Whether you want to lose weight or improve your overall health, it can be tricky to find the right diet to suit your lifestyle and your nutritional needs.
The alkaline diet has become popular in recent years. If you’re wondering whether this diet could work for you, we’ve got everything you need to know below.
What is the alkaline diet?
The alkaline diet is based on the idea that certain foods could produce more acid in your body, which is considered harmful and could limit weight loss. Those who follow this diet are encouraged to consume particular food and drinks to lower the amount of acid in the body, thereby creating a more alkaline environment1 .
It isn’t possible to change the pH levels of your blood by eating certain types of food, which means the ultimate goal of increasing alkaline isn’t going to work. However, the types of food encouraged in this diet are all generally very healthy. You’re likely to lose weight and improve your health because of this, even though your blood pH levels are unlikely to be affected2 .
Benefits of the alkaline diet
The alkaline diet encourages plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. It avoids meat, dairy, processed food, and most grains. You’ll also likely need to avoid caffeine and alcohol3 .
As a plant-based diet, there is a range of health benefits associated with eating a whole and unprocessed ingredients. These may include:
- Weight loss
- Improved kidney function
- Reduced cancer risk
- Improved heart function
- Improved muscle mass4 .
It’s worth bearing in mind that these health benefits are more likely to be due to eating a healthy and balanced diet, rather than because of acidity or alkaline levels.
Different foods to eat on the alkaline diet
The alkaline diet can be quite restrictive, as you will need to cut out a lot of ingredients that you might be used to eating.
Some of the foods you might eat on the alkaline diet include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruit and vegetables
- Some grains, like quinoa
- Tempeh and soy products
You will need to avoid:
- Meat and animal protein
- Dairy products
- High salt and high-fat food
- Processed food5
Who should avoid the alkaline diet
While the alkaline diet generally promotes healthy eating methods, it is quite a restrictive way of planning your meals. You may also miss out on essential nutrients if you are unable to get everything you need from the ‘alkaline’ foods you choose.
However, this diet is generally thought to be safe for most people to enjoy, as it provides plenty of fruit, vegetables and unprocessed ingredients6 .
If weight loss is your goal, you may want to look at other diet plans or weight management support to help you achieve your target. Restrictive eating can be challenging to sustain in the long term, which may affect your progress over time.
Last Updated: 20th October 2020