In a nutshell
The Alkaline diet is based on the premise that the excessive acidity of our blood could be the cause of many ailments (fatigue, osteoporosis, high blood pressure…). It therefore aims to limit acidifying foods and to consume alkalinizing foods regularly.
|Weight loss||That’s not the goal|
|Food Choices||Very varied|
|In practice, this means||Easy to follow as long as you have a checklist with food to eat|
|Attention||Not recommended for children, pregnant and breastfeeding women.|
The Alkaline diet: understand everything in 2 minutes
The origins of the Alkaline diet
Therapists Franz Xaver Mayr (1875-1965) and Howard Hay (1866-1940) were among the first to formulate holistic doctrines incorporating the concept of acid-base balance supported by blood pH determination techniques. Over the past three decades, it has been mainly the works of Dr. Catherine Kousmine and Christopher Vasey that have made this concept known.
The main principles of the Alkaline diet
This diet is based on the assumption that a disturbed acid-base balance (chronic low-level acidosis) would lead to fatigue and decreased body activity.
It is recommended by the authors of this diet to measure your own blood pH with urine strips once a day.
In the case of chronic low-level acidosis, this diet recommends:
- 1. Choose a predominantly alkaline diet.
- 2. Undertake a lemon cure to alkalinize
- 3. Oxygenate by regular physical activity
- 4. Take alkaline citrate supplements: only for people who cannot integrate alkaline foods into their diet
Generally speaking, the higher the protein content of a food, the more acidifying it will be. However, there is a great controversy around the classification of foods according to their acidifying or alkalizing characteristics. This is why there are several Alkaline classifications. For our part, we have chosen the one of nutritionist Susan Brown, co-author of The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide11. It used the scientific publications of many specialists in the field (Remer, Manz, Frassetto and Jaffe) to make its own classification.
The following is a summary table of the classification recommended by Susan Brown.
|Food groups||Highly alkalizing||Moderately alkalizing||Slightly alkalizing|
Leafy green vegetables
|Meat, poultry and fish|
|Dairy products, eggs||Clarified butter|
Of cod liver
Of a lawyer
|Nuts, seeds, legumes, spices||Chestnut|
|Sunflower, sesame, flax seed|
|Bread, cereals, desserts||Sugar-free granola|
Apple crisp with oats and raw sugar
|Prepared foods or fast food restaurants|
|Food groups||Slightly acidifying||Moderately acidifying||Highly acidifying|
|Meat, poultry and fish||Clam||Salmon|
|Shrimps and prawns|
|Dairy products, eggs||Butter|
|Nuts, seeds, legumes, spices||Baked beans|
Iodized table salt
|Bread, cereals, desserts||Brown rice|
Brown rice bread
|Whole wheat bread|
Whole rye bread
Homemade fruit pie
White or chocolate cake
Commercial Fruit Pie
|Prepared foods or fast food restaurants||Mayonnaise||Popcorn|
Roast Beef Sandwich
*Some sources consider coffee to be alkalizing, but despite the fact that it contains some minerals and does not contain protein, it is acidifying. It is a “calcium thief” and therefore a risk factor for osteoporosis.
|Food groups mainly alkaline||Mainly acidic food groups|
How the Alkaline diet keeps you in shape
Too much acidifying food (meat, sugar, starchy foods, coffee, alcohol) combined with too little alkalizing food (fruits and vegetables, nuts, shelled fruits and seeds) generates chronic low levels of acidosis. This can lead to problems such as osteoporosis, hypertension, loss of muscle tissue and sleep disturbances, according to proponents of the acid-base balance diet.
By consuming foods that are more alkalinizing or acidifying depending on your general condition, you may improve your well-being by no longer experiencing the symptoms listed above.
To date, no serious scientific study has really supported these hypotheses, so it is by experimenting with the diet that you will be able to define whether it provides you with a better well-being or not.
Typical one-day menu with the Alkaline diet
|Lunch||Tomatoes in sesame oil and pumpkin|
The advantages and disadvantages of the Alkaline diet
Overall food balance respected
Since all food families are represented in this diet, satiety is generally quite good and allows you to stay in a balanced diet with vegetables, starchy foods and a protein source at every meal.
Easy to follow
Relatively easy to follow if you appreciate fruits, vegetables, nuts, shelled fruits (almonds, cashews, etc.) and seeds very much, because these are the most alkalizing foods.
The challenge, for some at least, will be to reduce coffee, alcohol, chips or soft drinks. These are very acidic drinks and foods. It is important, in the perspective of the Alkaline balance, to limit their consumption to a minimum.
May interfere with digestion
The introduction of many vegetables and whole starchy foods can disrupt digestion in people who are not used to it. Consider adding these foods gradually to your diet.