The alkaline diet, also known as the acid-ash diet, is based on a theory that foods can change the pH of our bodies based off their acidity or alkalinity.
Advocates of the diet state that acidic foods such as meat, grains, dairy and fish are harmful to health and are the root of many chronic health problems whereas alkaline foods which mainly comprises of certain fruits and vegetables and select nuts promote health. The diet has claimed to be a miracle cure for many diseases from osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease to even curing cancer. It’s also suggested by its followers that eating acidic foods is the root cause of obesity as excess acid in the body can get turned into fat.
What do Acidic and Alkaline Mean?
The pH scale is a scale that ranges from 0-14 and measures how acidic or alkaline something is. Anything under 7 is acidic whereas over 7 is alkaline.
The pH levels in our body are very tightly regulated by our lungs and kidneys to stay within 7.35-7.45. If there are deviations in the pH levels somewhere within our body, it’s an indicator that something is very seriously wrongly and requires medical attention right away.
So Can Food Change The pH of Our Body?
The pH levels in our blood which are indicative of health cannot be influenced by diet. The pH of our urine can be changed by our diet. However, to be clear, the pH of our urine is not an indicator of our health. In fact, it tells us nothing about what’s going on with our health expect what we ate for lunch. It’s simply a method of excreting waste which changes pH based on the foods we’ve eaten.
What About Dairy? I heard it’s Acidic and Bad For Our Bones?
According to the diet, dairy is classified as being acidic which supposedly leaches calcium and other important minerals from our bones, putting us at an increased risk of osteoporosis.