In my previous post I shared expert opinions about whether there is evidence to support many of the claims made by proponents of the acid/alkaline diet. I think the bottom line is that there is very little unbiased evidence proving that the diet works…or doesn’t work, for that matter.
There seem to be some flaws in the theories that people claim regarding foods and pH in the body and it would be helpful to have some studies on it. However, just because there is little research supporting or refuting the diet doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any good attributes.
Often when it comes to claims that are made about certain food items or diets I the question – is it going to harm me? And, might it benefit me?
In this case, I have a hard time believing that you can control the pH in your body, and that controlling the pH will control growth of cancer cells. There are too many different types of tumors and stages for it to make sense. However, maybe whether the diet actually controls pH in the body doesn’t really matter!
Is it possible that the diet is just plain good for you, whether it controls pH or not? I think so, although I probably don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to follow this particular way of eating. It might be something that you want to try and see if you feel better on it. I certainly don’t think it will cause you any harm.
What Is the Alkaline Diet?
The prescribed ratio for the alkaline diet is 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. In general, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, caffeine, sugar, and
salt are the most acid forming, while fruits and vegetables are the
most alkaline forming (mainly due to protein and mineral content).
Grains are slightly acid forming, and legumes (beans) vary by type.
I’m not totally sure on the specifics, but I’m guessing this is 80% by volume.
Here are some examples:
- brussels sprouts
- olive oil
- ocean fish
- organ meat
- hard cheese
- homogenized milk
- artificial sweeteners
- white sugar
The Bottom Line:
I have a hard time arguing with anything that gets people to include more fruits and vegetables in their diet! With the myriad of health
advantages offered by a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, the
biochemical explanation for these benefits might not matter. If you want more information, one of my readers recommended this book: The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide by Susan E. Brown and Larry Trivieri, Jr.
What’s Coming Up:
I feel like there are a bunch of things going on right now in the cancer and nutrition world, so I hope to be able to get you updated on the headlines! Be sure to check out our CancerDietitian facebook page for more links and information that I can’t always fit in the articles. Here are some highlights:
- If you are a Winston-Salem local, I have two great opportunities for you to learn more about cancer fighting foods – in REAL LIFE! First is a really awesome free cooking class coming up this Wednesday, Oct. 19th at 6pm. Chef Jeff Bacon, cookbook author from the Second Harvest Food Bank will be teaching us what to do with winter squash!
- The second opportunity is for a community garden celebration on Oct 29th from 10am – 2pm at the Goler Garden at Downtown Health Plaza. There will be educational sessions, including “Fighting Cancer With Your Fork” by yours truly (at 12:15)! There will also be okra ornament making, food samples and information about composting. I hope to see you there!
- Update on the new results from a study about prostate cancer and vitamin E.
- More on alkaline water.
Keep sending me your questions!
Luis Ferro says
So, you are basically saying that the alkaline diet is essentially a new rebranding of the old tradition of eat more vegetables and fruits?
Julie Lanford MPH, RD, CSO, LDN says
sort of… and they make a lot of claims that aren’t true in order to “brand it”.