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The Alkaline Diet

Clean eating
Clean eating
Destinee Coleman

Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers and The South Beach Diet are all diets that have swept the nation and have become a fad. These popular diets are stealing the spotlight from the newest and well deserved member. The Alkaline Diet is taking a stand. Before going into details, it's important to discuss meaningful terminology.

Many people fear the word diet. An immediate feeling of failure, less social outings and calorie counting, flood their minds. If this sounds like you, don't worry! You're making a big deal about nothing! You're already on a diet.

A diet is defined as the sum of food consumed by a person. Diet habits are the habitual decisions an individual or culture makes when choosing what foods to eat. The Alkaline Diet is a habitual diet with the notation that certain foods and beverages can lower the body's acidity and increase the pH of the body. Most people adopt this diet habit to prevent illness and/or cure existing diseases.

PH stands for the potential of hydrogen. In the field of chemistry, pH is the measurement of acid and base of the solution. In the Addison-Wesley's fourth edition chemistry text book, pH is defined as, "a number used to denote the hydrogen-ion concentration , or acidity , of a solution ; it is the negative logarithm of the hydrogen-ion concentration of a solution. The pH scale is a scale used to denote the measurement of hydrogen-ion concentration. The scale starts at zero and ends at fourteen. It is possible, but rare, to have items go over the given scale. A pH of seven is neutral, this is usually pure water. Less that seven is acidic, such as normal rain, orange juice, battery acid, lemons and vinegar. A pH higher than seven is basic. Items such as sea water, baking soda, antacids, and sodium hydroxide.

If you want to insult someone with a chemistry joke ask them, "Were you born acidic soil and turned ammonia, because you're increasingly basic." No? Okay, just pretend that didn't happen.

Different parts of the body require different levels of pH. Keep in mind each person is unique and if there is an illness of the body the pH will vary. For example the pH for saliva is 6.5 to 7.5.The pH for the stomach can be between 4.0 to 6.5 or 1.5 to 4.0, it depends on which part of the stomach and if the person is ill. The small intestine has a pH of 7.0 to 8.5 and the large intestine is between 4.0 to 7.0 on the pH scale. Urine is 6 to 7.4, skin 4 to 6.5 and blood is 4.5 to 7.3.

The "healing" properties of The Alkaline Diet should be tested in the blood. However,without a live blood analysis, this is impossible. There are alkaline tests that will test the pH of saliva and urine. They give you a general read, enough to know where you need improvements or to maintain your diet.

When transitioning to The Alkaline Diet, keep in mind you are adding alkalinity to your diet not completely avoiding all acids. Acids play a vital role in the body just as well. It is in your best interest to maintain an 80/20 diet. 80% alkaline and 20% acid. For a complete list of alkaline food and beverages please click here.

Like most diets, The Alkaline Diet is a diet based on theory. Other factors many come into play whilst transitioning to this diet. If you're a heavy meat and processed food eater, of course you'll experience life changing benefits. Since you're adopting a healthier diet you may start to workout out more and you'll look better and feel better. These are just some of the testimonies.

As of today, there is no empirical evidence to support the correlation between The Alkaline Diet and optimum health. However, there are massive amounts of testimonials. The Alkaline Diet is just a theory, then again so is gravity.

The point is, one should use their best judgement when taking on any new diet. Listen to your body. An alarming issue within the health and fitness community is jumping to conclusions and ignoring one's natural self alarm. The way food reacts in your body may be different than the next. Use caution. Seek a doctor that you trust as well as a dietitian and nutritionist if needed.

Your body is a temple and you must respect it as such.

Here is a list of helpful links:

The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?

What is pH?

Detailed List of Acid/Alkaline Forming Foods

What is pH and pH values?

What is a pH scale?

More about the pH scale

Even more about the pH scale

Digestion & GI Health – The Truth About pH Balance

Monitoring your body's pH levels