The theory is that you need an optimal pH balance (balance between acid and base, also known as alkaline) in your body to help you lose weight and avoid certain diseases. Doing the Alkaline Diet is meant to help you create this balance. In reality, this means cutting out ‘acid-producing’ foods, including meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol and wheat.
What’s it doing to your body?
“I’ve not seen any data that [this diet] is useful,” says Dr Stephen Thornley, endocrinologist at Southern Endocrine in Sydney. He says organs such as our kidney and liver help to create our acid-base balance naturally. “So we do a pretty good job of maintaining that balance ourselves without going on that sort of a diet.”
Nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin says there are good bits to cherry pick. “What they’re encouraging you to do is eat more of a raw-style diet,” notes Bingley-Pullin, who doesn’t object to the raw bit. But you won’t necessarily lose weight because you’ve got a ‘better’ acid-base balance going, she cautions.
Besides, Bingley-Pullin notes, we need an acidic environment in our gut to aid digestion.
While neither expert thinks this diet can do much harm, they don’t think you’ll benefit much from it either.
Author: Dr Evelyn Lewin