An alkaline diet is also known as the acid ash diet, and acid-alkaline diet. It describes a group of loosely related diets based on the misconception that different types of food can affect the pH balance of the body. It originated from the acid ash hypothesis, which is primarily related to osteoporosis research. Proponents of the diet believe that certain foods can affect the acidity of the body and that the change in pH can therefore be used to treat or prevent disease. Credible laboratories have done extensive research on this subject and have proven the theory to be false, not supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet. Due to conclusive evidence, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals.
These diets have been promoted by alternative medicine practitioners, who propose that such diets treat or prevent cancer, heart disease, low energy levels, and other illnesses. Human blood is maintained between pH 7.35 and 7.45 by acid-base homeostasis mechanisms. Levels above 7.45 are referred to as alkalosis and levels below 7.35 as acidosis. Both are potentially serious. The idea that these diets can materially affect blood pH to create a range of diseases is not supported by scientific research and makes incorrect assumptions about how alkaline diets function which is contrary to human physiology.
While diets avoiding meat, poultry, cheese, and grains can be used to make the urine more alkaline (higher pH), difficulties in effectively predicting the effects of these diets have led to medications, rather than diet modification, as the preferred method of changing urine pH. The “acid-ash” hypothesis was once considered a risk factor for osteoporosis, though the current weight of scientific evidence does not support this hypothesis.
Alkaline Diet Foods to Eat
- Unsweetened fruit juices
- Black currants
- Mineral soda water
- Soy food