Who’s Your? goes ‘Alkaline’ – The A List diet everyone is raving about….but does it work?

Food January 23 2014
It seems like the world (including A list celebs such as Gywneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston) is always raving about a ‘brand new’ diet so when an article by nutritionist and author Kathleen Alleaumes questioned the validity of the trendy Alkaline diet that apparently “whittle’s waistlines, curbs inflammatory conditions and even cures cancer” popped into our inboxes before the Christmas break, we were immediately intrigued if this was one lifestyle change we shouldn’t be embracing (The WY? team already follow a similar approach of eating to the Alkaline diet)
Alkaline imageImage source: Insaminsa
Here’s a run down on what Alleaume and consulting gastroenterologist, Dr Douglas Samuel have to say about The Alkalkine diet (in short for your easy reading pleasure)….
But first…What is the Alkaline theory?
The theory goes like this: too much acid in the body creates a breeding ground for disease. Lovers of the diet tout that by eating 80 per cent alkaline foods and 20 per cent acidic foods you’ll create a pH balance in your body that is optimal for health. In order to achieve the 80/20 ratio meat, dairy products, wheat, some grains, coffee, tea, sugar and alcohol are off the table due to their ‘acid-producing’ properties; while fresh vegetables, fruits and selected legumes, grains and nuts are to become your new best friends.
Do we need to try and make ourselves more Alkaline? 
According to Dr Douglas Samuel, gastroenterologist and senior lecturer in medicine at University of Sydney and NSW (and sceptic of the pH balance argument) the answer is no. Douglas Samuel claims that the Alkaline theory is just that – a theory – that hasn’t been validated with sufficient research. Douglas Samuel states that the kidneys and lungs control pH balance, not our diet and our bodies work around the clock to keep the body slightly alkaline regardless of what we eat.
The proof is in the pee 
While promoters of the diet claim that foods can change the body’s pH, Douglas Samuel says this isn’t the case. Certain foods are capable of altering the pH of urine but that’s as far as food goes.
The verdict
In our eyes, while this diet may not be capable of altering ones acid-alkalking state as much as we are all lead to believe, what it does promote is the consumption of more fruit and vegetables, and less junk which is a good thing. But like most things in life, variety is key: a little bit of everything goes a long long way and will help you to be the healthiest version of yourself….
WY? will report back on any other Alkaline articles we find (for or against) but for now you can read Alleaume’s full article here. If you want to read more about the Alkaline diet then here are the WY? team’s top two books to read….