The Alkaline Diet: Real Science or Just Sciency?
The alkaline diet certainly sounds sciency. And the Washington Post says it’s a “celebrity diet trend that actually has some science behind it.” On the other hand, the claims for this diet plan are pretty broad. They include cleansing the body of toxins, resetting pH balance, increased energy, healthier bones, chronic disease prevention, and weight loss. Nutrition professor Kelly Pritchett sums things up pretty well in a review for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, saying:
The plan lacks variety and limits foods, including dairy, with limited scientific evidence to support the benefits of following an alkaline diet.
The idea behind this diet, endorsed by Kelly Rippa and a host of other celebrities, is to eat foods that promote a slightly more alkaline environment in the body. The foods are mostly fruits and vegetables (a reliably good choice). The shifts in pH happen mostly in the urine, because blood pH is almost always constant. Unfortunately, all the sciency jargon about alkalinity is not connected to health outcome studies.
So what you have in the alkaline diet is a restrictive scheme that promotes fruits and vegetables, but may be hard to follow in the long term. It will probably change the pH of your urine. Because it’s restrictive, it might help you lose a little weight for a little while. Bottom line, it’s backed by little real evidence for better health outcomes.
If you want to load up on the hype, you can find it here.
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May 22, 2016