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Filtering by Tag: alkaline

Mythbusting: The Alkaline Diet

Lisa Eberly

The alkaline diet is SO frustrating to me. The whole idea is to eat alkaline foods to lose weight and prevent disease by making your body more alkaline. To start, alkaline means ‘basic,’ as in, the opposite of acidic. The pH scale ranges from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline), with neutral being 7.  The pH of foods vary along that scale, and the alkaline diet preaches that eating alkaline foods makes your body more alkaline and that’s healthier than acidic. Oyyy…let me explain.

The pH of your body varies greatly. Your blood is around 7.4. Each compartment of your body is totally different. Your stomach is very acidic, since it’s filled with hydrochloric acid, and ranges somewhere in between 1 and 3.5. This low pH is necessary so that the stomach can properly break down food. I should also mention if you mix a strong acid with a weak base, the result is still an acid.

Think about that for a sec. All the food you eat immediately goes to your stomach, which is filled with acid. So, you’re working so hard to eat all these basic foods, only so that they can end up in a pool of acid seconds later. Remember: if you mix a strong acid (the stomach acid) with a weak base (the food you eat), the result is an acid. The pH of your food immediately changes to acid in the stomach no matter what you eat. I mean, unless you’re downing bleach (poisonously basic); in which case, you’ve got bigger problems.

Additionally, even IF (and that’s a biggg if) your alkaline food somehow magically makes it through the stomach to try to make the rest of your body more alkaline, your body has serious mechanisms by which it works to maintain the blood’s pH levels. If anything enters the body to try to make the blood more basic or acidic, your body is going to react to keep it stable around 7.4. Trust me, you want your body to win that fight.

So why are people on the alkaline diet losing weight?

This is an easy one — most ‘alkaline’ foods are actually healthy vegetables and fruit. Eat your fruits and veggies, you’ll lose weight. Duh. The alkaline diet also tells you to consume a lot of water and avoid processed foods and sugar. Uhh…of course you’ll lose weight if you’re replacing processed foods and sugar with fruits and veggies.

Now go share this hilariously smart mythbust with your favorite alkaline dieter and have a good laugh.

Do you all have any other fad diets you’re curious about?