Why Should you choose a Vegan Alkaline Diet? Kate Hudson once told People Magazine that our bodies are a large-scale chemistry experiment. She referred to the alkaline diet, a popular eating trend favored by numerous A-list celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow.
However, Hudson no longer follows this diet. This dietary approach is based on the belief that what we eat affects the balance of our pH levels, so Hudson referred to it as a chemistry experiment.
Proponents of the alkaline diet suggest avoiding acidic foods, such as meat, in favor of alkaline foods like vegetables. While the alkaline diet may appear as a healthy eating plan emphasizing whole, plant-based foods. Still, whether or not this pH-focused approach is beneficial is being determined.
Unfortunately, research needs to be improved in this area, leaving many wondering if this diet is worth following.
Let’s delve deeper into the alkaline diet and its numerous health claims. While it’s essential to approach these claims critically, it’s also true that incorporating more of the foods it promotes into your diet is a good idea. It’s a complex issue, so let’s explore it further.
What is an alkaline diet?
Many individuals who follow the alkaline diet were first introduced to the concept through the works of Robert O. Young, a prolific author on nutrition and health, during the 1990s and 2000s. Among his publications, The pH Miracle, released in 2002, has been particularly successful, selling over four million copies.
He posts that the presence of an “acidic environment” within the human body can lead to the development of various diseases, including cancer. Conversely, incorporating more “alkaline foods” into one’s diet can potentially treat or prevent these diseases.
Some alkaline foods include fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables, while acidic foods include meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.
It is a common practice for those who cling to a specific dietary regimen to monitor their urine’s pH levels to maintain an alkaline state.
One of the proponents of this approach was Robert Young, who was widely known as the “father of the alkaline diet.” He was so convinced of the benefits of such a lifestyle that he even attempted to cure multiple cancer patients at his ranch in California. As a result, he named this pH Miracle Ranch.
However, it is important to note that no scientific evidence supports Young’s claims. In addition, he was sentenced to jail in 2017. This happened because he was practicing medicine without a license.
What is the effectiveness of an alkaline diet?
The effectiveness of the alkaline diet has stirred up much debate. However, its popularity can be attributed to its advocating for genuinely nourishing foods like fruits and vegetables. This discourages the consumption of processed meats that offer little nutritional value.
Nonetheless, Registered Dietitian Anthony DiMarino, suggests that the underlying philosophy of the diet lacks a scientific basis. He maintains that there is no need to be overly concerned with pH levels in our diet, as our body can remarkably regulate its pH balance.
DiMarino explains that the stomach, for instance, is already highly acidic and can effectively break down food. In addition, our skin also possesses a slightly acidic pH level that serves as a natural shield against harmful bacteria.
Additionally, our lungs and kidneys work in tandem to eliminate metabolic waste and maintain the ideal pH balance that our body requires.
It’s widely recognized that fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential to maintaining good health. Unlike the alkaline diet, which lacks scientific evidence, a growing body of research supports the benefits of a plant-based whole-food diet.
According to DiMarino, an alkaline diet may help promote good health. However, this is only for some reasons that are commonly believed. In reality, the diet encourages the consumption of minimally processed, whole foods. This has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic diseases over the long term. Hence, it is considered a healthy diet plan.
Eating a Vegan alkaline diet
Starting an alkaline vegan diet requires careful consideration of your nutritional needs, with certain restrictions on what you can consume, such as avoiding lentils and some grains. It is crucial to ensure you get enough plant-based protein and other essential nutrients.
Seeking guidance from a health or nutrition professional before making any dietary changes is always recommended. This ensures your safety and prevents potential deficiencies. You should prioritize your health and well-being above all else.
Which are Vegan alkaline foods?
Incorporating vegan alkaline foods into your diet can be beneficial, provided you have no allergies or intolerances. These foods are naturally nutrient-rich and can contribute positively towards your health.
If you’re considering adding more of these foods to your meals, here are a few examples – some of which you may already consume regularly.
Nuts that align with the alkaline diet are peanuts, almonds, pecans, and pistachios. These nutty treats are tasty and packed with plant-based protein, with just 100 grams of peanuts containing a whopping 26 grams of protein.
They are also rich in unsaturated fats(Healthy for the Heart), iron, and vitamin E, making them an excellent choice for a balanced diet. So, grab some of these nutrient-rich nuts next time you feel snacky!
Even though citric acid can be found in many fruits, such as lemons, tomatoes, and limes, they are still welcome in an alkaline diet. The reason is that although these fruits are acidic, they do not lead to the acid formation in the body.
However, if you are experiencing acid reflux and looking to increase your intake of alkaline foods, it is best to steer clear of fresh tomatoes. On the other hand, unsweetened and unprocessed fruit juices are a popular addition to the alkaline diet. They offer a healthy dose of essential nutrients like vitamin C and potassium.
Many individuals who adhere to an alkaline diet use coconut oil when preparing meals. Although some have bestowed the label of “superfood” upon this cooking oil, it’s essential to remember that it contains high levels of saturated fat.
According to Harvard University, the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that the number of calories from saturated fats should be no more than 10%. Furthermore, the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a scientific advisory statement last year. This statement recommends substituting saturated fats, including coconut oil, with unsaturated fats.
Particular grains are believed to possess natural alkalizing properties. However, not all grains can claim this benefit. The Cleveland Clinic suggests wild rice, oats, and quinoa are ideal for those seeking an alkaline diet.
These grains also offer a range of other nutritional benefits, such as being rich in plant-based carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.
Legumes such as kidney beans and peas are highly beneficial to one’s health due to their alkaline nature. In addition, these foods are packed with essential nutrients that our bodies require.
For instance, kidney beans are rich in iron, potassium, phosphorus, fiber, and protein, all contributing to maintaining a healthy body.
Similarly, peas are an excellent protein, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber source. Therefore, including these foods in our diets can profoundly impact our well-being.
Chia and flax seeds are part of the alkaline diet, making them an excellent addition. The great news is that these seeds contain essential nutrients such as omega-3 fats, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, and iron.
So, including them in your meals will boost your overall health and well-being.
A diet rich in alkaline foods includes an array of leafy greens such as spinach and kale and root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. These wholesome foods contain essential nutrients. This includes vitamin C, iron, fiber, and antioxidants, promoting healthy cell growth and repair.
Including these plant-based foods in your diet will help you maintain optimal health and wellness.
Vegan alkaline diet vs. other diets
The alkaline vegan diet is a plant-based diet that prioritizes consuming alkaline-forming foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It avoids acid-forming foods such as processed foods, grains, and animal products.
The diet is grounded on the belief that excessive intake of acid-forming foods can result in acid accumulation in the body. This leads to various health problems.
The alkaline vegan diet shares similarities with other plant-based diets. It focuses on the body’s pH balance and the foods’ alkalinity. The benefits of this diet include reduced inflammation, improved digestion, and overall health and well-being.
However, further research is necessary to comprehend this diet’s health advantages fully.
Several Mediterranean, DASH, and ketogenic diets have gained popularity. Each of these diets has been associated with various health benefits.
For example, the Mediterranean diet has reduced heart disease risks and cognitive decline. On the other hand, the DASH diet has been found to lower blood pressure.
Additionally, the ketogenic diet has been known to help with weight loss and managing certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy.
How to decide which diet is best for you?
It’s important to remember that the best diet for each individual depends on their specific health needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional or dietitian before making significant dietary changes. They can help you determine which diet is right for you and provide guidance. Hence you can achieve your health goals safely and effectively.