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Dr. Oz: Alkaline diet accelerates weight loss and stems inflammation

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Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed the health and weight-loss benefits of an alkaline diet on the April 11 episode of the Dr. Oz Show. **This show originally aired Jan. 13.

Dr. Oz said foods that are acidic can trigger acid buildup inside your body, making you vulnerable to weight gain and disease. "These foods create this toxic acid that's putting you at risk for diabetes, kidney damage, and weight gain," he said.

Dr. Oz said whether a food is acidic or alkaline doesn't have to do with taste, but with its effect inside your body. For example, lemon tastes acidic, but it has a completely alkaline effect once you ingest it.

Dr. Oz's guest was dietitian Ashley Koff, author of Mom Energy. Koff said we all need to eat more alkaline-promoting foods and less acid-forming foods to enhance weight loss and prevent disease.

The theory behind the alkaline diet is that too much acid in the body creates a breeding ground for disease. Proponents say eating 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods is the optimal balance for good health. To achieve the 80/20 ratio, you should avoid or limit dairy, meat, wheat and grains.

The Alkaline Diet has been shown to be effective for weight loss and reducing inflammation (which is what causes chronic diseases). And super-skinny celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Aniston have all recently praised the health and weight-loss benefits of the alkaline diet.

Alkaline Diet Sample Menu

Koff, the author of Recipes for IBS, said there are three groups of foods that are acid-producing and cause toxic acid overload. Ashley suggested following a 2:1 ratio in your diet (i.e., eat two or more alkaline foods for every acidic food you consume).

- Refined carbs such as flour and pasta.
- High-fat dairy such as butter and cheese.
- Animal proteins such as red meat and poultry.

In contrast, Koff said the following foods are alkaline-forming and promote good health: acidic fruits like lemons and limes; tropical fruits like papaya and mangoes; green vegetables such as avocado, celery and parsley; and gluten-free grains like quinoa; spices such as cinnamon and ground ginger. A sample menu on the alkaline-food diet looks like this:

  • Breakfast. Scrambled eggs (acid-promoting) with spinach (alkaline) and half a grapefruit (alkaline).
  • Lunch. Salad greens (alkaline) with slices of roasted turkey meat (acid-promoting) with a homemade avocado-lemon dressing (alkaline).
  • Dinner. Salmon patty (alkaline) on half a whole-wheat bun (acid-promoting) with stir-fried veggies (alkaline).

Dr. Oz you don't have to avoid acid-producing foods, but doing this will neutralize acid:

1. Drink a cup of water with lemon before eating an acid-producing food (such as ice cream or chocolate). Doing this will dramatically cut down on acid overload.

2. Sip cinnamon tea. Cinnamon tea has a surprising number of health benefits, including promoting weight loss, aiding digestion, and minimizing blood-sugar spikes.

3. Sprinkle spices on acidic foods. Excellent alkaline-producing spices include paprika, chili powder, dried parsley and curry powder.

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