Jan Brehm was sidelined by a mysterious illness for years, "I have been in emergency three times thinking I had a heart attack and it was acid." Jan thought her eating habits could be to blame. She had heard about the Alkaline diet and decided to try it out. Registered Dietician Erin Palinski says it's based on the philosophy that what we eat and drink affects our body chemistry, or PH level, which is naturally alkaline." The people that promote the alkaline diet state that by being able to increase your intake of alkaline forming foods, and decrease your intake of acidic foods.
Promoting things like weight loss, improved immunity and even disease prevention. Celebrity nutritionist Dr. Lindsey Duncan is a proponent of the Alkaline Diet. He says our meals are increasingly acidic and our bodies are paying the price, "Cardiovascular disease, depression, forgetfulness, poor mood, mind, memory." To reverse this, Dr. Duncan recommends avoiding meals packed with acidic foods such as wheat, dairy, meat, fish, sugar and caffeine. Instead he says load up on PH balancers, "Anything that's dark, leafy, and green. The general rule of thumb is the more bitter your foods, the more alkaline."
Other examples include: watermelon, almonds, oranges and apples. Jan says she felt a difference within days of making the switch, "Not only does the fatigue lift, but the mood shift, energy."
While the Alkaline diet dishes up healthy foods with actual science, when it comes to PH levels Registered Dietician Erin Palinski says, "There's been no human medical research studies that have proven any of the claims of the alkaline diet. Our body really naturally, unless we have some kind of health problem, is going to keep our pH within the optimal level."
She says the diet can also be restrictive and some take it to the extreme by consuming supplements that promise to boost your PH or even ingesting baking soda, "This can make the body too alkaline and bring it outside of the optimal range, and that can actually have potentially deadly side effects."
Dr. Duncan says there are plenty of studies that show the health benefits of Alkaline foods, "The proper ratio of food is 70-75% alkaline and 25-30% acid." While experts continue to debate the food and PH level connection, Jan is a believer, "All I have is what I've experienced and the difference that I feel is night and day."
Some Alkaline dieters test their PH daily with strips, which are available at the drugstore. As always it's important to fill your doctor in on any diet you are trying.
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