugar have a very neutral to alkaline PRAL (potential renal acid load). Some sources even advertise drinking baking soda. Do NOT do this in an attempt to “alkalize” your body. Drinking too much baking soda can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and kidney failure.
Your blood pH is tightly regulated to stay between 7.35-7.45, no matter what you eat. Alkalizing your blood can be dangerous and could even cause death. Urine, which can test anywhere from 4.5-8, is not a reflection of your blood pH. Your stomach pH stays between 1.5-3.5 to help break down the food you eat.
Bottom line: Eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is great advice. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, fiber, omega-3s and many other essential nutrients for your body. Unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so, there is no reason to avoid lean protein, dairy and whole grains.