#29 The Alkaline Diet

By September 17, 2019Sunday Shutdown Series


What is it?

The alkaline diet is based on the idea that the food and drink you consume can alter the pH of your body. It is sometimes also known as the alkaline ash diet or the acid alkaline diet. The diet promotes the idea that eating acid forming or acidic foods will cause damage to one’s health and alkaline foods will improve it. Claims have also included curing diseases such as cancer. The diet states that foods such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, alcohol and grains are all highly acidic and damaging and those such as fruits, nuts, seeds, veggies and legumes are alkaline and therefore beneficial.

What is pH?

pH is a scientific measurement of how acidic or alkaline the body is and the pH of the human body as a whole is 7.4 which is just above neutral. Somewhere like the stomach has a pH of 2 as it contains acid to digest food whereas something like bleach has a pH of 12 and falls into the alkaline category. The body maintains its pH of 7.4 very strictly as this is where we can function. Just like it maintains our body temperature. If the pH of your body changed you are at risk of death, very quickly if untreated. Foods have the ability to affect the pH of our urine, however that’s something the body is getting rid of. In fact that is one of the ways your body maintains it’s pH by getting rid of very acidic or alkaline substances.

Is it safe?

Products marketed as alkaline are not regulated in the UK and any claims made on them are unfounded. A few years ago in the USA, Robert Young (claiming to practice as a doctor at the time), defrauded terminally ill cancer patients by informing them his baking soda infused drips would cure them. Many stopped their conventional treatment and subsequently died. In 2016, he was convicted of practicing medicine without a licence and sentenced to almost four years in jail. I appreciate this in an extreme, however people like this prey on the vulnerable and when you have tried anything and are at your wits end, you are likely to believe them. This is the severe danger of the nutrition industry. Food is not medicine. Please remember that. None of the claims made by this diet have scientifically been proven in humans.

Kate Taylor

Author Kate Taylor

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Join the discussion 32 Comments

  • Doesn't matter says:

    So your saying Hippocrates was wrong? Sure there are always going to be jerks preying on people who would probably do anything to not be subject to harsh chemical treatments. Im sure good food and proper diet can go a long way. Ofcourse then allot of greedy people would be losing out on money so cant have that right.

    • Kate Taylor says:

      Quite a broad opening question wouldn’t you say? I’m still unsure as to what your comment is actually referring to?

    • Bud says:

      One rule of life will serve to cure all illness and there’s no way to argue the point. An alkaline state is what your goal should be. You don’t always get there by eating alkaline food or drinking sodium hydroxide.

      Foods like lemon and tuna are alkaline. But by the time your body processes them in small amounts, they create a high pH environment.

      If you eat the majority of your calories are made up of vegetables and healthy vegetables and you drink plenty of water and then everything else marginal you will be healthy and live a very long and very healthy life. If for some reason you take ill, mind that you prepare your your gut lining with proper pre-biotics, these are foods that are undigestible to humans but our microbes and our gut lining love them, then take a probiotic regiment but maintaining a prebiotic atmosphere for the microbes to colonize otherwise they will flush out and you will be left ill again.

      The most important thing you can do is to drink plenty of water and no sugar or artificial sweeteners, glutens, shellfish.

      Do your best to limit the following, fast foods, preservatives or prepackaged foods lunch meats bacon ham anything that has nitrates or preservatives in it.

      DOs to consider slow cooking; legumes such as beans and tomatoes.

      Do your best to limit the following, These are all healthy for your body or mind but you must controlled closely. Fruit juices natural are okay, but made from concentrate are full of sweeteners and are very dangerous. including chocolate, coffee, tea, prescription drugs and recreational drugs and of course alcohol.

      The very most important item; Stay hydrated with a good water source,

      • Kate Taylor says:

        I’m unsure where there are any dietary guidelines stating to not consume shellfish? Equally the only population who should medically avoid gluten are those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity. Quite rightly water is very important and maintaining hydration is something many of the population don’t achieve. Whilst in an ideal world everyone would cook from scratch and consume a high proportion vegetables this is unrealistic for most of the worlds population due to food security, price, education and availability however I do agree that the smaller amount of highly processed foods consumed generally leads to better health outcomes.

  • Ed says:

    Food is not medicine? My ancestors knew otherwise. Sure, not all diseases can be cured with food, especially if one isn’t living a holistic and healthy lifestyle, but many diseases are certainly preventable with the proper diet. In fact many of our current diseases didn’t exist before the modern diets of the new world, so to say food isn’t medicine really shows how you view your relationship with food and your body, and overall it does more harm than good to your readers.

    • Kate Taylor says:

      Hi Ed, I do agree that many diseases we see see now are preventable with a combination of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle however this doesn’t mean they are medicine. Why would you say it does more harm than good? People perceive food to have the same effects as medicine and are foregoing medical treatment using food as a substitute and in the end losing their lives. I’d say that’s more damaging.
      Medicine is the science of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease and food is something we ingest to maintain life and growth.

      • Jessica says:

        Our stomach is not always alkaline. Many people suffer from a imbalance. These diets do help. Please stop spreading miss information about diets that actually help medical conditions.

        • Kate Taylor says:

          If there is any evidence on how these diets improve medical conditions can you please share it so we can all read it.

          • Ellie says:

            Hello there! I am a teen who is suffering from a disease called GERD. Back before I tried alkaline dieting, I could barely sleep at night because my heartburn would be terrible. This is where the Alkaline food diet comes in. I haven’t slept this good in years! Of course I’m only 4 months in but wow what a difference dieting can make!

          • Kate Taylor says:

            I’m so pleased you have found a way of eating that supports your condition and has made you feel better. I’d also suggest reviewing any other changes that you made at the same time you changed your diet. Often we can be quick to attribute changes in ourselves to changes to we have made with our food when actually we have changed a number of things at the same time. I hope your new found health continues.

    • Ayla says:

      That response tells us all we need to know about how qualified you are to be spouting off… Clearly they were referring to Hippocrates’ famous quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” You may not have heard of him, he’s the guy whose oath EVERY DOCTOR has to take…?

      • Kate Taylor says:

        If a degree in human nutrition and sports science isn’t adequate to provide sound evidence based nutritional advice then I really don’t know what is. However people will always make their own assumptions. That being said I am sure if you spoke to any doctor about the level of nutrition education they are provided throughout their education they would confirm it isn’t enough which is why the GP curriculum is being looked at by nutrition professionals to improve it.

    • Bud says:

      Typo!; lemons and tuna are acidic but become alkaline once your body has processed

  • Katlego says:

    Hi Kate,

    To what research did you base the assumption that one would be at risk of death should the PH level in their bodies change?. You said food is not medicine – why would you say this? I think you are intentionally misleading people to suit and protect the needs of corporate companies. Ginger is food, ginger is a natural antibiotic. Food medicine!

    • Kate Taylor says:

      Please read this research paper, specifically the introduction paragraph 2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3836773/. The definitions of food and medicine are different and the two shouldn’t be used in alternating ways. I’d love to read the research on ginger being a natural antibiotic so please share?

    • Tayler says:

      I agree that this shouldn’t be used to cure cancer. But what about problems directly related to over acidity like gerd? I’m pretty sure an alkaline diet has been scientifically proven to help. Or are you saying that I should eat whatever I want and find stronger medication than Pepto bismo?

      • Kate Taylor says:

        For any specific conditions such as GERD I would encourage you to contact a specialist dietician who can assist with specialist diets and levels of medication. GERD will present differently in those individuals diagnosed with it and some foods will trigger reactions whereas others won’t so therefore a blanket statements such as just consuming an alkaline diet aren’t applicable.

  • Anjum says:

    This artie is the most amount of rubbish I’ve ever read. I agree with Katlego, that this is a clear attempt to protect corporations who feed off terminally ill people.

    Also, urine is not the only fluid in your body. Ever heard of blood? The PH level of blood is actually what changes according to what you consume.

    It is also a fact that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment and I KNOW people who have been cured from STAGE 4 BLOOD CANCER by simply cutting out ALL acidic forms of food and drink and adopting a diet consisting of alkaline heavy foods.

    • Kate Taylor says:

      Hello Anjum, if your blood pH changed significantly you would die, it is a tightly regulated and controlled system that remains between 7.35 and 7.45 on the pH scale. Should your blood pH become too acidic you will go into acidosis and in the reverse it would be alkalosis, this is basic human biology. That is great news you personally know people who have been cured from stage 4 blood cancer unfortunately knowing people doesn’t underpin the scientific body of evidence when it comes to health.

  • Edward says:

    Thank you for this article, it’s valuable information that a lot of people need to hear. I knew when I read it, there would be a string of detractors, near haters, attempting to disparage you and your facts. People buy into false narratives, bad science, bad ideas and sometimes just complete rubbish, but once they’re convinced, they become attack dogs defending their faith in what they like to believe. The advent of Facebook and Twitter have magnified the spread of bad information even more. Your information is correct, but this alkaline diet crap has been pushed on Facebook for over a decade now… the drones have been programmed, so good luck.

    • Kate Taylor says:

      Thankyou Edward. The more of us out there trying to spread the correct information the better. I appreciate you commenting.

  • Agnes says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this post. It is appreciated that you are trying to inform people on such difficult scientific topics.

  • Rebecca says:

    Ridiculous…Food isn’t medicine? Love this attempt of trying to stray people away from eating nourishing things for their bodies.

    • Kate Taylor says:

      Absolutely not trying to stray people away from eating my nourishing food, in fact that’s my job and passion. Moreso to educate that food cannot work like medicine. And shouldn’t be used in that way.

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Kate. I stumbled on your site from a Google search about the alkaline diet. I knew this diet was bunk when I heard someone talking about eating foods with complete dna but I wanted to double check if there was any sound research to the affirmative and of course there isn’t. Unless you count the people who say their mom’s friend’s cousin’s auto mechanic were saved from the clutches of death by the alkaline diet.

    • Kate Taylor says:

      Absolutely. Generally diets such as this are peddled by a community of people who “believe” as oppose a sound body of scientific evidence gathered and tested over time.

  • The man says:

    The level of stupidity and ignorance on this one……. Shame on you.

    • Olive says:

      Shame on yourself. You come with no data, no arguments, no logic. You all sound insane, and having half a quote from a philospher does not replace proper research.

  • abster says:

    So we should be eating mcdonalds to be healthy?

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