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What you need to know about the alkaline diet

alkaline Jan 04, 2021

In recent times, the alkaline diet has stolen the limelight and risen in popularity. Namely, for being associated with weight loss, reflux reduction and chronic disease prevention.


But what does following an alkaline diet entail? And is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

Today, we will dig out the magnifying glass and investigate the science behind this trendy health craze.

 

pH

Let’s take a trip back to year ten science class and explain what ‘alkaline’ means and its significance.


All substances fall onto a pH scale, between one and twelve. Substances with a pH between one-six are ‘acidic’, seven are ‘neutral’, and eight-fourteen are ‘alkaline’ (also commonly referred to as ‘basic’). This diet’s premise is to consume foods that fall within the alkaline category to reduce inflammation throughout the body.



Interestingly, our body has in-built systems to manage the internal pH environment. For instance, breathing out carbon dioxide and urinating are two normal body processes that stabilise our pH. However, it’s essential that we don’t overwork these processes, as it can damage our body systems.

 

Why is the general Aussie diet so acidic?

People have large meat portions and small vegetable portions, which can throw off the body’s pH. This is standard of a typical Western diet, which indicates that dietary changes are necessary.


There is a formula that compares the amount of protein to potassium in the diet, with protein found in meat and potassium found in vegetables. The formula predicts the urinary load, as the body’s trying to remove some of these acids to keep the blood pH balanced. Basically, if you’re overeating meat and starchy vegetables, the acidic load on the body can be quite burdensome.

 

Foods and their associated pH

  • Acidic: Meat, starchy vegetables and tea.
  • Neutral: Olive Oil.
  • Alkaline: Raisons and non-starchy vegetables.

Lentils and legumes are an interesting food source, as they’re slightly acidic and slightly alkaline. This is because they contain a small amount of vegetable protein and potassium.

 

What’s next?

Working out strictly how acidic or alkaline your diet is, can very complicated and unnecessary. Try to ignore the scare-campaigns and revert to common sense.

To simplify it, we want to follow a pattern of eating that reflects the Mediterranean diet. That means eating as much colour and vegetables as possible.

 

For further information or a comprehensive dietary plan, contact the CQ Nutrition team to book a consult. The friendly dietitians are more than happy to educate you about a balanced diet and strategies to normalise the bodies pH without overcomplication.  

Here is a link to book in with one of our expert dietitians at any of our locations https://www.cqnutrition.com.au/booking/ 

Want an online consultation? Book in on my calendar and in comments write online: https://bit.ly/AnnieROK 

Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac

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