Develop Your Own Alkaline Diet Plan
At first glance, an alkaline diet plan may seem like just the latest in a series of fad diets, guaranteed to help you lose weight fast, build a trimmer, healthier body, or in some way or another help you to become a better you. This particular type of a diet plan is also sometimes referred to as an Acid/Alkaline diet plan. Since the vast majority of foods we eat are either slightly acidic or slightly alkaline (there are a few neutral foods as well), this plan suggests that to be at our best, there should be some optimum balance between the acidic and alkaline foods we eat.
Were Our Ancestors Healthier? - One of the arguments in favor of this diet is that the diet our ancient ancestors ate was less acidic that those we tend to follow today. By ancient ancestors, we mean those who walked the earth before processed foods became readily available. We all know, or have been taught, that a diet consisting wholly of natural foods, rather than one heavy in processed foods, is a healthier diet. There are many ingredients in processed foods that tend to make them more acidic, and too many acidic foods, combined with two few alkaline foods, is believed by some to contribute to health problems. It could be argued that we are healthier than those who lived several thousand years ago, but since there are so many things that determine the state of our health, such an argument may not be all that solid.
Can What We Eat Affect Our Body Chemistry? - What then is the actual problem an alkaline diet plan is supposed to resolve? The argument in favor of such a diet is that processed foods, and some natural foods as well, tend to make our body chemistry more acidic, especially when there is an over preponderance of those foods in our everyday diet. Our body, like many other natural systems, strives to keep things in balance. If the body's chemistry is becoming too acidic, it tries to rectify the situation by borrowing alkaline from whatever sources are available. It just so happens, that unless we happen to be taking certain supplements, those sources are our bones, plus other tissues or organs, where there is an abundance of stored minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and calcium. If these stores of minerals are allowed to become depleted, it can lead to health problems. At least that's the theory behind the diet. A counter argument is that in some instances, an alkaline diet could actually restrict the amount of calcium available to the body.
The truth is, the body does a good job of keeping the acid-alkaline balance about where it should be, which is for the most part slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.40 ± 0.05. The fluids in the stomach for example will be very acidic, in order to properly digest food, but a healthy person's blood will always be slightly alkaline, as will his or her urine. If the urine becomes overly acidic, kidney stones can become a problem. An alkaline diet therefore should lower the risk of the formation of kidney stones. For the most part, the foods we eat, or any pills we may take, might affect the pH level in one part of the body, such as the stomach, but would tend to have little if any effect on the body as a whole.
Not A Dangerous Diet - The alkaline diet is not a bad diet, or a dangerous one, as some diets can be. The intent of this diet is not rapid weight loss, but it is rather one of maintaining one's good health, or in some cases restoring it. Acidic foods don't need to be avoided completely. Instead, the goal is to increase the percentage of alkaline foods in relationship the percentage of acidic foods, thereby achieving a desirable balance between the two. Since the diet stresses replacing some or most of the processed foods with natural foods, and since the diet is largely a vegetarian diet, it can be considered to be a healthy diet. It should be noted of course that strictly following a vegetarian diet can sometimes create some issues, such as a protein deficiency. Also, almost any diet has its pros and cons, but as long as a diet is basically healthy we should have little to worry about.
Designing Your Own Plan May Be Best - Many diets tend to be overly-hyped, and this one is probably not an exception. Is has not been proven by any means that an alkaline diet will cure cancer, or even lessen the risk of cancer. It may lessen bone loss, although that has yet to be proven. If you look at lists of acidic and alkaline foods, bear in mind that you can select from both lists. You simply want to achieve the right balance. There are those who would try to sell you their own special alkaline diet plan, including a supply of the “correct” foods. A better approach would be to do some research on the subject on your own, find out what a good balance should be (it doesn't have to be perfect), and then go about choosing your own foods. You'll probably find yourself eating a few more fresh fruits and vegetables, and a little less meat. Your new diet will probably be a healthier one.