Have you ever wondered what the Acid Alkaline Diet is and how it works but struggled to find real, straightforward answers? Have you ever wondered how the acid alkaline diet could be applied in your life but couldn’t get to grips with what it actually involves?
This article will change that and give you, in five minutes or less, an exact understanding of what the Alkaline Diet really is.
I’ve been living and breathing (and working in) the Alkaline Diet for over ten years now. I’ve written several courses, two books and helped over 100,000 people get alkaline.
It is my passion and I feel that I have got a lot to offer when it comes to practically applying this diet and lifestyle, making it easy and making it enjoyable.
There are people out there with lots more letters after their name – but if I’m being honest, I don’t know if there is anyone more experienced in making this diet real in people’s lives. I’ve done it over and over again and this explanation is the result of my ten years experience, learning, writing/blogging and connecting with people.
Plus: I’ve lived alkaline myself – for a long time…
I’ve also fallen off the wagon myself and I’ve gotten right back on. I’ve learned lessons the hard way.
I’ve felt what it’s like to succeed and what it’s like to fail.
But most importantly I’ve connected with hundreds of thousands of people who are all transitioning or successfully living alkaline.
And to be frank, I’d have to be very, very unobservant to have not worked it out by now…!
The Acid Alkaline Diet Simplified
What is The Alkaline Diet
The alkaline diet is a very, very simple and straightforward approach to health, but is backed by extensive science, pioneered by the blood microscopist and biologist Robert Young.
Before I demonstrate just how simple it is, here is the explanation in scientific terms:
The Scientific Explanation of the Alkaline Diet
Our body is designed to be alkaline.
The pH of most of our important cellular and other fluids such as our blood is designed to be at a pH of 7.365, which is slightly alkaline.
In just the same way that our body will do whatever it takes to regulate our temperature to stay within a very tight range, it does the same for the pH of our fluids. And while our body does create acids naturally through our bodily functions, we have a small alkaline buffering system that naturally keeps us alkaline.
Your body HAS to keep the pH of your blood, cells and other fluids at just slightly alkaline (pH 7.365) and it will do ANYTHING it has to in order to maintain this pH balance.
To do this, your body calls upon its store of alkaline buffers, which it draws upon to neutralize the acids we ingest or create through bodily processes. This store of buffers is very easily depleted because most of us eat and drink such strong acids.
To put this in context, the pH scale is logarithmic – so pH 6 is 10x more acidic than pH 7, meaning pH 5 is 100x times more acidic than pH 7 and pH 4 is 1000x more acidic. Cola has a pH of between 2 and 3. So you can see how a diet filled with meats, dairy, fizzy drinks, alcohol etc would quickly deplete these buffers.
And when we deplete these buffers and still ingest more acids…what happens?
The body is forced into drawing upon the alkaline minerals it has to buffer which causes havoc in the body – for instance, if the body is constantly drawing calcium to neutralise the acids we consume then the symptoms of osteoporosis emerge (hence the numerous research articles linking cola consumption with osteoporosis).
However, as we have evolved and our diets and lifestyles have changed over the last century or so we have dramatically increased the amount of acidity in our lives.
Diet, stress, emotions and no exercise contribute, in their own ways to the increased acidity in our body.
Focusing on the alkaline diet for the time being, it will be no surprise to you to learn that the most acidic foods are: sugar, trans-fats, yeasts, dairy, simple carbs, alcohol, refined foods etc. These acids manifest in our diets as colas & fizzy drinks, pizza, chips, cakes, biscuits, microwave meals, crisps, breads, caffeine, cheese, fatty meats, ice cream, smoking, beers, wines, condiments, milky drinks, cream etc.
All the foods you already know are not good for you.
I’m sure you can guess that the foods that are alkaline to the body are therefore…wait for it…fresh vegetables, salads, leafy greens, omega oils, nuts, seeds, pulses, whole grains.
These are fresh foods, raw foods, whole foods, foods with a high-water content and nutritional value.
It makes this diet pretty easy to understand and pretty easy to follow. I think most people, if given a list of foods could put them into the acid or alkaline group 8 times out of 10.
So what makes a food acid or alkaline? There are a few things, but the most important rules are:
- If a food is high in alkaline minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium or sodium it is likely to be alkaline to the body.
- BUT – regardless of its alkaline mineral content, if it contains any of the following then it will be acidifying:
- sugar (article about sugar)
- is fermented (like soy sauce)
- contains fungi (like mushrooms)
- is refined/microwaved/processed
So this explains the anomalies. Fruit for instance is generally, unfortunately, acidifying due to it’s high sugar content. Bananas for example are very high in potassium, but are around 25% sugar.
The only exceptions are tomatoes, avocados, lemons & limes (great for dressings and flavourings), grapefruit and watermelon (to some degree) which are alkaline because they are so low in sugar.
Sugar is such an issue because the blood deviates from this pH level of 7.365 then it causes major stress to the rest of the body. The body has to maintain this pH level and it will go to extreme measures and sacrifice everything else to make sure it stays there.
It compounds the longer it goes on.
Emotions, stress and a lack of exercise all contribute to this. Young has actually seen, in his analysis of live blood, that emotions can have twice as much of an effect on our blood and health as any food can, so these all play a part. Exercise is obviously essential because it pumps our blood and lymph around the body to remove wastes and helps to deliver oxygen to cells for necessary functioning.
So there you have it – that is the scientific, long version.
Here is the simple version of the Acid Alkaline Diet:
Our body is designed to stay alkaline and will do whatever it takes to do so. When we consume acidic foods and drinks, stop exercising and continually have negative emotions our body is overrun with acids and this causes major disruption.
Not surprisingly the acid foods are the ones you already know are bad for you (cola, chips, chocolate, sweets, burgers, dairy, beer etc) and the alkaline foods are the ones you already know are good for you (fresh foods, leafy green vegetables, salads, nuts, seeds etc) – click here for my quick-reference guide: the Seven Most Alkaline Foods.
To become alkaline you simply need to start focusing 70-80% of your diet on the alkaline foods and try to limit the acid foods. Back this up with 3-4 litres of good quality, clean, filtered water each day and you will be very pleasantly surprised by the way you feel.
So follow your mother’s advice and eat your greens!