One of my goals this year is to learn more about all the weirdo diets that people are trying to lose weight and “stay healthy.” One of them was the Alkaline Diet – other names include the Pee Strip Diet, Acid-Base Diet or Paleolithic Diet. As per all faddy diets out there, it’s the cure-all to every disease in the book including cancer and obesity .. and is promoted by celebs.
So what’s it all about? Per this diet, the typical North American diet produces a large amount of acid when consumed (once our body metabolizes it) and if not neutralized, it’ll cause lots of problemos to our body. It tests urine pH (or how acidic/basic our urine is) to determine how acidic/alkaline we are.
How does this translate to what Alkaline Diet supporters consume? Dairy products, most grains and meats/alternatives are considered high in acid on this diet while fruits/vegetables are a preferred choice. Smart money making tools that this diet promotes include alkaline supplements or water alkalinizers – they have to make money somehow, right? As a note, there’s currently no Canadian guidelines focused on the marketing of these supplements .
What does the evidence say? We dietitians are food-nerds that base our recommendations on evidence. Based on evidence/science, the Alkaline Diet ideas that certain foods are high in acid is not compatible with chemistry principles and is not supported to categorize foods as undesirable. Yes, our bodies are naturally slightly alkaline BUT the amazing thing about your bodies is that if your kidneys/body are properly working and functioning, your body maintains a pH within a pretty tight range depending on what you do/put into it. What does this mean? An alkaline diet does not change blood pH to be outside of this normal range – your body is awesome and does the work for us.
How do I feel about this diet? I can say the only good thing about it is that it promotes fruit and veggies consumption (wahoo!) BUT since it limits SO many other foods and can be a money maker on supplements that don’t work, its a big NAY for me.
Got any other diets you want me to look into/write about? Please let me know in the comments section!