Which Diet Is Best - an Alkaline Diet or an Acidic Diet?

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By Tess Thompson



Great technological successes and access to all comforts at a click or a phone call away has put the Western society in a position that is the envy of the underdeveloped world. However, there is also a flip side to it.

Modern day lifestyles that are more inclined towards materialistic gains have led to a situation where spirituality, diet, and health are ignored at the cost of making it 'big' in life. What we fail to realize at times is that comforts and facilities are relevant and pleasurable only if we are in good health and are able to enjoy them.

Any unbiased dietician will tell you that our diet today is more inclined towards being acidic. It is no surprise, then, that the increased incidences of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes are highly correlated with the intake of acid-forming foods; foods that are part of our daily fast-food diet. The human body is naturally alkaline, and therefore consuming high levels of acid-producing foods upsets the acid-alkaline balance.

However, just because the human body is alkaline, it does not mean that all foods that we intake should be alkaline in nature. Good health basically depends upon striking a healthy balance between the acidity and alkalinity produced in our body.

The human body performs best in an internal environment that has a pH level of 7.39. pH refers to the power of hydrogen, which is arrived at by calculating the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14.

Pure water has a neutral pH of 7. A pH between 7 and 14 indicates an alkaline environment, while a pH between 0 and 7 indicates an acidic one. Since the human body should have a pH level of 7.39, it means that the internal biochemical environment, as a whole, should be slightly alkaline. The range between which the body can function efficiently is also very small.

To maintain ideal pH levels, it is essential that we understand the acidity or alkalinity of various foods to be able to balance the overall effect that our diet has on our internal flora. All foods are classified either as acidic or alkaline. This is done on the basis of the ash that they leave behind after they go through a metamorphosis during the process of metabolism.

Since one of the causes of specific diseases is understood to be based on the level of acidity or alkalinity of the human body, many 'so called' healthy weight loss plans recommend all acidic or all alkaline foods to treat the specific disease. However, eating optimally to achieve the ideal pH level is a more recommended option.

Generally speaking, dairy products, meat, seeds, legumes and nuts leave behind an acidic ash. Most fruits and vegetables have an alkaline residue. Citrus fruits are generally understood to be acidic in their natural state, but turn alkaline once they have been metabolized. Moreover, cranberries, plums, and prunes fall under acidic fruits, as the acids they contain cannot be metabolized by the human body.

If you want to lose weight and feel that you want to opt in for those 'quick weight loss' diets, make sure that you know the overall pH levels of the diet plan. It is also necessary to learn how supplements touted as healthy weight loss supplements affect your internal biochemistry.

References:

http://www.healthstatus.com/articles/pH_and_Health.html
http://nh1.ccone.com/
http://www.energiseforlife.com/list_of_alkaline_foods.php
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/alkalinediet_1.htm

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